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Care and Feeding of the Overdue Suicide, or: A Recipe for Fortified GOatmeal
leashed un 2021-01-14

Preamble; for, in the course of culinary events...

Although I'd originally entertained, for approximately half the blink of both eyes, together, a notion of addressing an audience by name -- failing that, at least by shape of worldline, lest someone who may matter more than she thinks feel left out of the finest frequencies of blinks -- I must trust my instinct, metaphysical, that although she ain't quite yet in the Echo File, it'll rhyme its way around her, no matter what reason may say... some sunny day.

Yes, it's a recipe, dedicated to nobody in particular, with the hope that the shocking revelations of "How The Other Half Lives" will be eclipsed by the... far from juicy, for their consistency is closer to unbaked cookie dough than instant soup prepared according to the blessed recipes -- tidbits herein; and if you're wondering, that's "GOatmeal" with a capital O and a capital G and that stands for "GOD-AWFUL GOOP" and it tastes real cool, despite being served significantly above the ambient thermal isoflux!

Ingredients [at least, what mine were]

1 cup, water, boiled
1 bag, breadcrumbs, expired
1 bag, instant lentil soup mix
1 box, health nut cookies, empty
1 kilo oats, rolled, within reason
1 pile eggshells, rinsed and dried

Naturally, there is much hidden flexibility in the ingredients; for example, if your supermarket shelves only contain instant pea soup, instead of lentil, that is a permissible substitution; however, one should not be so foolish as to make the coarse error of substituting dried chicken soup, nor even the various vegan replacements, for these will invariably contain far more lipids than fibres.

Nor is the specific brand of health nut cookies important, although they should ideally have been of the dry and crumbly variety, forbidden as snacks to small children not for fear of allergens, but because they are frequent weapons for involuntary men's laughter and women's panic about whether the Heimlich grip is above or below the diaphragm's midpoint, and how do you locate that muscle under pressure anyway, without exerting enough pressure to puncture a lung, break a rib, and get charged with involuntary manslaughter? Fear not! At the very worst, you'll be the Best Samaritan in the penitentiary. I hear they get as popular as middle-school math teachers, occasionally more, once the kids are a bit older.

The breadcrumbs do not have to be expired, although mine were; fortunately, from long enough before Anno Coronaviridae to absolve that from any blame by my gut.

Naturally, the dimensionless constant 'kilo', in the amount of oats, refers to the approximate number of the rolled units, although if you feel like making a kilogram of porridge and seasoning it with a spot of instant soup: don't be my guest, and never invite me into your kitchen, either! Who eats that crap? Yuck!

The water must be boiled only after all ingredients but the shells are mixed, thoroughly, in the empty cookie box, so as to simultaneously absorb any cookie crumbs into the goop, thus cleaning the cookie box, and absorb all remaining undigested gasses from the crumbs into the intangible essence of the goop. In case you are unaware, the calories of any cookies, regardless of health label, are contained solely within the small-whole-number fractions of the serving size, and thus no calories are added to your dish in this key mixing stage; however, any and all allergens are readily and entirely perfused into the festive kitchen atmosphere, where they may have maximal effect. If you disbelieve in the power of allergens, consult a homeopathic doctor; ... and if cookies don't give you gas: are you even human, Friend?

Similar to how the most important stage of cooking pasta is that consisting of the few seconds when the individual pastons splash into the roiling boil, this recipe's key stage is the one where the water is poured into the dry goop. Note that I have left unspecified whether to reuse the cookie box as the final dish, or prepare it in the cup of boiling water, although if your water is chilling, boiled, in a mug, and you're wondering where to put the boiled water while first placing the dry goops in the dessicated mug... Lascere ogni speranza, kid! Go, read about XOR Swaps, start your bright career in software development. Cooking is simply too tedious and menial a task for brilliant minds such as yours!

