Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Great Chicken Invitation – Short Story – Part 2

But the reason for their poor performances lay in the chickens themselves. Remarkably, no one had considered the possibility that a twenty-ounce chicken using a four-inch club would drive a regulation golf ball a considerably shorter distance than would a two-hundred-pound man with a regulation club. Furthermore, for all their attentiveness to their swings, the chickens’ lack of hands proved to be a major obstacle to getting firm grips on their clubs.

Two weeks later, eighteen hardy chickens reached the green. Two chickens hit their balls into sand traps and couldn’t get out even though they remembered to use their chicken-sized wedges. Ten other chickens ended their brief golf careers by running into the adjacent woods to search for worms, and disappeared forever.

Play picked up considerably on the green. It turned out that chickens are natural born putters. Aided by cleverly-designed putters, made small enough to be held in their beaks, they dazzled the crowd with one precise putt after another. “I wish I could putt like those chickens,” said Norm Gregson of the PGA.

Observant golfers noticed that the chickens stand so close to the ground that they can figure out exactly which way their putts would break. One of these golfers, John Hona, later suggested to the PGA that chickens be used as “designated putters” in human-golf tournaments. It turned him down flat, “The answer is no.”

Official scorers added up the strokes at the end of the first hole. Roxanne led the pack by thirteen strokes with a score of 397. Technically, Roxanne shot a tricentinonadecadouble bogey, but the press just called it a “chicken bogey.”

Around the third week, while the chickens were half way through the second hole, sarcastic geeks ruffled the plucky poultry by yelling, “Cacciatore,” “Southern Fried,” or by calling their clubs “drum sticks.” The chickens flinched under the pressure of these specieist remarks, slicing more balls than usual. The organizers resorted to handing out free, fresh eggs from the competitors to keep them quiet.

Froussard golf club celebrated the Fourth of July in grand style. Organizers labored all week setting up a spectacular fireworks display. The remaining eleven chickens then contributed to the crowd’s enjoyment when they put on a snappy, morality play based on the daily life of a chicken. Afterwards, all sorts of chicken dishes were served to a hungry audience. “That’ll teach you to miss the cut,” growled Bob Banks as he bit into a hot-and-spicy chicken wing.

Three chickens exited the tournament in August. Vain and high-strung, Sandra, up and left the course clucking about a bad feather day. Nadine, suddenly felt the need to establish her roots and departed to seek her biological mother. Spontaneous combustion claimed the life of Martha as she prepared to putt out the eighth hole. “If she was going to blow up, she should have done it during last-month’s fireworks display,” sniffed organizer, Beverly Hatcher.

Rain fell heavily in late October. The downpour bothered none of the chickens, who clucked, drove, and putted as if nothing was wrong. Seeing this, a golfer’s wife remarked, “They’re just like human golfers.”

Snow fell heavily in the middle of December, and so, play deteriorated rapidly when chickens swung their clubs with difficulty through snow that came up to their beaks. Many chickens could no longer find their balls in the snow drifts. Indeed, the tournament’s officials lost several chickens in the deep snow.

By New Year’s Day, only two chickens remained, Agatha and Roxanne. These two had reached the green and were within only a few hours of finishing the course. Tension and excitement coursed throughout the golfing world as the two chickens were tied, each having a score of 6,127.

Interest in this tournament had grown so feverish that the television networks pushed the New Year’s Day bowl games back one week. Tens of thousands of people lined the rope around the eighteenth hole while helicopters from scores of television stations, domestic and foreign, circled above. “Those chickens upstaged us,” complained Bob Gallina, quarterback of the top ranked, LSU Tigers.

The crowd cheered every well-executed putt of the dueling chicks. Excitement reached a peak when Roxanne holed out with a score 6,157. But Agatha was only four inches from the cup, needing to make her putt for a sudden-death tie.

Agatha intently bent down, surveyed the green, picked up her putter, and set herself to putt. Then, disaster struck! A red fox burst onto the green and snatched Agatha in his hungry jaw. Hundreds of people ran after the fox into the trees to save Agatha, but found only a pile of feathers and a tiny putter.

The crowded peeled away from the course in horror and rage. Its hero had been eaten, an unprecedented event in golf. Things got ugly when many yelled threats at the tournament’s organizers. The more rabid fans produced nooses and proposed hanging the hated organizers. Hearing this, the objects of their hate took off in a flash, jumped into their cars, and sped away.

That was the end of the Great Chicken-Golf Invitational. From nearby Canby, Montana, the organizers declared Roxanne the winner, by default.

The carnage of the tournament appalled golfers and people everywhere. The American Wildlife Federation and corporations withdrew their sponsorships of a proposed second tournament. Interest in chicken golf died off rapidly after that. Now only a few people still think back to the days when chickens had a tournament of their own.

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The Great Chicken Invitational – Short Story – Part One

Golf had long been a bastion of people, its exclusivity maintained by a silent gentle folk’s agreement. But no longer, for on January 1, 1974, in Kippen, Idaho, chickens finally integrated the game.

