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Steaming Aphrodite

I recently bought a trunk at a flea market and was surprised to discover that it had a false bottom. Under the faux cover I discovered a diary written in 1909 by a man named Dr. York Van Landingham. Here is a page:

July 17th 1909

She was from Mother Russia and her name was Svetlana Minsky. She spoke perfect English in an accent that one could not detect as foreign. Svetlana had a penchant for bawdy revelry, and used the kind of language which might make an unassuming male turn burgundy from blushing. I had sought her company while we were aboard a steamboat vessel bound for the shores of North Africa. I was wary of her however, as earlier, I had witnessed her bilk three men of their life savings with a fifth, and yes even a sixth King up her lace sleeve.

In the event that her conniving was discovered, she kept a knife in her garter. Upon discovering the weapon one sultry night in Constantinople I decided to nickname her “Svetlana Switchblade.” As I recall, she only stabbed me with it once, and I remain convinced that it was somewhat accidental, but the piercing occurred after I confessed that I relinquished one of her diamond earrings to get out of a tight spot in Bombay.

The night we met, I caught up with her on the deck as she stared out across the Atlantic Ocean at the purple dusk, her winnings tucked into the folds of her undergarments. She told me she’d first noticed me playing trumpet among the troupe of musicians that kept the passengers and crew entertained. It was someone else that she had seen, but I played along not wishing to disappoint her.

She told me she had been entrusted to discover if there were truths to the legend of the goddess Aphrodite and the potions so named after her. She had journeyed through Greece and was now headed to the barely reachable corners of the darkest continent. Entrusted by whom she never confirmed, but she had alluded to a man named Rasputin.

I knew nothing of Aphrodite and she asked me to join her in her cabin to discuss matters of amour. I hadn’t been invited to a woman’s quarters since my journey began and I lustily agreed. She asked if I had absinthe, and of course I did.

We sipped our pastis and made playful conversation. She pulled a patina box from the drawer and opened it. “This is dust from a rhinoceros’s horn,” she said, offering it to me.

     “And?” I said.

     “You snort it, like so.”

     “Madame, I have ingested many a foreign object in my time but nothing from a beast of such stature.”

“It’s an aphrodisiac.

 “An aphro what?”

“It’s named after the goddess,” she said. “If you take it you will likely want to consume me with desire.”

     “I have never heard of such a thing. Won’t I become ill?”

     “No. Legend says that you will become aroused. Try it.”

      “Hm, do you have any other aphrodisiacs, say something in a chewable form?”

       “Many men have died trying to discover what it is about this and other ingredients that turn us into savages.” She passed a leather-bound book under my nose that she had been writing in. I opened it somewhere near the beginning and read her words. I suddenly felt the urge to regurgitate my lunch.

      “What in the name of Satan’s hot tub?”

       “What did you read? Is it the tiger penis thing?”

        “Yes, of course it’s that!!”

        “That’s usually the reaction.”

         “People actually eat tiger’s penises?” I blurted. She nodded slowly. “I mean I’m adventurous in the kitchen, Svetlana, but there is one ingredient that doesn’t leap to mind when cooking and that is tiger penis. I mean, how does one even discover something like that? Oh, I know, why don’t I try tiger penis in my omelet this morning? But before I can do that it’s off to hunt and castrate a tiger…hope he doesn’t mind having his masculinity severed from him before he’s had his morning cup of tea. Maybe I can find other ways to use tiger penis, since I went to the trouble, maybe as an accompaniment to a cheese plate. Oh what have we got here then? Brie, Camembert, Stilton, Tiger penis…oh, yes, perfect, just fits right in there doesn’t it? Pass the salted crackers; this tiger penis is in need of a bed of crunchiness before I can consume it. Good god!”

        “What is it then that makes man want to consume the horn from a rhinoceros and the genitals of a jungle cat?” she asked with a perfectly straight face.

        “I couldn’t tell you, Svetlana, but if this catches on, these poor things are looking to go the way of the dodo and the unicorn. Oh no, do you think that’s what happened to those doomed creatures? Unicorn testicle flambé ? Dodo Eggs Benedict?”

       She calmed me with her smile and we drank long into the night. At some point she asked if I would be interested in joining her on her mission. I laughed. “As long as you don’t try to get me to snort pelican beak, drink panda bear urine, or inhale a mongoose’s fart. I’ll think upon it.”

      Hours later I awoke under my own bed with a headache the size of the earthquake that shook San Francisco. In my view was a half-eaten plate of oysters and my ears filled with sounds of an accordion melody skipping on the phonograph caught in a three second loop. Oh, Svetlana, I thought, I really must stop drinking that absinthe.

I crawled out from beneath the bed and sought the comfort of some woolen trousers so that I might get some fresh sea air and locate my mysterious Russian adventurer. Tomorrow night we are due to dock in Casablanca. I hope that there are no tigers in Morocco, the temptation might be too great an urge to resist.

Am I Paranoid Or Just Phobic?

I have been told by some of my friends and past and present loves that I can at times be…….paranoid. However, in the words of either Jesus or Kurt Cobain (I forget which) “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”

And so, Mr Bay Area Brit, how does this paranoia manifest itself?

I’ll tell you.

Well one: There is the fear that I’m not getting the attention I crave. While some worry that people are talking about them behind their back. I worry that they’re NOT talking about me behind my back.

My paranoid fears are not unrealistic. I don’t worry about aliens taking over the Earth, as much as I don’t fear werewolves attacking me as I walk home by the park late at night. I don’t fear going to Hell because I don’t believe in God. My worries are everyday things like: If I leave the dishwasher running while I quickly go and check the mail will I come home to find it has broken and waterlogged the apartment?

When I’m waiting for a package to be delivered, I fear that the driver will not stop at my building unless he sees me staring out the window at the street waiting for him.

The reason I haven’t had Lasik eye surgery, is primarily due to my concern that my appointment would be at the exact same time a massive earthquake strikes the Bay Area as I wait in the doctor’s chair with Goldfinger’s death ray laser pointed at my eye socket.

I come from the school of thought that if something can go wrong, it will go wrong, and I will be the one to suffer more greatly than any of you.

I also have phobias, and not the usual ones that normal people have. For example, take “arachnophobia.” The fear of spiders.

Much like Robert Smith, my version of arachnophobia isn’t just a general fear of spiders; it’s specific. My phobia is that a pregnant female spider is going to crawl into my ear as I sleep and hatch a hundred little spiders that don’t know where the exit is, and so they burrow their way through my ear drum, which is of course the gateway to my brain. By morning I will be dead. My head literally eaten away from the inside out. Now that is a phobia you can sink your teeth into; it is also why I sleep with earplugs in my earholes and nuzzle up to a can of Raid at night…..just in case.

There are phobias for everything. Here are some illustrated ones for your viewing pleasure.

That’sAllFolks!!!!!****************************

Feel free to leave a comment because that’s the only way I’m going to know that you’re watching my every move. And you are….aren’t you?

I Love My Cat!

I love my cat, I really do, but I think she’s trying to drive me insane.

If it’s not by pouncing on my bed at 6 a.m. and slowly inching up my chest and nuzzling up to my face, its by placing herself on the edge of the bed and allowing her body to go limp and fall off. As she drifts down and off of the bed the sheet is pulled off of me and then there is a gentle thud on the carpet as she lands. This is followed (of course) by the attempted noisy and clumsy extrication from said sheet before she jumps up on the bed and does the whole thing all over again.

Is this the face of a monster?

This often all happens a mere few hours after I’ve gone to bed. But what am I to do? I tried to lock her out of the bedroom but she attacks the door trying to get back in so she can wake me up. It’s not even a food thing. This morning she was fed and I tried to sleep on after…but no. No, no, no, no, Mr. Bay Area Brit, you cannot sleep I need you up and alert and ready to play with me. What do you expect? She’s not even a year-old.

I love my cat…but she’s driving me cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

She wants to get me up, and I think I understand why. She has no idea what my life is like outside the walls of the apartment. Maybe when I leave to go to the store, she thinks I’m just outside the door the whole time teasing her…which would explain why she is waiting for me just eight inches from the front door when I return.