If you are more preoccupied with the importance of the ordering, and wonder whether this mad scientist wants you to pour water into acid because the acid's always in the last place you expect, worry not: the considerations here are much less explosive, being merely those required for producing a smooth homogenous goop out of the woefully unpredictable process wherein boiling water meets and gives new life to those exciting ingredients known as instant soup and oats... Isn't chemistry fun!? Furthermore, it is of paramount importance that the boiled water is poured rapidly into the goop, while performing the process that starts as gentle agitation yet inevitably turns to frustrated mashing, for both the previous purpose, and the most important one: this recipe conserves heat, and you must consume the mixed tepid filth before it has reached ambient temperature, lest your palate feel its raw tastelessness unshielded.

Postscript... now, how about them eggshells?

The eggshells are of crucial importance, and must be kept within sight of your third eye throughout the entire process, where they serve as a reservoir for your third kidney to recharge your depleted supplies of calcium and other nice ions. If you are vegan, don't care about the environment, or both, and thus do not have a heap of cleaned, dried, and preferably uncrushed eggshells within spitting distance of your kitchen... ask your heathen friends how their calcium footprints are looking, after so many years; they might just shit you an ingot!

A Perfect Day for, uh... Narcissist
leashed un 2020-09-17

Occasionally, folks making idle conversation use one of the least certain fillers when the talk runs thin. It's easy enough to keep things nice and happy, although that's rarely necessary, since it'd often conflict with that mere politeness of prioritizing honesty over nearly all other aspects interpersonal. One such exchange, most likely in certain cultures although quite certain not to occur to me during the next few days, is as follows:

  YOU:  What'd you do over the weekend?

[CRICKETS chirp]

  YOU:  Hah, I bet you spent Valentine's
        Day all alone, probably getting
             higher than a kite.

Lest the redefinitions of modern usage accelerate their revolutions so fast as to spin all semblance of meaning out of this cosmic centrifuge we call our world, let's make a brief detour through arguments so ancient as to have been recorded as fact by none other than the editors of an encyclopedia renowned for its editors' inability to agree upon facts: of those responsible for the traditions leading to the day of romance being named after a man canonized in honor of torture and convulsions, at least three are named identically, although imprecisions in the numeration are likely due to another person named Valentinus, and the only consoling fact in this pile of reasons to stop reading history is that the latter did not get beatified! I'll leave further spelunks through the bunk to those both bold and foolhardy, and proceed to continue the answer that I'd begun composing while Crickets chirped above.

The Virgin Scammer's Cookbook
leashed un 2019-12-31T08:37:99

Imagine a dive where you can sit for hours, nursing several standard drinks all in a single glass, safe and secure in the knowledge that once you're a thumb's width from the empty you can ask the gorgeous barmaid for the refill. Unlikely as this sounds, it does exist, and they don't want my money anymore because, allegedly, I socked a shmuck in the face and called the barmaid a whore's brat when she asked me to do that outside the premises; the only reason I ever even spent enough money there to realize that it was the cheapest place in town is that I'd meet my weiqi instructor there, and this is an imaginary story about how he kept his edge. He arrived near the sunset, as the place was starting to fill due to the widely-advertised discount during the twilight hours, and took a seat at the bar.

"Listen, I need y'all to play along with me."

The barmaid and waitress gave him that inquisitive response, of not understanding exactly what he meant; moreover, it has been said that he speaks the language with the Lebanese accent, although I'm quite certain that he merely studied diction thoroughly enough to fake any dialect he chooses, and this is also what he told them, and I know for a fact that his family is Persian.

"I'm going to arrive late quite soon, after my student gets here. You'll know who he is because he will probably sit at that table, unless it's already occupied when he arrives, in which case he will probably walk around, measuring the size of the tables against a large block of wood, and sit at the table with the fewest chairs that is still large enough that there is room on the table for both the wooden block and a few drinks."

At this point they started losing their patience, and asked him if he was gonna drink anything, since he was already consuming space, time, and attention.

"That's exactly why I'm here right now. I'm going to go, and return after he gets here. You should serve him whatever he orders, alcoholic of course, but I want you to serve me only virgins."

