Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken
gozz@gozz.com

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Girli-man chililess chili 

  1. Start to brown the vegetables

    brown the vegetables

    Say "ouch" even though you didn't cut yourself when your knife slipped while cubing three celery stalks. Tell yourself that your eyes are watering only from the three onions you chopped up - it has nothing to do with the fact that your new Olivia Newton John DVD just won't play. Everything will work out fine. There is salted olive oil in the bottom of that pan.

  2. Gently, respectfully roll some pansy-ass herbs into the meat

    season the meat

    That's black pepper, rosemary and basil. As you mush them into the meat, acknowledge that some of your tears are now for the children in far away lands who work for $1.60 a month so you can have cheap shirts and nice spices - even though the basil and rosemary were probably grown at an obscenely wealthy professional football player's crappy herb farm as a tax write-off. Thank Gaia for not sending a tornado to wipe out the factory farm the meat came from.

    Brown the meat in the vegetables. Put all that stuff aside, exclaiming "Darn, darn, darn" when you accidentally drip some grease on this month's Harper's.

  3. Cook the other stuff

    the other stuff

    As a liberal, one of your core values is a unwavering optimism that the future can be better if we act rightly in the present, so earlier in the day you were thinking ahead and you cooked 8 oz (1/2 package) of dry black beans according to instructions outside the purview of this recipe. (If you are a conservative, one of your core values manifests itself as an irrational fear that things are always getting worse and falling into disarray, so you made your kitchen less messy by opening a 10-16 oz can of pre-cooked black beans - blissfully ignorant that you didn't save a mess at all: you just contributed to the mess at the cannery.)

    In addition to your approx. 16 oz (cooked weight) of black beans, you are bringing the following ingredients to a boil: 1 6 oz can of tomato paste, 1 14 oz can of stewed tomatoes, 4 medium potatoes - cubed, and 1one or two cups water - just enough to cover everything. Let it slowly boil, covered, until the potatoes are soft all the way through.

  4. Combine everything

    eat

    Because you are sensitive and know no single solution can be right for everybody, you put no chili in your chili, preserving the opportunity for each to chose the amount (or complete lack) of chiliness right for him- or herself. Show that your relativism is founded within a coherent moral framework by moving a well-worn Red-Letter version of The Book into the picture with an almost suspiciously haphazard bookmark giving quick access to Acts Ch. 4 where it describes how the first Christians shunned personal property and lived communally.

  5. Reach out

    make it special

    On your third bowl, show multifaceted bipartisanship by seasoning your chililess chli with Mrs. Renfero's hot red and hot green salsas - both canned in that den of Republican vipers, Texas.

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