Category Archives: Fiction and/or Non-Fiction

A Mouthful of the Old Bay

Crustean in quotation

Well I still haven’t watched Super Chef: Cook to the Death because it reairs tonight.  However, I have discovered that the secret ingredient is hope, which is bound to leave a horrible aftertaste. What it should have been is Utz’s “The Crab Chip”.  I have been addicted to these for several months.

They are not made of crabs, but the bag design intimates you may just find one or two scurrying through your chips on their way to a weird eleven year old’s drawing.  Apparently, they are flavored with Old Bay Seasoning, which is like Old Spice Seasoning, only spicier and you can’t use it as deodorant.  So this is what the largest estuary in the United States tastes like? Unexpectedly delicious considering what it smelled like the summer I lived in dc.

Sadly, they don’t sell Utz’s “The Crab Chip” just anywhere.   Only one of my five local grocery stores (that doesn’t include my seventeen local bodegas) carries them, and only sporadically. This is why I was on Utz’s website today, where the creepiest internet encounter I’ve ever experienced occurred.  Click on the link, go to the site and wait about 10 seconds.  You’ll see.  I bet she knows the secret ingredient.



The family jewels

The family jewels

This is all I have left of my grand-great uncle, Bishop Candid Norman Rowbury.  He was a bishop, but with a heart of gold.  (Though I’d always thought he was a better piano player than he was a bishop.)  His will was so incredibly specific: it divided his estate into pieces and donated those pieces to different charities.

He did hereby leave his Studebaker to Lorraine Daley-Kline (a real charity case).  His fixtures, false teeth, adjustable tools, winterwear, and soaps went to Lottery Winners of North America.  The legs of all his chairs went to the Royale Society of Seaman.  But for me, he left his most prized of all possessions (and he was a Bishop, so that’s saying a lot.) He bequeathed unto me these tomatoes. Correction: He bequeathed unto me these heirloom tomatoes.

These heirloom tomatoes have been in my family for twelve generations.  His forefather, Mackenzie Wallenbach Brinkley Rowbury purchased these tomatoes at the Chimineroo farmer’s market in the late 1700’s.  Legend has it,  Mackenzie was drinking a macchiato that cost the price of a full-day’s meal out of a golden goblet, when his eye struck upon the most amazing tomatoes in all the land.  More than just serendipity, this was destiny’s child knocking right on Mackenzie Rowbury’s door.

You see, he’d been planning for sometime to “finally stop eating out so much and use my galley kitchen for more than just Chinese takeout.”  The tomatoes cost him nineteen hundred guilders each, as well as his eldest daughter.  This was a price Mackenzie Rowbury was willing to pay as hitherto, he’d been unsuccessful with dozens of gazpacho attempts.

Sadly, Mackenzie Rowbury was lanced by a neighboring nobleman during a dispute over compost (how many lives will be lost?!) .  He left a legacy behind and that legacy is carried with the torch of these heirloom tomatoes.  Now, every night I pick them up and let them fall through my fingers like doubloons or loonies or toonies.  I sleep in them like Scrooge McDuck.  My very own heirloom tomatoes.  I hope one day I will make the world’s most expensive salsa and feed it to the starving children of Cabo San Lucas.

I guess you had to be there. What? You were?

Have you passed your lab safety test yet?

Have you passed your lab safety test yet?

How many days does it take to get a joke? We’re on day sixteen, and counting.

This is the last time I use Amazon for anything other than buying Bunsen burners.  Not only do I do all my cooking on Mr. Bunsen’s miracle, but I also heat my home with them.  Dangerous?  Not as dangerous as frostbite.  Have you ever seen the movie What Happens in Vegas? Well think about how much worse that movie would have been if you had FROSTBITE during the whole thing.

July 4, 1978

It’s the eighth of July.  I had something to say on the fourth of July about the fourth of July but I was busying getting a sunburn.  Here it is now:

I have one very distinct memory of the 4th of July. I was twelve years old and living in Fort Lauderdale at the time.  It was early evening, the air was warm, and I was running over to get my brother from his friend’s house. We were going out on the boat to watch the fireworks, which I loved.

Unfortunately, my geek brother hid on me and scared me (what an a-hole). I fell into a ravine and woke up a few minutes later. I ran home to tattle but when I reached my door a young couple (not my parents) answered. They informed me it was 1986, not 1978 and I had been missing for eight years.

Then, NASA scientists swooped in and I met Sarah Jessica Parker. I escaped and rode around in a spaceship voiced by Pee Wee Herman. Eventually, I called my brother from a gas station and he set off my stashed bottle rockets to signal me home.  I decided I could not stay in 1986 (even though I felt strangely it already was 1986).  I instructed the spaceship to return me to 1978 and was reunited with the 1978 version of my family.  The fireworks that night were underwhelming.

I am not entirely sure how I came to understand the 1986 Disney movie Flight of the Navigator as actual events that occurred in my own life.  At this point, it has become an integral part of my childhood memory and there is no unweaving this technicolor dream coat of insanity. The best we can hope for is that I escape from Witch Mountain long enough to meet up with the Apple Dumpling gang, because at this point I am totally wanted: for chicanery, skulduggery, tomfoolery and habitual bungling! (And also several major copyright infringements.)

Because you were going to anyway:

Remake alert!  Rumors started in March that Brad Copeland is rewriting it. IMDB says “in development” for 2011.