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Monday, 11 August
Take Another Little Pizza, My Heart

My friend J. just recently got himself a new apartment! Naturally, he felt the need to break it in like we all do: by having a fry party. That is, a party where J., in a dignified striped apron, manned a couple pots full of near-boiling oil and deep-fried any insane thing that we felt like bringing with only two caveats: 1. must be smaller than a grapefruit, and 2. must not have excessive moisture content. RATS! My dreams of deep-frying a baby continue to be confounded.

However, my dreams of deep-frying live rats have been fulfilled! Oh, not really, but that idea probably wasn't the worst of the night, all things considered.

I brought--well, I had someone else bring--sage leaves to fry after being lightly coated in oil and dusted with flour; the wife prepared some balls of goat cheese wrapped in biscuit dough. They were fine, if tepidly received: the biscuit dough proved to be a little fragile, and most people had to be coaxed into trying the sage leaves with a little salt and aioli.

Other offerings were . . . well, let's say entertaining. Let's also say "potentially deadly." R., who brought a ridiculously well-received garbonzo bean fry batter, also happened to bring some weird things called "rice sticks"--items I figured you could find in the Dave Matthews Band gear list--and coated them in tempura batter. Into the pot they went, and we chattered happily for a few moments.

POOOM!

A truly absurd geyser of hot oil erupted from the pot, hitting the ceiling, the wall: everything, miraculously, but us, the idiots who happened to be standing close by. P. backed into the kitchen shelf, nearly upsetting it; J. gawped and wrung at his apron; I screamed like a primate in heat, baring my silly little stunted canines. I felt a sudden, primal urge to pick nits off of my neighbor. Flames licked briefly in the aftermath, and J. recited nervously the physical happenstances that had led to our near-scalding. "The batter formed a hard crust and then the center mass--it was too dense--expanded abruptly . . ." I left him to his babbling to go change my pants.

As if drinking men standing around throwing questionable battered items into crazy-hot liquids wasn't enough, there was also M. to deal with. "I didn't invite her," J. murmured to me early on. "Someone gave her my damn address." M. is a professional drunk with a fervent need to "help," and I use those quotes aggressively. "Hey, new guy," she said to me as I was standing in the kitchen. New guy? "Hand me that salt." I handed her the salt.

"Thangs. Whatcher name?" I've met her before. "Skot," I said. "Thanks, Todd," she replied.

Let's say this: M. means well, I guess. She just is incapable of doing well. She is a fundamentally awful person, and there's no better way to put it. If she did nothing but give sympathetic blow jobs to leper colonies, I swear to you that the lepers would stone her to death within two sweaty, hydrodynamically challenging months.

(Side story: At the bar that shall not be named, J. and I later tried to explain the terrible conundrum that is M. to our friend W.

W: "Is she at least hot?"

J: (diplomatically) "She's not my type."

Me: (not diplomatically) "She has great big tits. That's about it."

W: "Ah ha."

Just thought I'd satisfy every prejudice women harbor about men while I'm here.)

At one point, I commented to J. "I have horrible news. M. just drank your sofa." M., who seemingly arrived pre-drunkified, eventually began to give me shit, although it was pretty watery, gravel-mouthed shit.

"Fuck is your shirt?" she said at one point. I was wearing a plain blue shirt. "I'm giving Todd shit," she told J. J. sensibly ignored her. At this point, several people left the kitchen, including the wife--"I'm going anywhere else," she breathed--and L., owner of a much-commented on corona of wonderful hair. I've begun to think that L.'s hair describes a notional gravity well around his skull, if his skull happened to be composed of a solid block of osmium, which, for all I know, it is.

M. turned this way and that, sending searching looks at the walls, wondering where people had disappeared to. I, Todd, slumped, and J. toiled silently at the witches' brew of oil and solids he was charged with.

By this point, the sensible frying portion of the evening had ended, and the obnoxious period began. One fellow had brought a Totino's frozen pizza, which was quickly dissected, battered and fried; later, when it was discovered that a quantity of previously-fried calamari had simply sunk to the bottom of the pot, it was piled upon said pizza and merrily re-fried as well. P. ate it with a slightly queasy gusto that made me wince to think of the gastric holocaust soon to occur in his abdomen.

We left right as soon as people were starting to discuss frying up banana chips; I had availed myself of a shot of J.'s fine Glenmorangie as well as a couple of ancillary shots of Dickel. ("Get a little Dickel in ya!") L. was pitting his osmium skull against R. at some improbable video game where Link was fighting Mario on what looked to be Russian steppes, or perhaps some anonymous Greek ruin. I freely admit that video games have outpaced me any more; everything looks to me like something scripted by Mark Leyner.

We went home content, and I dreamed all night: of heat; and light, of dense-metal skull composition; gravity wells, fried eggplant. Onion rings. Heat and hair and prowlike bodices and nameless voices calling out, "Todd!" Ceiling-height conturbations of oil and fire.

Underneath, submerged in my consciousness, roiling under the waves, the calamari reach for me, but I cannot wake up, and their breaded tentacles pull me down.


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Comments

Poetic. Especially the part about the big tits.

Comment number: 017507   Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' on August 13, 2008 03:12 PM from IP: 75.183.106.37

gu-ross. gross.

Comment number: 017509   Posted by: Alyxmyself on August 14, 2008 08:48 PM from IP: 68.201.0.251

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