The top thirty chickens in Idaho arrived at the prestigious, private golf club, Froussard for “The Great Chicken Invitational.” Earlier, in late August, Froussard enrolled a chicken to qualify as the host.

Skeptics everywhere had maintained that chickens do not have the necessities to play golf. Other critics had argued that even if physically able chickens could be found, they would not have the mental skills required to converse and to make business contacts.

Nevertheless, the Great Chicken Invitational came to pass. The Invitational’s organizers invited the most athletic chickens for miles around. Intrepid entrepreneurs designed full lines of chicken-sized golf clubs. Chicken owners everywhere got into the spirit and demanded full sets of these clubs for their tiny friends.

Golf enthusiasts from all over the world yearned to see the momentous event. Sven Fjaderfa, CEO and owner of mammoth Swedish Furniture, up and left work a day before the start of the tournament. “I want to see chickens play golf,” he told his employees. Thousands of other golfers joined him at Kippen, Idaho, for the greatest exhibition of golf the state has ever seen.

At seven in the morning of January 1, the organizers trucked in the chickens to the golf course. While the officials spent an hour assigning starting times, the spectators admired the chickens’ traditional tartan knickerbockers. “They look darling,” stated Heather Anders of Fashion Magazine.

At eight o’clock, the organizers unloaded the chickens near the first tee. The chickens immediately scattered to peck for worms in the recently mowed course. Eventually, an official, Tom Purdue, caught Agatha and plopped her down at the tee. He gave the chicken a number one wood, as this was a 476 yards, par 5 hole.

The crowd watched in anticipation, as Agatha surveyed the fairway. She carefully held the driver in the traditional chicken grip, the top wing just touching the bottom wing. All expected Agatha to be a serious competitor, as she never smiled. She looked down the fairway once more, clucked a few times, moved the club back, keeping her left wing straight, and then rapidly brought it forward to hit the ball.

Sarah Dindon, was there for the tee off. “I was lying down on the ground looking up at the blue sky, as I have always found this the best way to view chicken golf.” Sarah watched Agatha’s ball soar above her head into the clouds. The ball then came down, landing a yard down the fairway. At this effort, some unsympathetic fans hooted in derision. Agatha reacted angrily by pecking her nearest tormentors.

The organizers hoped for better results from Roxanne, a fierce, muscular chicken, who spat gravel at the poor official who carried her to the tee. Roxanne followed Agatha’s lead by selecting a driver from the tiny bag on her back. She exhibited perfect form, as a lifetime of looking for worms in the ground had given her the enviable ability to keep her darn, stupid head down. Although her drive nearly doubled Agatha’s in length, this still meant she was 474 yards short. Nearly all the attending journalists agreed that her chances of parring the hole were remote.

Chicken after chicken followed the pattern of Agatha and Roxanne. Something had gone wrong. Apologists for the fowls suggested that the media circus attending this first professional contest unnerved the flock. Indeed, Bob Banks, owner of Francine, slugged a reporter who badgered chickens in rather one-sided interviews.

But the reason for their poor performances lay in the chickens themselves. Remarkably, no one had considered the possibility that a twenty-ounce chicken using a four-inch club would drive a regulation golf ball a considerably shorter distance than would a two-hundred-pound man with a regulation club. Furthermore, for all their attentiveness to their swings, the chickens’ lack of hands proved to be a major obstacle to getting firm grips on their clubs.

(To be continued)

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Official Dinner Invitation For President Obama

Dear Mr. President,

I am officially inviting you and whomever you wish to come with you to have a gourmet five-course meal at my humble abode in Poway, California. My wonderful wife, kids, and many friends eagerly await your appearance. As you know, Mr. President, Poway is the hot point of all political campaigns. The saying runs, “As goes Poway, so does the Presidency. ”

You will have have a great time in Poway with its many streets, walking trails, two live theaters, the proposed Candyland Museum,  cinemaplex, a library. So, please come. It will help your chances of winning the election. Lord knows you need help with that. And heck you’ll have fun chowing down on home-style gourmet cooking.

Sincerely,

Paul De Lancey

P.S. May I suggest you invite your wife to come along with you. You don’t want to get in trouble.

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Turkey Burgers From Cookbook

American Entree

TURKEY BURGERS

INGREDIENTSTurkBur-

1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey meat
1 onion
1/4 green bell peppers
2 green onion stalks
2 tablespoons garlic salt
1/2 tablespoons cumin
8 potato hamburger buns – top and bottom
1/4 head of lettuce, washed
1 cup of grated four-cheese blend
1 ketchup bottle
water
extra virgin olive oil

SPECIALTY UTENSILS
spatula
sonic obliterator
four-slice toaster

TOASTING THE BUNS

You really need a four-slice toaster. You simply cannot feed turkey burgers to a hungry horde of anguine’s with a two-hole toaster. Don’t do four bun halves, two whole buns, and rest on your laurels.

(You say you need more immediate motivation? Pretend the members of your brood have become ravenous cannibals ready to sink their razor-sharp canines into your haunches unless they get their turkey burgers.) Keep on toasting.

