February 29, 2008

All Quiet on the Moron Front

Rear, too. I thought there might be some disturbance the other day, but it was only gas. Okay, well, not only gas, but we shan’t waste valuable daylight discussing it.

ANYWAY, it’s been a long time, hasn’t it? Oddly enough, people still come around every once in a while, or on Leap Day, either by accident, or in the oddly misplaced, yet still charming delusion that they’ll find that I have come out of my forced retirement and begun blogging again.

Alas, I still am quite quit of blogging.

But it’s not really about me—I am haunted by those whom we’ve had to let go from the Axis of Weevil World Headquarters, who shuffled out the door holding their last paychecks and various stolen office supplies, going off into a cruel world where imaginary employees of imaginary enterprises are a dime-a-dozen.

And then alas, there is poor Chet the E-Mail Boy. Once so full of boyish charm (approximately 90 years ago) and now—now doomed to his new life of self-employment.

“Chet,” I said to him as kindly as I could on Layoff Day, “Chet, I hate to let you go, but it’s time—“

He raised his withered and liver-spotted hand, and in his high, thin, reedy, trembling, whispy, raspy, consumptively phlegmy voice told me that he had an idea for a new business venture. “Oh, but Chet, you’re old, and dim, and stupid, and infirm, and have to be told everything to do—and what will Miss Butch say?”

He bade me no mind, being the upstart, blackguard, and rogue that he turned out to be, and walked out without so much as a tear or sniffle.

Seems he’d saved up some money (how, I’m not sure, since I never paid him) and bought one of those little ‘Hawaiian shaved ice’ vending shacks that open in the summer and then shutter up in the wintertime. I laughed at the thought of him trying to sell overpriced snowcones in the winter, but then to make it even more laughable, he repainted the building and started selling bowls of cornflakes. Called it CHET’S FLAKE-SHAK. Silly old man.

Anyway, I suppose it pays to do something you know about, and if there’s anything Chet knows, it’s cornflakes. He started out selling just your plain basic bowl of flakes with milk, then as it caught on with the morning commuter traffic, he started offering a variety of milks—whole, 2%, 1%, skim, chocolate, strawberry. Then there were the sweeteners—sugar, Splenda, NutraSweet, honey, maple syrup, molasses, Karo. Seems people liked the variety, and his weird tales of telegraphy and Linotypistry, and I guess the convenience of not having to go to the danged pantry for a stupid box of cereal and the cupboard for a bowl and the refrigerator for milk and the drawer for a spoon.

After a while, it got more than he could handle, so he put Miss Butch to work in there and people got an even more entertaining floor show with her in her exotic Hmong dress, screeching curses at him in French. The idea continued to grow in popularity, especially when she created a new taste sensation when she “accidentally” “dropped” some betel nut juice into someone’s flakes. After that, EVERYone wanted some. Got to be that the traffic was so bad in the mornings that they’d have the cops come out and direct traffic. Chet decided to buy up all the defunct Hawaiian shaved ice stands in town and open a whole chain of CHET’S FLAKE-SHAKs. I tried to urge caution on him because he’s old and senile, but he acted as though he knew what he was doing. Idiot.

He hired a bunch of other stupid old people to man the new shacks, and sure enough, you’d think customers were sprouting up out of the ground. People were all over themselves to pick up a stupid bowl of cornflakes and milk sold by his wrinkly old geezer friends from the VFW. He started coming up with cutesy names for stuff—like his CUPOFLAKS for people who wanted their cornflakes and milk in a cup instead of a bowl so they could eat it while driving and talking on their stupid cell phones about their stupid jobs.

It continued to be a local phenomenon of some mild amusement, until some weirdo made Chet a MySpace page and put up a video of Miss Butch on YouTube, and then everyone under the sun jumped in. The Daily Show came and nearly got shot (Miss Butch thought they were Viet Cong), then Chet somehow managed to get on Fox and Friends and prattled on and on about meeting Mark Twain and Buffalo Bill Cody as a boy and how he loved cornflakes and being a businessman, and not ONE word about me or my influence on his life. Ungrateful old coot.

After that, he somehow managed to swing a deal with some crazy dumb hippydippy chick from California (who is NOT that attractive, by the way, because anyone can look tall and beautiful in California with enough money and plastic surgery and a degree from Stanford) to develop a line of organic “Worldcornflakes” using his name and confused likeness, and then the lawyers got involved, which I told him was a very bad idea, and they talked him into a cross-country franchise agreement for his stupid cornflakeshaks, and I’m sure he’ll wind up losing his new big fancy McMansion and his Maybach 62 sedan (which I thought was a dumb choice for him, seeing as how he used to jibber on and on about the “Hun menace.” Apparently now that he can go out and pay cash for some lumpy Kraut rolling symbol of self-indulgence, Fritz isn’t such a big threat anymore. Hmph. Figures.)

Anyway, here I am—my blogging empire reduced to nothingness, and I’ve got to stay late tonight to close up, which I hate, because we can’t throw out any of the day’s batch of cornflakes and I have to eat them all, and although my intestines have become preternaturally regular, the last thing I really want to have to do late at night is eat ten pounds of cornflakes. That, and wash out the milk machines. And scrub the dumpster. And call Chet “sir.”

So, you know, other than that, things are just fine.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:11 AM | Comments (13)

February 25, 2008

Aztec Hot Chocolate Pudding

I emerge from my warm, fur-lined hollow tree for just a moment to post this where everyone can see it, as opposed to it being in the comments in the last post. Via Chef Tony and the Chocolate Advisory Council:

This blog needs some pep, I think chocolate is the thing to cause pep. So here y'all go:

Recipe: Aztec Hot Chocolate Pudding

Time: 45 minutes

Butter for greasing pudding dish
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup best-quality cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup corn oil
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup dark rum.

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 8-cup pudding or soufflé dish. Set aside. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, chili, superfine sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa powder. In small bowl, mix milk, vanilla and oil. Pour into flour mixture. Mix by hand for thick smooth batter.

2. Spoon batter into pudding dish, and smooth the top. Pour 3/8 cup water into a small pan. Set over high heat, and bring to boil. In small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup cocoa with brown sugar, making sure there are no lumps. Spread evenly across the batter. Pour boiling water over it, and top with rum.

3. Bake pudding until top is a bubbling sponge and center is wobbly and liquid, about 30 minutes. To serve, spoon out portions that include some of the top and chocolate sauce beneath. If desired, accompany with vanilla ice cream.

Yield: 4 servings

I take USD, cash and kisses on a pro-rated basis in payment for this service.

Tony, you'll have to get your fun and money from someone else. I ain't got no money, and I ain't kissin' you. But the recipe sounds darned good, nonetheless.

Now then, back to slee- WORK! Back to work! Yes! Workworkwork!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:54 PM | Comments (19)