Category Archives: food + drink

the national evil joins the élíté! (how many accent marks can i put over that word?)

pizza-hut-iphone-food-app

At long last, the National Evil slips from the mortal coil and ascends to a societal precipice hitherto unknown to—but by no means undreamt by—him.

That’s a lot of sentence right there. What the hell am I talking about? Only this:

Finally—after years of research, impulse buying, and quiet, gentle sobbing in the wee hours of the morning—a simple product choice has elevated me into a stratosphere of elite consumers. How’d that happen? Pizza Hut is now offering a 20% discount on any pie ordered through their iPhone app!

This is what I’ve been waiting for all my life: a time when the simple act of owning an everyday product set me apart from you pathetic normals. And not because the product itself is more expensive, stylish, or trendy than anything you own. Nay; the product serves as mere portal into a realm where one’s money stretches further, the women are all anorexic Russian supermodels, and the pizzas are dusted with gold leaf. (Metaphorically speaking.)

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john madden asks: which muppet would you get drunk with?

John Madden announced his retirement today, retroactive to five years ago. Zing!

You know you’re a figure of unique American eminence when you’ve had an indelible impact on popular culture for so long that all the jokes at your expense have been exhausted. Yes, one could poke fun at his onscreen scribblings, the incoherent rants of his later years, or how he has come to resemble an aging, alcoholic Muppet.

madden-vs-sam

But why? A thousand “comical” sports writers will no doubt spend today pecking away at “humorous” homages to the man. And you can be damn sure Madden has a Letterman “Top 10” list coming. Which will be exactly as funny as anything David Letterman has said in the past 15 years.

No . . . what Madden’s retirement really does is bring one crucial question to light: Which Muppet would you most want to get drunk with?

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rainy days and mondays: seal brains au gratin edition

monk-seal

Awww . . .

seal-brain

Delectable!

Have you ever wondered what people stuck in Antarctica eat on a day-to-day basis? No?

Okay . . . have you ever wondered, in the deep black night as you stare at the ceiling and feel the creeping fingers of bleak mortality massage your soul, what you would do if you found yourself stuck in Antarctica, having to fend for yourself dietarily?

Of course you have.

That being so, take a look at this “lifestyle” piece of journalism describing what the folks at Britain’s Rothera base eat . . . and, more significantly, what they don’t.

Naturally, any article bearing the headline “Seal brain and penguin breasts off Antarctic menus” drew the Evil’s attention. And, while the topic is fascinating enough, what obliged Evil to write about this piece is the combination of the most interesting material possible with the least compelling narrative structure. Can one, in fact, write a train-wreck of a story that features the line:

In a chapter on seal brains, he listed recipes for fried seal brains, seal brains au gratin, brain fritters, seal brain omelette and savoury seal brains on toast.

Yes one can!
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urgent request! venture capital needed for national evil restaurant concept!

voodoo-fondue

Genius . . . sheer genius . . .

Today at work the Evil got into a discussion about food trends—starting with the casual-dining-industry-invented “chipotle.” Remember when “chipotle” meals simultaneously appeared on every menu in America over a one-month period? The world hadn’t seen such a seamless mobilization since D-Day.

Anyway, the conversation wound its way to fondue. Evil reminisced—a little teary-eyed, admitted, but that was pepper-spray related, no doubt—about the spread of Melting Pot franchises among the Atlanta suburbs. Whilst in high school, taking a date to the fondue place was the height of teenage suavity. Fondue parties ran rampant over social calendars. Fondue blazed like a comet through America’s consciousness . . . and then snuffed out.

Granted: fondue is a pain in the ass. The chance of burning your dips is high to astronomical, as is the likelihood of having trouble with your spearables, leading to crumbled bread and severed fruit stumps sinking desultorily into the mire.

Still, it seems to the Evil that molten foods have a place in American culture. Even better, he’s pretty sure he knows what that place is. Even best, he just needs a few tens of thousands of dollars to see his concept spring to ungainly life. Please read the following pitch and give generously.

“Voodoo Fondue: Casual Dining and Coping.
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the mighty thai shits: a paean to culinary multiculturalism

In a couple of hours this will become a pungent cultural metaphor . . .

A few weeks ago, the National Evil finally perfected his pad thai. Years of noodle boiling and hundreds of pounds of firm tofu went into this process, the results of which are unimaginably tasty. Perfection came about from a precisely calibrated combination of spices and oils, along with a secret, special sauce. (No, no!—it’s not that! It did not issue from Evil’s body! This isn’t restaurant food; the Evil has to eat this stuff! You people are disgusting . . .)

How does Evil know he perfected pad thai? The spicy-sweet bite is a strong hint, yes—but that’s not it. The pleasing but not-too-heavy weight in a stomach filled with cayenne-dusted noodles, that digestive, sleepy-making churn, also makes its case. But no—one can never be sure he has perfected another culture’s cuisine until hours later, when an ethnic effluvium issues forth from the bathroom.

That’s right: it’s not the meal itself, but the mighty Thai shits that define perfect pad thai.

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BRILLIANT! (for real this time.)

Watch this:

Not only is this commercial hilarious, scandalous, and brilliantly conceived; not only is it infinitely superior to the paper-cutout-oldsters bellowing “Brilliant!” to which our American televisions are subjected—it also features the official beverage of the National Evil.

Actually, this Guinness ad probably never ran on any television (even in Germany!). The Evil has heard tell of, and seen a few, saucy ads created by agencies seeking to upgrade their “edgy” quotient. He doesn’t doubt this one falls into that category. Unless it’s one of those “viral marketing” endeavors, which seem to be something like subliminal messages driven into your skull with a ball peen hammer.

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eating maggots (or, john mccain, america, and that ol’ gustatory splendor)

Brains! Braaaaaains! Braaaai—oh, wait, those are maggots.

That’s right: eating maggots. Allow the Evil to set the scene: the sky was bright with sunset fire, the crickets were chattering “Goodnight!” at the top of their fucking lungs, and the Evil was wondering about maggots. (Don’t think this will never happen to you.)

Given his world travels, talent for causing offense, and penchant for bloody coups, Evil had to face facts—one day, he’ll probably find himself thrust into a maggot-swarmed situation. Of course he will; didn’t it happen to another presidential candidate? (Quick hint + cheap shot: not the one whose name rhymes with Osama. Uh-huh—got your blood a-boilin’ there a little, hmm? Remember: Evil perches above the fray. And craps on your car.) Doesn’t part of the “John McCain as POW” story concern how he was forced to subsist on maggot-infested bowls of rice?

(Know what? It doesn’t matter. Which is to say, the mythology of McCain’s sacrifice has reached the catechistic point. If you asked him to list the horrors endured by McCain while a POW, Evil would report the maggot-rice element by rote. And if that’s incorrect, it hardly seems to make a sizeable dent in the magnitude of his suffering.)

We all know that the presence of crawling, writhing maggots on a hunka meat, a bowl of rice, or any other potential foodstuff equals DO NOT EAT. However, the Evil found himself wondering . . . couldn’t you eat the maggots themselves? Just pick them off one by one, then dump out the rancid rice? Maggots feast on rot and decay, sure, but are they themselves, sweet lil’ baby vermin, rotten and decayed? Surely not.

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