I often think of a Freaky Friday situation where I switch lives with my cat for a day. Just so she can see how much more complicated my life is compared to hers and why I NEED my sleep. So yeah, what would it be like to be my cat for one day? Lounging around on the bed purring and receiving all kinds of love and affection. Does that sound like hard work? If only she could meow the words “Peel me a grape.” 

Plaaaaaaaaay with meeeeeeee

Maybe what she really craves is something more than the life of a domestic cat. Perhaps inside that mischievous mind there is a complex brain at work. Like humans, some cats are smarter than others. Maybe my cat is the most intelligent feline in the world. Maybe if we switched for a Freaky Friday, she’d get something great accomplished with my life. Maybe on Saturday I’d discover that I actually have money in my bank account, and that overnight people have come to think of me as a sharp, balanced, poised under pressure kind of guy. Or maybe I would just suddenly become addicted to being tickled under my chin and having my tummy rubbed.

Sometimes the temptation to wake her up is overwhelming.

The animation by Simon Tofield is hilarious, and is a fair reflection of how it goes down.

 

Feel free to leave a comment or email me at TheBayAreaBrit@gmail.com

 

“It’s A Wonderful City”

I was in my San Francisco apartment watching the news. They’d been saying it might snow, but of course it didn’t. The snow never came. It got me to think how fantastic it would be to live in a place where it snows. I mean, why does it never snow here? It’s bullshit! Right. I got angry and yelled a few cuss words to the big guy upstairs…not God, you understand, my upstairs neighbor Doug…huge fellow…feet the size of kayaks clomping around. The guy’s a moose. Anyhow, I guess I pissed him off because he got mad and came down to confront me about all my yelling about how San Francisco got ripped off because it never snows.

He said, “Calm down, let’s go for a drink and talk it over.” I grabbed my keys and wallet and he smiled. “You’d better wear a coat; I mean it might get cold out there. Wrap up.”

“It’s like 52 degrees out,” I scoffed.

We were in the elevator and he said, “Do you really think San Francisco would be a better city if it snowed here all the time, like say, Minneapolis or some such place?”

“I do,” I said adamantly.

We stepped out of the building and lo and behold in front of me was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen: a winter wonderland. It was as if a white, fluffy blanket had been dropped from the heavens and landed on the city. Cars were immobilized under piles and piles of snow; they were just white lumps in the street. It was so quiet, peaceful, and yes, idyllic. The sky was a sort of laundry-error dirty white.

© Courtni Hawkins 2010

“How is this possible?” I asked.

“It’s what you wanted, isn’t it?”

“This, wow, this is so beautiful. I’m amazed. I can’t wait to send my mum some pictures of this.”

“Your mum? What mum? You don’t have a mother. You were never born. Your father was a semi-professional skier and as a young man he came here for the powder and broke his leg in four places, never walked again. He never met your mother and consequently, you don’t exist.”

“That’s crazy, Doug. Of course I exist; you can see and hear me can’t you?”

“A simple trick. Smoke and mirrors stuff.”

© Courtni Hawkins 2010

I ignored Doug’s stupid joke and we trudged carefully down the street. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but the city just seemed different. At first I thought it was just the snow, but it wasn’t. There weren’t many people around and those that were, seemed hardened and unfriendly and very, very white. Everyone looked the same: All the men had beards and the women seemed timid. It was like small-town…not San Francisco at all. Nothing looked familiar. We got to what I thought was my favorite bar, but now it was an ice skate repair shop. We walked in anyway.

“Hi, I was wondering when you took over this business? I was here what seemed like a month ago and it was still Frank & Kelly’s Bar.”

“I bin here for thirty-two years now,” the man behind the counter said. “No such place as Frank and whatever you said.”

“No, you’re wrong; Frank and Kelly– gay couple, they lived above the bar. Really sweet. They got married last year.” I smiled.

“Married? You tellin’ me two fellas married each other? Why I don’t know where you’re from, mister, but even jest talkin’ that ways a likely to git you strung up.”

© Courtni Hawkins 2010

I turned to Doug. “What the hell?”

He grimaced. “San Francisco is not San Francisco. There was no gold rush in 1849, because of all of the snow. This city is not even a city, it’s a town the size of a mosquito bite on a whale.”

