Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Sunday, March 27, 2016


They carried his broken, bleeding body to the cave, weeping with every step.

They laid him down, bade their farewells, and sealed the cave entrance with a massive rock.

Three days later, he arose, clad in pure white raiment. He leaped to the mouth of the cave, rolled the rock away, and stepped into the blinding sunlight. Almost as quickly, he retreated into the depths of the cave, shaken and fearful.

That terrible dark shape on the ground! He shivered in horror. Could it have been the Devil himself?

No matter. After six more weeks, Punxsutawney Jesus would try again.

[Originally published April 24, 2006 at the old place... and resurrected just for you.]

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Osso Buco
Grilled butterflied leg of tender spring lamb... an excellent menu choice.

March 15 - the Ides of March - is international EATAPETA Day, the day on which we eat animal protein morning, noon and night for the sole purpose of sticking a thumb in the eye of PETA. (Well, that, plus animal protein tastes good.)

EATAPETA (Eat a Tasty Animal for PETA) Day is the brainchild of Meryl Yourish, who explains its historic origins in this post.

I’ve been celebrating EATAPETA Day for eleven years now, and the only issue is how to cram as much animal protein as possible into a 24-hour day. That’s the kind of problem I enjoy sinking my teeth into. In fact, shortly after midnight, I sank my teeth into some grilled Coffee and Cardamom-Crusted Skirt Steak I had prepared earlier on our Big Green Egg, searing it at 700°F to build a fragrant layer of char on the outside.

Breakfast consisted of Steak and Eggs: some of that selfsame skirt steak, served alongside a couple of over-easy eggs sautéed in ghee. Gotta exploit them chickens and cows to the max.

For lunch, I took my inspiration from the sea by consuming a tuna salad. Tuna, of course, is what the PETA folks like to call sea-kittens. And I’ll admit, I love to pet those sea-kittens... with my stomach lining.

When suppertime came, I augmented the remaining supply of skirt steak with some chicken soup. (You didn’t think we’d stop at just chicken eggs, didja?) By way of dessert, a few bites off a Toblerone bar... a bar made with milk chocolate. Yet more cow exploitation.

A few years ago, our friend Houston Steve suggested oysters, foie gras, and veal as the ideal EATAPETA Day meal. “I understand the foie gras and the veal,” I replied at the time. “But what’s up with the oysters?” “They’re still alive when you eat ’em,” said he.]

Alex Bensky’s Rule should guide you in your menu selections on this sacred day: If it didn’t have a mother, it’s not on the menu.

Carp Mommy
Your mommy can’t help you now, Mr. Carp.

Monday, March 14, 2016


Summer Berry Pie
Summer berry pie... an appropriate way to celebrate Pi Day even if it isn’t even spring yet.

Today is Pi Day, March 14, often rendered as 3.14 in American English. Coincidentally, it’s also the day on which Albert Einstein’s birthday is celebrated in his adopted home of Princeton, New Jersey. It’s not quite a holiday, but it’s certainly a day that it worthy of note... at least, by the same nerds who celebrate Star Wars Day on May 4 (“May the Fourth Be With You”).

This year, Pi Day falls on 3.14.16, which is the result you get by rounding pi (3.14159) to four decimal places. Thus, some have taken to calling this year’s version Rounded Pi Day. Since pies are so often round - Pythagoras be damned! - it’s just one more reason to have a pie today.

By way of a reminder, tomorrow is EATAPETA (Eat A Tasty Animal for PETA) Day. Therefore, a meat pie would definitely be in order.

In order to celebrate this most auspicious occasion I shall trot out (what, again?) one of my favorite 100-word stories: Pie-Eyed Jeremy, originally posted in June 2006.  Enjoy.


Jeremy loved pie.

Jeremy loved pie with a white-hot passion.

No birthday cake for him. It had to be pie, only pie.

Dutch Apple. Mince. Blueberry. Rhubarb. Pumpkin. Coconut Custard. Steak and Kidney. Chicken Pot. If it was a pie, Jeremy would seek it out and devour it.

But pies were expensive. Fillings and crust cost money, which Jeremy had in short supply. Eventually, to support his pie habit, Jeremy turned to crime.

During a botched heist at Entenmann’s, two hostages died in a hail of bullets. Jeremy was arrested and convicted.

His last meal? Pie, of course. Cyanide pie.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Ben attempts to take one of the earliest known selfies, circa 1792. [Photographed at Palmer Hall, Princeton University.]

Benjamin Franklin was not only one of this country’s Founding Fathers, he was also an accomplished scientist with numerous inventions to his credit - a true Renaissance Man.

Many of us know that Franklin invented bifocal spectacles, the lightning rod, and (obviously enough) the Franklin stove, yet few are aware that he was also a pioneer in social media and its attendant technologies. Poor Richard’s Almanack was originally conceived as an Application (popularly abbreviated Appn) for the STeam-powered Universal Portable Interpersonal Device that Franklin invented. It was, alas, an impractical technology at the time, owing to the fact that wireless communications had yet to be invented. The almost invisible copper threads that were used to connect Franklin’s STUPIDs created an impenetrable network that impeded people’s ability to move about in old Philadelphia, and so the invention never caught on. The Almanack, happily, survived, and the pearls of wisdom therein have become part of American popular culture.  

In Poor Richard’s, Franklin warned of the dangers of distracted ambulation: “He that texts and takes a Stroll, May find himself in a Graveyard-Hole.” How ironic that the sculpture pictured above portrays him in the act of ignoring his own advice.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


No, it’s not about you, Supes.

Today is March 1, AKA Super Tuesday.

It’s “super” because this is the day that primary voters choose 595 out of the 1,237 delegates needed to win the Republican nomination, and 859 of the 2,383 delegates needed to lock up the Democratic nomination. That’s 48% and 36% respectively.

Georgia is one of the states holding primaries today. These days, the franchise seems to be less about selecting the best candidate for the job and more about choosing the least amongst a host of evils... but both Dee and I held our noses and voted.

We won’t know who will actually be running in the Presidential race until the respective party conventions take place, but we will have a pretty good idea after today’s results are tabulated.

It’s going to be a long, unpleasant election season... but at least it won’t be boring. Of course, natural disasters aren’t boring either, but nobody wants to be caught up in them or their aftermath.