Monthly Archives: September 2019

The French Plan For World Domination

Gentle Readers,

France, having failed to take over world under Louis XIV and Napoleon I, is on the march again. Oh no, this time it’s quest for world domination will not occur by force of arms. Mais non, it’s trying to take over one kitchen at a time. Then one house at a time. Then one city at a time and finally one nation at a time.

“But how,” you say, “is this possible?”

I’m glad you asked. A piece of what looks to be dried or cooked meat looking like France will show up mysteriously by your kitchen burner. If this dried-meat France is left undisturbed for more than an hour, it will emit waves that will turn your brain into one that loves France, loves everything French, and will live, fight, and die for La Belle France. That’s okay, but you will find yourself loving mushrooms, lamb’s brain, raw hamburger meat, and buttered snails.

Don’t let this happen! Keep your kitchen immaculate. At all times. And if you happen to like mushrooms, then you were most likely briefly exposed to a dried-meat France. See your doctor immediately and ever year after that.

Remember if you don’t tell your kids about buttered snails, then who will?

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

 

Categories: food, humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Spotlight on Barbara Hammond, Author of “Daddy du Jour”

About the book

 

This is a book about survival in many ways. Barbara became the primary caregiver of her younger brothers at an early age. There was a revolving door of men in her mother’s life. Some were good; some were not. Her favorite stepfather introduced her to the man she’s been married to for more than 50 years which proves how living in chaos can sometimes lead you to the other side. That’s a happy ending.

Excerpt From Daddy du Jour

 

Chapter
I

Running Away

 

“I’ll take care of putting your things in the trunk, Miss, you take the baby and get in the cab where it’s warm,” the Taxi driver said.

Warmth.

Something I had longed for through all the horrible winter months. And, here we were making our escape on the coldest night in the history of Toledo, Ohio. It was twenty-three degrees below zero on January twenty-third, nineteen sixty-three. I was twelve, and I could never forget the date.

The taxi had an odd exotic aroma I wasn’t familiar with but, it was warm. There were so few times we had been warm this brutal winter. It was heavenly.

I slowly loosened the quilt from my brother, David, and removed his stocking cap. He didn’t wake, so I laid him on the seat next to me with his head on my lap. He was so small for a three-year-old, but given our lifestyle, it wasn’t a surprise. It would be a fairly long ride, and it was best he slept.

The driver got in, and we were off to, what I hoped would be, a safe haven. My step-father, Al, was trying to take custody of us and, his sister and her husband were going to take care of us during the process. David was Al’s son.

Al was mom’s third husband. Here we were returning to the town we’d left four months before when mom’s affair with a local businessman blew-up all over us. He owned the local ice-cream shop, and I went to school with his daughter. This was going to be awkward.

I remember how mom and Al fought all night when he learned of her affair. He slammed out of the house pre-dawn and told her she had better be gone when he came back.

Her Prince Charmless came and loaded up his car with everything she could gather, including us. I had no idea where we were going, and I’m not sure she did either.

“I found you a great little place,” he said. “It’s only temporary but, you and the kids will be fine.”

I looked at the back of his large head as he sat behind the wheel. His name was Jack. He was much larger than Al and had a wide, pockmarked face. What in the world did she see in this guy?

“What about school?” I asked.

“I’m sure there will be one,” mom said sarcastically.

I was in sixth grade, and this would be my seventh school. I suppose I should have been used to it, but you never get used to perpetually being the new kid.

As I looked out the car window, the landscape became darker and seedier, like coal dust had enveloped everything. Where in hell were we going? Suddenly we pulled into a parking lot in front of a truck stop.

“You wait here, I’ll go get the keys,” Prince Charmless said.

As I looked around, I could see a trailer park behind the building. It could not have been uglier. It was October, and there was not a speck of fall color anywhere around us.

He came back with the keys, and we drove behind the building onto a gravel road lined with rusted out shitty tin boxes. One uglier than the next. My heart sank, and I wanted to cry.

“I know it doesn’t look pretty but, as I said, it’s temporary,” he said.

“God, I hope so,” I mumbled.

“You shut up!” mom yelled, “Jack’s doing us a big favor after Al threw us out. You should be grateful we have a place to go.”

“Why can’t we go to Mamaw and Granddaddy’s?” I asked.

“Don’t you worry about it,” she said, “we’ll be fine.”

My grandparents had always been there for us, even when they didn’t agree with mom’s way of handling the men in her life or how she treated her kids. I always felt safe with them and couldn’t understand why she was keeping them away this time.

The car stopped in front of a black and silver trailer with so much rust it resembled a calico cat. Jack got out and continued to assure her this was temporary.

“It’s completely furnished,” he said.

Mom nodded and followed him up the rickety wooden steps to the door.

“Come on, bring David and get in here,” she said.