(And DON’T, DON’T, microwave anything while toasting. You’ll trip your circuit breaker and you’ll have to dash outside and flip the circuits. This is one reason against cooking in the nude. The other being that grease splatters.)

PREPARING THE ONION

Remove the skin. It adds nothing to the taste, is papery, and gets stuck between your teeth. How can you concentrate on your boss’s story about mango harvesting in Tahiti when you have onion skin between your first and second molars annoying the heck out of you? Remove the skin, now.

Also cut off the root part at the bottom. It’s edible ,I suppose, but hardly tasty. If the onion has a big, green sprout in the middle, it’s because you bought it when Nixon was in office and is no longer edible.

PREPARING THE GREEN BELL PEPPERS

It really helps if you have a prepared green bell pepper left over from last night’s culinary extravaganza, made from the chapter on stuffed green peppers, for example. If not, cut the top off the green bell pepper and discard, or at least discard the stem. Scoop out the innards of the pepper seeds and those four vertical, soft whitish columns and throw them away. Chop up the pepper and put it in a pan. Coat the pieces with olive oil. Use extra-virgin olive oil. (That’s the most virgin you can get, unless you went through school studying economics.)

Cook the green bell pepper. This process is called sauteeing. (See, you’re picking up the vocabulary. Mais oui. C’est magnifique, n’est ce pas? Ho, ho, ho.)

CHOPPING UP THE VEGGIES

You really must get yourself a food processor, big or small, one with two little whirling blades. This little gizmo will make chopping up or mincing the veggies so much faster than cutting them up with a knife. If your knife is blunt, this task takes forever. And a sharp knife is just too tempting for a spouse sulking over your latest big purchase.

Get a food processor. Mince the green onions. Mince the onions. Onions are big. Be sure to cut it up into at least four sections before putting it into the processor. Chop up the bell peppers.

SPICING

The above list of spices assumes you like the same amount of spices as I do. So experiment. Once you become adept at cooking, you’ll be able to smell the correct amount of spice to add as you mix.

PREPARING THE BURGER

Get a big bowl. Put the ingredients except the bun and water into it. Mix. Mix with your hands until everything is thoroughly mixed. Your hands will get extremely messy.

(Midway through the mixing is, of course, the time someone will knock on your front door to ask you if you want your trees trimmed, even if you don’t have any. In the meantime you have dropped turkey meat all over that hard-to-justify-buying Persian carpet and of course, on the front doorknob.

This is the time to say, “Excuse me, I’ll just be a moment.” Go back to the kitchen table, pick up the sonic obliterator, and annihilate the would-be tree trimmer. Wipe up and pick up all bits of turkey meat on the way back to the kitchen.)

THE TURKEY-BURGER PATTIES

Make four patties and put them in your pan. The patties should not be much bigger than your spatula or they might fall apart when turned over.

Turn the heat to high to get things going and gradually turn it down to medium or medium high. The higher you set the temperature, the more closely you’ll need to watch the patties and turn them over.

Turkey meat turns white when cooked. The outside turns white before the inside does. So how do you know when it’s done? It’s perfectly acceptable for a chef, particularly one that’s starting out, to cut a small piece near the edge and look at it and taste it. If the inside of the piece is white, then it is done. Remember, if no one saw you taste the burger, then it didn’t happen.

(By the way, it is a matter between you and your God about what to do if you should drop an entire patty on the floor. Consider the cleanliness of your floor and the likeability of your guests in making your decision.)

You must flip the burgers repeatedly with your spatula. If you do not do so, the water will rise to the top of the burger and evaporate, making the burger too dry to eat. Flipping puts the water that has almost escaped on the bottom of the burger again.

Consider occasionally sprinkling water on top of the patty and pouring a thin layer of water into the pan. This adds moisture to the burger and a moist burger is a yummy burger.

ASSEMBLING THE TURKEY BURGER

Put the bottom bun–it’s flat–on the plate. Put the cooked patty on the bun and the lettuce atop the patty. (There are some heretics who put the lettuce on first, but they are being hunted down without mercy.) Sprinkle the cheese on next. If you are adventurous, pour on some ketchup. Place the top bun–-it’s dome- shaped–-on next.

You are now a culinary hero to your guests.

TIDBITS

1)A Hamburger is someone from Hamburg, Germany. The term “hamburger” derives from this city. A Berliner is someone from Berlin. Berliner is also the name of a jelly doughnut. Some people think when President Kennedy said in that famous Cold War speech, “Ich bin ein Berliner,” he was actually saying, “I am a jelly doughnut.”

2) The first official listing of a hamburger on a menu occurred at Delmonico’s in New York in 1826.

3) Cheeseburger In Paradise is a great song.

4) “A turkey” is not someone from Turkey. It is a bowling term.

4) The turkey was one of the first animals in North America to be domesticated.

5) Turkeys were called turkeys in the 1500s by English merchants because they thought turkeys came from India and that Turkey owned India. Bozos.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

 

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