They didn't exactly catch his drift, since the idiom of a virgin drink is not always understood by amateurs, so they thought that he was placing orders in advance for both of us: "Just tell us what he's gonna drink, and what you wanna drink. We can probably prepare anything you order. Have you seen our menu?"

"No, I don't think I can predict what he'll drink. He usually does read the menu, and sometimes asks about the taps and bottles, so he could conceivably order anything that's here. Just serve him whatever he orders, as though he's a regular. My order is much trickier: I'm probably gonna drink the same beer as he will, although if he orders a drink I'll also order one; what I request is that you serve me a drink without any alcohol, that only looks like an alcoholic drink, and I'd also like him to think that you poured me an alcoholic drink, which is why I'm telling you this in advance."

They both laughed, and he got a little angry because he was not kidding at all!

"Look, I need to keep my edge. I'm trying to teach him a game that is complicated, and I hardly play it anymore myself. I'm much better than he is, so I'll probably beat him every time by a large margin, but that doesn't mean that I can be drunk. I need to be able to explain cogently every move I make, and ask him questions about his moves, so you have to serve me drinks without a single drop of ethanol inside them!"

They glanced at each other, and they each said... OK!

He ran his eyes over the display of bottles, taps, and serving crew, all of which were admirably easy on the eye.

"What virgin drinks do you know how to prepare?", he asked the barmaid.

Smiling coyly, and eyeing the row of taps, she took a half-step backwards towards the sink, answering: "Mmm, maybe 'Virgin Mary'? It's like 'Bloody Mary', except with filler instead of the vodka. It's also the best drink for faking alcoholism, since both the tomato juice's consistency and color mask the refractive tell-tale of the vodka's absence from the unaided eye."

He gave her quite the quizzical look, and checked the time, since I was scheduled to arrive within the hour and he hadn't planned to listen through a crash course in mixology just to order a fucking virgin, so he began asking questions slightly more pointedly: "What is this? Can you make cocktails with that one?"

She looked where he pointed -- a bottle near the easily reachable edge of the display -- and answered: "That's a bourbon from... ahhh I can't remember exactly which state, although it's certainly a bourbon. You don't want to use that for cocktails, and it's quite expensive, too, compared to most distilled liquors."

"Why don't you make cocktails with a bourbon?", he inquired immediately, and smiled as he realized that he'd outed himself as knowing more than he'd let on initially.

"You can make a mixed drink with almost any liquor, although not all mixed drinks are cocktails; however, bourbons originate from the 'Land of Cotton', where it was considered disrespectful to the distillery to mask the taste of their product. Fancy drinks are often a marketing gimmick, and quite profitable for the establishments that sell them, so I can make you a whiskey-coke if you'd like, virgin of course."

He ran his eyes further down the same shelf of malt liquor, finally pointing at the one bottle and asking: "You have a virgin bottle of that one?"

"Of course. Can't you see that the bottle is unopened?"

He laughed, and glanced at the time again, while the waitress hustled behind his back, rolling her eyes at his bullshit and wondering how much of the barmaid's precious time he was gonna waste.

"I need to go in about ten minutes. This guy sometimes arrives early, but usually very late, so it'll be suspicious to him if I'm also here early. If he sits where I think he will, he's not going to watch you preparing the drinks anyway, so you don't have to use a specific bottle."

At this point, the waitress shifted the chair next to him to get his attention away from the admirably distracting barmaid, and scolded: "You do know that you're not going to get a kickback for this stunt? We don't want people playing stupid here, especially if they think they'll get paid to do so."

He moved his chair aside, took half a step towards the street, looked for a moment at the mural above the stairway to the toilet, and finally replied: "The only kickback that I request is as follows: You do not have a bouncer here, and my friend is going to be drunk, while I will be sober. All that I ask is that if he gets so drunk that he becomes violent after losing, do not call the police, and let me eject him; don't worry: although neither of us gets particularly dangerous when drunk, we are both quite effective when sober."


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