“No!!…San Francisco is one of the most popular cities in the world. It’s got the rolling hills, the cable cars, the Golden Gate Bridge, The baseball champions, the Giants finally won for God’s sake, Doug.”

“Not San Francisco. There was no Spanish mission here. The town is called Santa Falls…on account that if Santa ever came here, which he doesn’t, he would likely fall over from all the snow. It’s worse than the North Pole they say. Yes there are hills, and every year at least ten kids die trying to toboggan down them. No cable cars, couldn’t run in the snow, and too dangerous if they could. No Golden Gate Bridge and definitely no baseball team. There’s no money to build a ballpark, no one ever comes here. Hell, the best we got is a Sunday league hockey team made up of ice-fishermen and drunks. Let’s face it, not many people want to live in Santa Falls. The place is the 679th most popular place to live in America, behind Devil’s Lips, Montana and Detroit.”

© Courtni Hawkins 2010

“This is crazy. Okay, okay, I don’t want this; make it back the way it was, Doug, please.”

“Well that involves some heel-clicking and promises not to gripe about no snow.”

“I promise, I promise. Anything.”

Next thing I knew, I was in my Upper Market neighborhood, the sky was bright blue and the snow was gone. A scruffy deadhead hit me up for a dollar. “Get away from me you stinking hippy” I said, and threw him a buck. Doug laughed. Every face we saw was different in color and personality, a wonderful melting pot. Doug suddenly pointed upwards and exclaimed, “Look!”

I gazed up and saw a giant rainbow stretched across the skyline and I breathed a sigh of relief.

Mary, Mary, where are ya, Mary?

“Thank God. There’s no place like home. There really is no place like home. Come on, Doug, let’s go get that drink.”

You Eat What???

 

 

It’s hard to defend being British sometimes.

An orgy of Bangers ‘n’ Mash. I mean look at this for God’s sake. If it didn’t already look like it was being made love to by an army of Gurkhas wouldn’t you be all over that?

It’s a sausage in pastry. It’s the perfect accompaniment to warm beer. It’s packaged like a chocolate candy bar because it’s never too soon to get the kids on to the Sausage Rolls.

Black Pudding…made with blood. Delicious, right? And the best part is, it’s not even a pudding.

Aunt Bessie knows what’s up. A little toad… and it’s in a hole. It’s irresistible…and just the way I like it… Oh, Aunt Bessie, you salacious tart, are you hitting on me?

Figgy Pudding: It’s what’s for Christmas. There is enough alcohol in this little bomb of fun to entice a rhino to make lewd suggestions to your grandmother. Can also be used as a weapon by dropping on your opponent from a short-to-medium height.

“Artificially Colored,” Mushy Peas…because peas aren’t quite green enough.

Penicillin Sauce comes in a separate can with prescription.

The Bay Area Brit Is One-Year Old…

…which would likely explain the maturity level of some of the jokes and cartoons.

Valentine’s Day is the The Bay Area Brit’s one-year anniversary. And what better way to celebrate by giving fake awards to Brits who have popped up on the American radar in the last year.

Award For The Funniest And Meanest Way To Get Back At Your Celebrity Wife 

"I'd like to thank my iPhone and Twitter for this award."

Russell Brand exposed his wife, Katy Perry to the TwitWorld sans makeup. Normally this would be a “so-what” situation: a woman without makeup–big deal. I like to see it as the first layer of exposure. Next comes Brand’s homemade audio files of her singing off key in the shower and then of course the inevitable porno tape. Who knows what started it? Perhaps a fight over whose maid should do the dishes, or maybe there was a verbal joust regarding whose 15 minutes would be up first. Either way, we here at the Bay Area Brit commend Mr. Brand’s efforts to prevent boys aged 13-77 from lusting after his wife.

Monty Python: Funny. Jeremy Clarkson: Unfunny.

Award For Putting Your Foot In Your Mouth And Then Not Only Failing To Remove It, But Trying To Cram The Other Foot In There As Well.

Jeremy Clarkson is the host of a popular British TV show called “Top Gear.” On a recent episode, he referred to Mexicans as “lazy, feckless, flatulent oafs” and Mexican food as “refried vomit.” Understandably, Mexicans are angry at the comments, and Clarkson has failed to apologize; in fact he continued to make even more racist comments that he believes is “humour.” To make matters worse, he claims that, “the Mexicans have no sense of humour.” Which is kind of like me taking a crap on his floor and telling him that, “he’s only mad at me because he hates cleaning his carpet.”

We here at The Bay Area Brit think that Jeremy Clarkson’s the one lacking a sense of humor.

Award For Pissing Off Hollywood Celebrities By Making Fun Of Them 

No need to apologize for being funny, Ricky.

Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globes for the second year in a row. It’s refreshing to see an awards show host who is secure and comfortable enough to fearlessly make fun of the irritating pomposity that these affairs usually bring. I mean he’s drinking a beer at the podium for God’s sake. He skewered some easy targets but even went after the guy that signed his paycheck that night: the President of the Hollywood Foreign Press. One of his best lines made fun of the Cosmo-swilling cougars from Sex In The City.

“I was sure the Golden Globe for special effects would go to the team that airbrushed that “Sex In The City” poster. Girls, we know how old you are. I saw one of you in an episode of Bonanza.”

The distinction between Gervais and Clarkson is that Gervais targets himself as much as others. Plus, Gervais went for the jugulars of the wealthy and famous, Clarkson cruelly generalized and negatively stereotyped an entire nation.

Celebrities seen here demonstrating outside Ricky Gervais's hotel

Award For Most British, British Movie Star : Colin Firth

Colin Firth: Seen here not dressed as a King

Colin Firth’s portrayal of King George VI sealed this year’s award of being the “Most British, British Movie Star.” Cheerio, pip, pip and all that rot, Colin. Good luck winning a real award at the Oscars for “The King’s Speech.” We are all counting on you.

Award For Best Attempt At Killing Your Career Just As You Were Making Money And Achieving “C”…Maybe “D-List” Status In America

British soccer analyst Andy Gray covered the 2010 World Cup in the United States and received positive acclaim and attention with his excitable, yet no-nonsense approach and analysis. He was recently fired by Sky Sports for making sexist comments regarding a soccer official during the broadcast of an English Premier League game. “Can you believe that? A female linesman. Women don’t know the offside rule.” 

Well done, Andy; women don’t know how to drive a car, change a flat tire, fly a plane, be an astronaut, or lead a country, and they certainly couldn’t possibly understand the complicated offside rule. Idiot!

Happy Birthday, Bay Area Brit, here’s to another year. Oh, and in case you missed it–here you go.

"I'm sorry I called you a stupid, British monkey...Please don't Tweet that pic."

The Fine Art of Diplomacy

When I was a kid, my friend Edgar and I were at his house in South London watching a film about American frontiersmen. The adventurous family was heading west in search of a new start. All of their possessions were packed tightly onto a raft made of tree logs and some extra-strength tree vine. Their vessel was slowly drifting down the river and the film’s soundtrack indicated all was well with “cruising down the river at a nice leisurely pace” music.

But then the music changed, it became a little quicker and louder.

The family’s raft seemed to be picking up speed, the water moving more unpredictably. The music had alerted us that danger was coming.  It was all very exciting and Edgar and I were sucked into the moment. One of the kids looked ahead down the river and yelled back to his parents with panic:

“LOOK OUT! RABBITS!….RABBITS AHEAD!”

Edgar and I looked at each other in astonishment. “Rabbits? In the river? Can rabbits swim? Even if they could, should they really be feared as if they were a school of long-eared piranha fish?”

After about a minute of eagerly awaiting these flesh-eating, cotton-tailed bunnies, Edgar and I figured it out. “Oh, rapids—they’re worried about rapids. Well that makes much more sense.” We hadn’t understood the American child’s accent.

In this instance no harm done. Kids watching TV. What if the context were different and the stakes much higher? What if the President of the United States was given information in a foreign language that was incorrect because the person conveying it misheard or misunderstood what was intended.

Enter The International Translator.

The international translator has the most important job in the world. Failing to decipher the real meaning of a sentence filled with ambiguity could be the difference between war and peace.

Example: “Let me give you some fruit punch.” Translate this from English into a foreign language and then back into English. You can bet that any rearrangement of words in that sentence could lead to trouble and perhaps even a scuffle.

In the game Chinese Whispers, one person whispers an original sentence into another’s ear, and then that person to the next person and so on. The last set of ears might receive some words totally different from the first. Depending on the room this can be dangerous. For example at a mafia meeting, “Can you pass down the coffee?” Could quite easily become “I think we should whack Don Corleone.”

The responsibility of the international translator’s job is beyond compare. Yet, who are these people? They stand off camera, lurking on the edge of the shadows with headphones on, a whisper away from the President’s ear. Do these people have relationships with their international counterparts? After the summit do they joke about how good it is to finally have a President that can properly pronounce the word “nuclear?”

Surely these multi-linguists must have relationships with each other, after all, they are the kings and queens of diplomacy and communication. If an argument arose they could settle their differences with a well-chosen turn of phrase, with a multitude of languages to pick from to get the nuance just right.

After a hard day’s work, does the international translator lie awake at night wondering whether he conveyed to the President that the Russian Premier might have been being sarcastic when he offered to reduce the amount of nuclear weapons stationed in Cuba?

Words in a sentence or inflections in a word, perhaps a raised eyebrow here, a cough, a pause. All of these things change the meaning of what has been said.

So, kids, when you’re in school and told that the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was the reason that the world was catapulted into war in 1914—don’t be so sure. Someone may have ordered the assassination, but they might also have simply been asking for someone to pass down the coffee.

2011 New Year’s Resolutions: How I’m Doing So Far

This is the 50th Bay Area Brit blog, and the first one of the year. I have catalogued my Ten New Year’s Resolutions and will reveal how I’m doing.

1. To Be A Better Person.

Well that’s working out pretty well, because the better person I wanted to be was Mother Teresa. As it turns out Mother Teresa is dead, and therefore by just existing I am a better “person” than she is. However, regarding otherworldly incarnations she’s got me in a heavenly headlock.

2. To Help Others.

So I take the train a lot, and every single night at the BART station I see this guy pretending to be flustered because he just lost his wallet, and he only needs another $2.80 to get back to the City. Again and again he pitches me the same story, like he doesn’t remember me. I’m going to help him by not giving him an angry glare when I see him shuffling towards me, and I’m not going to say: “Every time I see you, you’ve lost your wallet.” Instead, I’m going to tell him that  they now have these little chains that you can attach to your wallet and loop onto your pants.

3. To Be More Tolerant.

Who am I the Pope? No, wait, I am more tolerant than the Pope.

4. To Drink Less.

Every summer they tell me there’s a drought on — an actual water shortage, people. And so I am fighting the fight and being responsible by drinking more beer and less water, hardly any water in fact. SAVE OUR PLANET!

5. To Eat More Healthily.

Well that’s kind of relative. You see I do eat more healthily than a whopping 34 percent of the country. If you were a baseball player and you hit better than 34 percent, you would be in the Hall of Fame.

6. To Set Realistic Goals.

Writing down and fulfilling any form of New Year’s resolution was an unrealistic goal. FAIL!

7. To Do Something Exciting And Adventurous

To me riding a rollercoaster is terrifying because I imagine the headlines the next day:

FUNLAND ROLLERCOASTER DISASTER: ONE DIES.

So yes, skydiving or bungee jumping is completely out of the question, especially because I would likely post on Facebook that “I’m going to leap out of an airplane from thousands of feet in the air; I hope the chute isn’t made by ACME INC. Har-Har!”

Because if the parachute does actually FAIL, my stupid Facebook post about the ACME INC. parachute will be there forever. The Bay Area Brit’s final status update. At first it would be sad and tragic, and then the more you saw it, the funnier it would seem.

8. To Quit Smoking

Ta-da, easily achievable, since I didn’t ever start smoking. But since I didn’t start by definition I cannot quit. FAIL!

9. To Be Polite And Understanding To People Who Think They Are Funny But Are Actually Boring

This kind of falls into the “be a nicer person” category, but there are people out there that are just (through no fault of their own) dull and uninteresting. I resolved to listen and nod politely, smile, and even laugh when prompted to do so by their own laughter indicating that they’re finished with their tedium.

You may now laugh or nod politely.

And Last But Not Least:

10. To Always Finish What I Sta…

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Copyright 2011        www.TheBayAreaBrit.com

Dining With Elvis: Turkey? Thanks, But No Thanks.

Last Thursday afternoon, Elvis came home from a run around Lake Merritt and said, “Man, it smells sweet in here, like you’re wearing a perfume called ‘Grandma’s Kitchen’ or somethin’.”

“It’s Thanksgiving. I’m making us dinner,” I said.

Elvis smiled at me. “Son, you’re yanking my chain, if it’s Thanksgiving where’s the damn bird. I looked in the ‘fridgerator this morning, and I didn’t see nothing with wings in there.”

“That’s because I don’t eat turkey. Come on, Elvis, you remember–I’m a vegetarian.”

Chik'n nuggets, mushroom balls, peppered Tofurkey slices

“I thought that just meant you ate more vegetables than regular folk. Well what the hell are you cooking up?” Elvis dabbed at his forehead with one of his custom made “E.P.” embroidered  towels and sauntered over to the stove. “Well that there’s ham, son, you been fooled,” he  laughed.

“This right here is fried chicken, and this,” he poked at the skillet with a spatula.”Well this I don’t know what it is; looks like sheep’s balls or sump’n, but I’ll tell ya this, it ain’t nuthin’ that no veggy-tartarian-person should be shovin’ down their gullet. I don’t know what poor animal had his nuts sliced off for your uptight Britsh version of Thanksgiving, but I’m as hungry as a horse. Man, those better not be horse’s nuts.” Elvis laughed again and said, “I’m gittin’ in the shower. Son, you are one daffy kinda Limey duck.”

I pulled the pan of roasted potatoes from the oven, I’d mixed in some turnip, carrots, and sweet potato in there for some variety. I could hear Elvis singing in the shower. “Now and then there’s a fool such as I…you hear that, you crazy Brit, a fool you’re a damned fool…vegetablearian my ass.”

Elvis got out of the shower and slipped into a maroon velour jumpsuit and I burst into laughter when he came into the living room. “Elvis, you look like one of the Golden Girls in that thing.”

“Son, I told you how much I love that show, now you can make fun ‘a me all you want, but you tear into what’s her name? You know, the slutty one, or that other one, you know the dumb one, or that big one, and that older lookin’ one, you askin’ for a whole mess a trouble.”

“You don’t even know their names,” I laughed, and Elvis fell into a pout. “All right, no harm intended. I’m plating the food in a minute. First though, a toast.” I poured two glasses of champagne. “Here’s to our first Thanksgiving since I rescued you from that old folks home, you ungrateful tyrant.” I smiled and winked.

“Amen,” he sang. “Let’s grub.”

Elvis bowed his head and said a prayer for his mama, and dug into the vegetarian feast like a shark feeding on chum. “What the…this ain’t no sliced turkey, and this…this ain’t fried chicken, and these balls didn’t come from no animal I never heard of. Son, are you trying to poison me?”

“Elvis, I told you it’s all fake meat stuff; if you wanted something different you could have made it yourself. Now sit down and eat your dinner, before it gets cold.”

Elvis harumphed and sat to eat.

“Pass me some of them potatoes and other funny colored things…and I guess that ham steak looks pretty good. Fake meat, my ass, ham s’posed to come from a dang pig ya know?” He cut off a slice and began eating the veggie ham. “Say this ain’t too bad, little o’ this gravy on the top.”

For dessert, I served Elvis a slice of pumpkin pie and within minutes after finishing it, he was asleep on the couch snoring with remote control in hand.

I guess the old guy was tuckered from his run, but maybe it was the dang tryptophan that put him in that food coma.

Cartoons

I’ve had requests for more cartoons. I’m assuming because cartoons are much easier to laugh at without having to read all those many, many words. I have also taken a segment from The Bay Area Brit and given it its own site    www.DiningWithElvis.com

It’s still a work in progress, and hopefully it won’t just become a “Shit My Roommate Elvis Says,” kind of thing, but I can’t make any promises.

Oh yeah, and today is the anniversary of JFK’s assassination. Enjoy!