The outside was depressing enough but, the inside was complete with the smell of cat piss. It kept getting worse. How could this be happening?

He began describing it like he was trying to sell it, which he was. Not that she had a choice in the matter. There was no plan B.

“You can put the kid down,” he said, “let him explore a little.”

I was afraid of what he might find. Whoever lived there last must have left in a hurry because there were dirty dishes in the sink. I put David down and said, “Don’t touch anything!”

“It needs a little cleaning,” mom said. That was the understatement of the year.

“Let’s unpack the car and then I’ll take you to the store to get some food and cleaning supplies,” he said.

They dropped our meager belongings inside the door and went shopping, leaving us there in the stinking tin box.

There was a small TV in the living room and, fortunately, it worked. I sat David in front of it and began looking through the cabinets for something to clean with.

The kitchen was tiny with a counter dividing it from the living room and a fold down table below a small window opposite the sink. There was a hallway down the side. The first bedroom had bunk beds where David and I would sleep, then a tiny bathroom and the (ahem) master bedroom taking the entire width of the back of the trailer.

I found a can of cleanser under the sink, filled a bowl with hot water and took a diaper out of the diaper bag to begin scrubbing things down.

I put all of the dishes in the sink. There weren’t many, and they were all plastic with a sticky film on them. It was warm outside so opening the windows helped air things out. Everything I could clean I did. But, where the hell were they with the groceries?

By dusk, they returned. Clearly, they’d stopped at a bar.

“Hey! We brought food and new sheets for the beds,” mom said.

For some reason, I thought he would be leaving. I was wrong. He brought in his own suitcase and took it to the back bedroom.

By November Prince Charmless was gone. Our temporary arrangement became permanent without any assistance. Mom got a job bartending 3pm-11pm. She made arrangements with an elderly neighbor

 

Bio

 

Barbara Hammond is an artist, children’s book author of The Duffy Chronicles and blogger at Zero to 60 and Beyond (https://www.zeroto60andbeyond.com). She’s been married to her husband Dave for over 50 years and has two grown sons and three grandsons.

Barbara and her family have moved many times over the years due to Dave’s career in retail. With each move, Barbara found ways to re-invent herself. She worked in the fashion modeling profession at an agency in Philadelphia and after several years and a move to Massachusetts, she opened her own modeling agency.

There she and Dave also owned a health spa for a few years. After a transfer to Pittsburgh, Barbara dabbled in real estate but did not feel it was her calling. Both she and Dave found jobs in radio sales at a classic rock radio station.

Eventually, the couple moved back to Philadelphia. Barbara went back to the modeling agency to begin a talent division that worked with actors from NYC and Philadelphia. Today, Barbara and Dave are retired and living at the Jersey Shore.

 

*********************************

Paul De Lancey

http://www.pauldelancey.com

Categories: book reviews and excerpts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Solve TV Mysteries

Dear Reader,

I draw upon my many hours of watching TV mysteries such as Murder She Wrote and Midsomer Murders to give you my tips on solving the show’s murderer. Here they are:

1) The show will heavily suggest a murdered in the first few minutes after the murder. This person is never ever the murderer. Just isn’t. Nope, not ever. Filing for taxes will become easy and pleasurable before this happens.

2) Clues for the actual murderer usually takes place 60% of the way through the show.

3) You really have to be alert at this stage of the show. While in the first part of the program the detectives will say, “My gosh, this man has got to be the murderer,” they will never say anything like that when the real clue comes up.

4) The real clue will usually be in the form of the dastardly perpetrator saying something bizarre, not true, or out of character. This clue will not be picked up by the detective until the 80%-to-90% of the show.

5) The murderer will not be a short woman. A tall woman can pass for a man if seen in a coat at night and from a large distance. This is why I married a short woman.

6) The murderer NEVER EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER leaves town. They just wait for the law to pick them up at the 90% mark of the show. Oh sure, they might, in rare cases, get tickets to fly away. But they are singularly incapable of getting to the airport. Most of the time, however, people who buy airline tickets are the ones who get killed. So travel by train.

7) Here’s a drinking game guaranteed to get your drunk. You have to drink something every time someone says, “But I didn’t kill him.” Unfortunately, this utterance doesn’t provide any clues to the identity of the killer. Sorry.

8) The murderer is usually a neat type. While the actual murder itself might be gory and chaotic, his home will be neat, be it ever so humble.

9) The murderer is often rich. This is argument for raising taxes on the wealthy.

10) If someone in the show has an ancestor that was wronged a long time ago, perhaps even centuries, then he is a likely murderer.

11) If someone remotely suspicious has her name changed, then she is the murderer. So let your bride to be, keep her last name. Don’t even ask her to change it.

Happy solving, you TV detective, you.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

Categories: humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: