Posts Tagged With: Pentagon

Exciting News From 1995

 

I still find it astonishing that Russia, for a brief period in 1994, was unable to launch its nuclear missiles. Also consider that squirrels have three times brought down NASDAQ, a stock exchange, by chewing into its power cables.  Combine those two facts. Get squirrels to gnaw into the powerline between Moscow Electric and Russia’s nuclear arsenal. Get those critters to knock out Putin’s ablility to nuke the USA.

Or perhaps the Pentagon already has such plans. And they’re secret. Oopsie.

The other bits of news shown on the page on the right remain interesting in their own right. Particularly the one at the bottom.

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

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: apocalyptic, history, humor, observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Soft Shelled Nuts

 

I. Rumbles from the Deep

My life changed forever when Bert Bivalve, my pet mollusk, announced his attention to form a political party. Bert had trouble communicating as he had no lips with which to form the “m” sound, so necessary in English speech.

He also had a patchy vocabulary due to a lack of a brain. Did you know there is no mollusk equivalent to the word “danger.” What’s the point for a mollusk cannot outrun any predator? However, there are 273 phrases to express the anguish of being eaten by a humongous furry creature with sharp claws. Eventually Bert and I worked out a sign language and so, interspecies dialogue began.

Bert, a cultured soul, had wearied of his benign neglect by humanity. He contacted mollusks all over the world to express his discontent–this explains my huge long distance bills. Thousands echoed Bert’s frustration and disillusionment. With Bert’s encouragement these sea creatures rushed to form debating societies. At first, however, they called these societies “Bicycling Clubs,” so as not to arouse humanity’s suspicions.

At first, these gatherings were chaotic and violent with the ugliest of insults exchanged freely. The phrase, “So’s your mother,” by itself, generated dozens of drunken brawl with gastropods careening into cephalopods. Eventually, cooler shells prevailed and organizing began.

One momentous day, Chuck Chiton, suggested that they would never get any respect from the politicians inside Washington unless they themselves entered politics. “After all,” he said, “Puerto Rico never got any respect until it became the 51st state.” As you no doubt know, Puerto Rico is not a state. Some think it is this inattention to detail to research that held mollusks back through the centuries.

The mollusks overcame their lack of political knowledge with shrewd business sense. As we all know mollusks are superb lichen harvesters. By skillful manipulation of the lichen markets, the mollusks quietly amassed a huge fortune over the centuries which they quietly deposited in off-shore banks.

These wealthy critters, conservative by nature, initially considered throwing in their lot with the Republican party. Only inopportune anti-mollusk rhetoric by some of the GOP candidates stopped this alliance.

What to do? They couldn’t back the democrats with its welfare society. Why the idea the very idea of a young mollusk just sitting there and doing nothing was disgusting.

Eventually, Sarah Scaphopod raised her hand, figuratively, of course, to suggest they form their own political party. All the mollusks agreed that she had a wonderful idea and brought out the fermented lichen to celebrate.

I laughed, along with the rest of humanity, when the mollusks held their first press conference in Bodega Bay, California. For one thing, how were they going to get enough signatures to be on the ballot in all fifty states.

Well, they had the last laugh. Hell hath no fury like a mollusk mocked. They set the world on its ear with their alliance with Carl Hickham, the billionaire seafood king from Texas. Mollusks control the supply of lichen, the bottom of the food chain in the oceans, and they let Mr. Hickham know it. The crafty critters presented the Texan with an ultimatum, either provide us with machines that help us to write or we’ll let your fish starve. Carl Hickham caved into their demands the next day.

II. One Giant Step for Mollusk

Mollusks from all over the world swarmed the United States. The beaches of Southern California became saturated with walls of mollusks reaching up to ten feet high. Beach merchants complained to the police that these invaders were devastating business. The men in blue sympathized, but pointed out the mollusks had a constitutional right to freedom of assembly.

The mollusks used Hickham’s machine to great effect. Within two weeks they gathered 423 million signatures; which is nine times the total human population of California. In the face of impending molluskan–if that is a word–domination the peoples of California buried their differences with an enormous clam bake that ran the length of the state.

Mollusks reacted to this barbarism by overwhelming and suffocating a dozen surfers off the shore of La Jolla. Some commentators remarked that interspecies warfare signaled the end of the world, while most thought it just an aggressive campaign tactic in the vein of the Willie Horton ads of 1988.

It was pretty much the same in all the coastal states. The mollusks consistently refused to blend into American society. They never bothered to learn English or any other language, save Romanche, an obscure language spoken by a few thousand Swiss.

The Democrats and Republicans united in the face of impending political disaster. Would it be enough? The coastal states were goners, but could they hold onto Middle America? Would the People’s Party prevail?

III. Remember Maine!

The leaders of the People’s Party assembled in Lincoln, Nebraska. Peacemakers solved lingering differences by feeding the chairmen of the old parties to mollusks stationed at Fort Sumter. Voter registration drives began in earnest as everyone did his bit. Negative ads ruled the day. You couldn’t watch tv for more than five minutes without seeing an ad ripping into the mollusks. Do you remember the ad that said “If the mollusks gain power, your daughter will be forced to marry one.” I do.

The mollusks did their best, but so did the humans. The boatmen of Mississippi refused to transport the mollusks. So did the railmen of Texas. The pilots of New Orleans were not tested as mollusks are afraid of flying.

Our defiant stand forced the mollusks to trek overland from California. Have you ever seen mollusks move? Take it from me, it’s not very fast. Weeks later, the mollusks began to die of exhaustion and dehydration. Most died in the middle of Phoenix where they began to decompose. Millions of birds now live in Phoenix, but no people do.

The heartland of American had been saved. But what about Maine and the other coastal states?

IV. The Readers of Nebraska

Remarkably it was the readers of America that rescued our great land. Fortunately, Nebraska, home of sixty percent of all book sales in U.S., remained mollusk free. These readers reminded the politicos that voters must be eighteen and American citizens. Amazingly, no one else had thought of that. Ha, we had the shelled bastards by the balls, or what passed for balls on a mollusk.

Election officials fanned out into all fifty states checking voter registrations. It was always the same; the mollusks were all underage. We struck them off every voting list. The stricken mollusks protested as vehemently as they could, but their protests fell on deaf ears.
We had won, or had we?

V. The California Mollusk Rush

We totally forgot about the stubbornness of your typical Joe Mollusk. They say an elephant never forgets, well an elephant has nothing on a mollusk. I can say with certainty that a mollusk knows as much today as it did a year ago.

Those mollusks–oh dang it, what’s a good synonym for mollusk; how about “invertebrate animals,” well that’s passable–still harbored an abiding hatred for our mistreatment of them. Since, they could not take America by the ballot box, they would take it by force.

Well, we weren’t afraid of those mollusks. Our army would soon make them cry uncle. In fact, our army was singularly unprepared to fight. Three years ago, the Pentagon asked Congress for thirty-two billion dollars for a weapon system to combat crustaceans and mollusks. At the time it seemed like just another example of the Pentagon wasting tax dollars. So, the proposal was defeated. Who knew?

Congress voted again; this time the vote was in favor of making the weapons. But it was too late; the weapons would take two years to develop. In that time, the coastal states would be permanently lost. The mollusks, stinking ‘lusks, were already starting to push the locals around. It was especially bad in California where they restricted surfing to one hour a week, hogged all the good times at all the best seaside restaurants, and darn near monopolized the inland tennis courts.

VI. Wally and the Beaver

Not all Americans gave up so easily. Wally Quoin, a true mountain man from the Sierra Nevada came to our rescue. He suggested that we set all our beavers on those damn ‘lusks. He said beavers love to eat ‘lusks. He also said beavers and ‘lusks have been feuding for centuries, its origin lost in the mist of time.

The President went on tv to tell us of our new allies. As he spoke, rangers in the National Park Service enlisted our friends, the beavers.
Well, you know what happened next. Millions of beavers swarmed the beaches. Their sharp claws broke open the mollusks’ shells to make countless tasty meals.

VII. E Pluribus Unum

We thanked the beavers for saving America. All they asked in return was that we stop logging near their homes. We stopped doing it, for the beaver is our friend forever. Look at the front of your five-dollar bill; you will see a portrait of a beaver.

– 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, short story | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Smoked Sirloin Roast

American Entree

SMOKED SIRLOIN ROAST

INGREDIENTS

3½ pounds top sirloin roast
5 tablespoons Montreal steak spice
2 tablespoons sea salt
2 cups wood chips: hickory, mesquite, or oak

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric smoker
kitchen string
digital thermometer (if your smoker doesn’t have one)

Serves 6. Takes 2 hours.*

PREPARATION

Preheat electric smoker to 250 degrees. Trim off excess fat from sirloin roast. Rub both sides with Montreal steak spice and sea salt. Roll up sirloin and tie it with kitchen string.

Add wood chips to electric smoker. Add sirloin to basket in smoker. Smoke until internal temperature, as measured by thermometer, reads 145 degrees. This will take about 2 hours.* The thermometer should be inserted into the thicket part of the meat. Check every 15 minutes after 1 hour. If you’re lucky, your smoker will be set up so that your smart phone will tell you when it’s done. Carefully remove basket from smoker and let sit 10 minutes. Carve and serve.

* = Please note that the various smokers perform differently. So, check the manual for placement of sirloin in smoker, cooking temperature, how to use wood chips, and other pertinent information.

TIDBITS

1) To serve six million people, simply multiply the ingredients and the number of special utensils by one million. Except for the ball of kitchen string. Simply get a ball of string that’s large enough. Buying ingredients for that number of guests will cost a lot of money. This is where your enormous ball of string comes in. People will pay good money to see a string ball that big. Why it would have a diameter (Does quick calculation in head.) of at least 25 feet. That’s all? Sorry, you’re on your own with expenses.

2) Then there’s the problem of finding 1,000,000 outlets. Even if you used every outlet in your city of 50,000, your smokers’ power surges would bring down your municipality’s power grid. The Pentagon, of course, knows this, and has plans to air drop millions of slow cookers and tons of ingredients around Russia’s nuclear basses. The resultant power surges will disable Russia’s entire nuclear capability. Now you know how the world will be safe.

Chef Paul

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: cuisine, history | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bad Advice Friday, 3-31-17

Today is once more Bad-Advice Friday. I shall be dispensing bad advice to all comers. The advice will stupendously bad.

RO asks: Why do I need a trip to Hawaii?

Dear RO: Your life is stressful. Destressify your life or you’ll flip out and murder someone. Although a good lawyer should be able to get you off with manslaughter, you’ll do serious time in jail, which will cost the tax payers a lot. The state will have divert funds from hiring teachers at their universities in order to lock you up and feed your for ten-to-twenty years. The state doesn’t want to do that, you don’t want to rot in jail, and the victim doesn’t want to die. There is an opportunity for a deal. Simply walk into the governor’s and ask money for a calming trip to Hawaii if she doesn’t want to be offed. I guarantee you that within seconds she and her staff will be discussing your request with the utmost seriousness.

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

RSD asks:

What is your recipe for greatest sleep ever? What tricks of the sleep trade do you have to share?

Dear RSD:

No matter hard you try, getting a good night’s sleep the first night is impossible. To heck with that noise, go for a good night’s rest the second night. To ensure a solid slumber on the second night, you simply must be completely wired with caffeine the first night. Go early to your neighborhood café or coffeehouse and chain drink coffee. Ask for a ThermosTM full of espresso. Take a walk with the Thermos until its empty. Come back for a refill. Go for another walk. Repeat, you’ll be amazed how much exercise your legs and your heart will be getting. And your mind, my gosh, it will be active all night long reviewing your life. When the next night finally comes, you’ll be so exhausted that you will sleep the sleep of the just. Happy dreams!

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

DH asks: How do I keep my dog from eating butter? I go to make cookies and it’s gone.

Dear DH: The dog keeps eating your butter because it tastes good. However, being the dog whisperer that I am, I know that no dog will eat anything that turns its mouth into the fiery inferno of Hell and pooping into a burning river of lava. So, I suggest buying habañero flavored butter. If you can’t find that at your supermarket, you’ll need to inject pureed habañero into the butter. (Be sure to wash your hands before touching your genitals, though.) Then leave the butter out. If the dogs senses something’s amiss, allay its fear by eating the butter first. The dog will follow your lead. Now, the two of you will scream, or bark, at the top of your lungs to be released from life. Of course, the dog will never eat butter again and you will never leave the butter out again. But you will have bonded forever with your pet. All ends well.
***********

JAS aks: If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow, why, oh why can’t I?

Dear JAS: Bluebirds can’t fly beyond the rainbow. The leprechauns won’t allow it. They have an anti-happy-little-bluebird force field deployed. The leprechauns don’t want to share their pots-o-gold with gold-bricking bluebirds. The only way for a blue bird to penetrate the force field is to be shot out of a cannon with the same force that NASA uses to launch rockets. It’s astounding that the wee birds go through unscathed through the force field using that method. One would think they’d be annihilated. NASA and the Pentagon are thinking the same thing. They’d be very grateful if you could discover the blue birds’ secret technology. So, buy yourself a cannon put yourself in it and fire away. Good luck! Don’t forget to let NASA and the Pentagon know about technological breakthroughs should you should survive.
**********************

KM How do I get my cat to watch television? She does a lot of other cute things, so why not that, too?

Dear KM: Buy a can of tuna. Buy catnip. Smear tuna and catnip all over your TV screen. Your cat will be sitting in front of the TV forever.

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

JR asks: What’s the best starter for a charcoal grill: gasoline or diesel?

Dear JR: Those charcoal briquets are absolutely flame proof. Rural firemen stack them to form impenetrable firewalls out there in the hills. But you want to use charcoal anyway, so the challenge is to use them this one time while curing you of the desire to ever use them again. Put the inert charcoal briquets in the grill. Add gelignite to the grill. Gelignite is safe; I’m reasonably sure it doesn’t go off accidently. Activate gelignite; hitting it with a hammer or pointing a flame thrower at it ought to do the trick. The resulting explosion will scatter your briquets for miles and miles in every direction making it impossible to find them. Oh, you’ll likely to be flung for quite a distance as well. Be sure to have your cell phone with you. It’s doubtful you’ll be able to walk and you’ll be wanting a friend to drive you the ER. However, you’ll never want to go through the frustration of trying ignite charcoal again. I mean, who needs that?

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

ABG asks: Red wine or white wine with breakfast? asking for a friend.

Dear ABG: Red wine goes with red food such as ham. White wine goes with white food such as egg whites. If you have something like bacon, however, with its white and red stripes, you’ll have to have a glass of white wine for each white, fatty stripe and a glass of red white for each red stripe. Why? Something in red wine overpowers something bad in red foods and similarly for white wine. (I read something to this effect on a bulletin board in the Med School library in college some decades ago.) So drink up. It’s possible you’ll get too drunk to drive. This is all to the good. It’s not safe to drive anymore. They’re all animals out there. Omg, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say what wine to drink with bacon that’s been in the fridge so long that it’s turning grey. Grey bacon should, of course, be paired with a good Grey Riesling.

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

JCA asks: If I see a chicken crossing the road, should I follow?

Dear JCA: First check to see if the road is actually a Mobius strip. If so, following the chicken will simply get you to your starting point. (Of course, you’ll be upside down on the strip. You will fall on your head if you’re not wearing anti-grav boots. Is the chicken wearing anti-grav boots? If not, you’re probably safe from the perils of a Mobius strip.)

Is the chicken heavily armed? If so, it’s probably going into combat. Are you heavily armed as well? If you are, it’s okay to follow. Be sure to bring anti-septic lotions with you though, as chickens can walk under barbed-wire fences while you can’t. It’s this attention to detail that gets us through life.

– 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: bad advice | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Soft-Shelled Nuts – Originally published in San Diego Writers’ Monthly, 1995

I. Rumbles from the Deep

My life changed forever when Bert Bivalve, my pet mollusk, announced his attention to form a political party. Bert had trouble communicating as he had no lips with which to form the “m” sound, so necessary in English speech.

He also had a patchy vocabulary due to a lack of a brain. Did you know there is no mollusk equivalent to the word “danger.” What’s the point for a mollusk cannot outrun any predator? However, there are 273 phrases to express the anguish of being eaten by a humongous furry creature with sharp claws. Eventually Bert and I worked out a sign language and so, interspecies dialogue began.

Bert, a cultured soul, had wearied of his benign neglect by humanity. He contacted mollusks all over the world to express his discontent–this explains my huge long distance bills. Thousands echoed Bert’s frustration and disillusionment. With Bert’s encouragement these sea creatures rushed to form debating societies. At first, however, they called these societies “Bicycling Clubs,” so as not to arouse humanity’s suspicions.

At first, these gatherings were chaotic and violent with the ugliest of insults exchanged freely. The phrase, “So’s your mother,” by itself, generated dozens of drunken brawl with gastropods careening into cephalopods. Eventually, cooler shells prevailed and organizing began.

One momentous day, Chuck Chiton, suggested that they would never get any respect from the politicians inside Washington unless they themselves entered politics. “After all,” he said, “Puerto Rico never got any respect until it became the 51st state.” As you no doubt know, Puerto Rico is not a state. Some think it is this inattention to detail to research that held mollusks back through the centuries.

The mollusks overcame their lack of political knowledge with shrewd business sense. As we all know mollusks are superb lichen harvesters. By skillful manipulation of the lichen markets, the mollusks quietly amassed a huge fortune over the centuries which they quietly deposited in off-shore banks.

These wealthy critters, conservative by nature, initially considered throwing in their lot with the Republican party. Only inopportune anti-mollusk rhetoric by some of the GOP candidates stopped this alliance.

What to do? They couldn’t back the democrats with its welfare society. Why the idea the very idea of a young mollusk just sitting there and doing nothing was disgusting.

Eventually, Sarah Scaphopod raised her hand, figuratively, of course, to suggest they form their own political party. All the mollusks agreed that she had a wonderful idea and brought out the fermented lichen to celebrate.

I laughed, along with the rest of humanity, when the mollusks held their first press conference in Bodega Bay, California. For one thing, how were they going to get enough signatures to be on the ballot in all fifty states.

Well, they had the last laugh. Hell hath no fury like a mollusk mocked. They set the world on its ear with their alliance with Carl Hickham, the billionaire seafood king from Texas. Mollusks control the supply of lichen, the bottom of the food chain in the oceans, and they let Mr. Hickham know it. The crafty critters presented the Texan with an ultimatum, either provide us with machines that help us to write or we’ll let your fish starve. Carl Hickham caved into their demands the next day.

II. One Giant Step for Mollusk

Mollusks from all over the world swarmed the United States. The beaches of Southern California became saturated with walls of mollusks reaching up to ten feet high. Beach merchants complained to the police that these invaders were devastating business. The men in blue sympathized, but pointed out the mollusks had a constitutional right to freedom of assembly.

The mollusks used Hickham’s machine to great effect. Within two weeks they gathered 423 million signatures; which is nine times the total human population of California. In the face of impending molluskan–if that is a word–domination the peoples of California buried their differences with an enormous clam bake that ran the length of the state.

Mollusks reacted to this barbarism by overwhelming and suffocating a dozen surfers off the shore of La Jolla. Some commentators remarked that interspecies warfare signaled the end of the world, while most thought it just an aggressive campaign tactic in the vein of the Willie Horton ads of 1988.

It was pretty much the same in all the coastal states. The mollusks consistently refused to blend into American society. They never bothered to learn English or any other language, save Romanche, an obscure language spoken by a few thousand Swiss.

The Democrats and Republicans united in the face of impending political disaster. Would it be enough? The coastal states were goners, but could they hold onto Middle America? Would the People’s Party prevail?

III. Remember Maine!

The leaders of the People’s Party assembled in Lincoln, Nebraska. Peacemakers solved lingering differences by feeding the chairmen of the old parties to mollusks stationed at Fort Sumter. Voter registration drives began in earnest as everyone did his bit. Negative ads ruled the day. You couldn’t watch tv for more than five minutes without seeing an ad ripping into the mollusks. Do you remember the ad that said “If the mollusks gain power, your daughter will be forced to marry one.” I do.

The mollusks did their best, but so did the humans. The boatmen of Mississippi refused to transport the mollusks. So did the railmen of Texas. The pilots of New Orleans were not tested as mollusks are afraid of flying.

Our defiant stand forced the mollusks to trek overland from California. Have you ever seen mollusks move? Take it from me, it’s not very fast. Weeks later, the mollusks began to die of exhaustion and dehydration. Most died in the middle of Phoenix where they began to decompose. Millions of birds now live in Phoenix, but no people do.

The heartland of American had been saved. But what about Maine and the other coastal states?

IV. The Readers of Nebraska

Remarkably it was the readers of America that rescued our great land. Fortunately, Nebraska, home of sixty percent of all book sales in U.S., remained mollusk free. These readers reminded the politicos that voters must be eighteen and American citizens. Amazingly, no one else had thought of that. Ha, we had the shelled bastards by the balls, or what passed for balls on a mollusk.

Election officials fanned out into all fifty states checking voter registrations. It was always the same; the mollusks were all underage. We struck them off every voting list. The stricken mollusks protested as vehemently as they could, but their protests fell on deaf ears.
We had won, or had we?

V. The California Mollusk Rush

We totally forgot about the stubbornness of your typical Joe Mollusk. They say an elephant never forgets, well an elephant has nothing on a mollusk. I can say with certainty that a mollusk knows as much today as it did a year ago.

Those mollusks–oh dang it, what’s a good synonym for mollusk; how about “invertebrate animals,” well that’s passable–still harbored an abiding hatred for our mistreatment of them. Since, they could not take America by the ballot box, they would take it by force.

Well, we weren’t afraid of those mollusks. Our army would soon make them cry uncle. In fact, our army was singularly unprepared to fight. Three years ago, the Pentagon asked Congress for thirty-two billion dollars for a weapon system to combat crustaceans and mollusks. At the time it seemed like just another example of the Pentagon wasting tax dollars. So, the proposal was defeated. Who knew?

Congress voted again; this time the vote was in favor of making the weapons. But it was too late; the weapons would take two years to develop. In that time, the coastal states would be permanently lost. The mollusks, stinking ‘lusks, were already starting to push the locals around. It was especially bad in California where they restricted surfing to one hour a week, hogged all the good times at all the best seaside restaurants, and darn near monopolized the inland tennis courts.

VI. Wally and the Beaver

Not all Americans gave up so easily. Wally Quoin, a true mountain man from the Sierra Nevada came to our rescue. He suggested that we set all our beavers on those damn ‘lusks. He said beavers love to eat ‘lusks. He also said beavers and ‘lusks have been feuding for centuries, its origin lost in the mist of time.

The President went on tv to tell us of our new allies. As he spoke, rangers in the National Park Service enlisted our friends, the beavers.
Well, you know what happened next. Millions of beavers swarmed the beaches. Their sharp claws broke open the mollusks’ shells to make countless tasty meals.

VII. E Pluribus Unum

We thanked the beavers for saving America. All they asked in return was that we stop logging near their homes. We stopped doing it, for the beaver is our friend forever. Look at the front of your five-dollar bill; you will see a portrait of a beaver.

– 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: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Wonder Dog – Part Two

Captain Pizarro surveyed the yellow-orange expanse and announced that we were going to eat those hot dogs or die. Pale-faced Lieutenant Kelso staggered to his feet to voice his support before pitching forward into a huge bowl of papaya-bisque soup. Corporal Conigliaro timidly suggested that eating rotting hot dogs might kill us, or worse, give us diarrhea. Sergeant Gagliano put both of his powerful hands on Conigliaro and volunteered the Corporal for the honor of tasting the hot dogs.

Conigliaro said that although he was aware of the immense honor, he was reasonably sure that army regs stated that a certified medical doctor had to test all suspect foods. He was only an unregistered quack and so, respectfully declined.

It appeared that some stupid health regulation written by some desk-bound, pencil pusher in the Pentagon was going to deny us this wondrous, alternate source of food. However, our Sarge immediately volunteered Private Romero, a veterinarian, to taste the frankfurters.

Bilko accepted the assignment but said that he was such a good vet that he could determine the quality of the franks just by looking at them. He headed straight to the Hut of Hell, stopping only at the infirmary to put on a gas mask. Moments later he returned, ashen and trembling, stating that they were safe to eat. Though I did hear him mumble as he headed back to his tent hot dogs should not display internal movement. The other airmen just heard our cook announce hot dogs for tomorrow’s lunch.

Around eleven o’clock cookie started boiling the franks. Fortunately, a strong wind from the south blew the fumes away from the camp toward the town of Lake Harbor. About that time in an unrelated incident, Bert Taylor, a tea tester from that town, suddenly pulled his own head off and died.

We all lined up at the mess tent to eat our hot dogs in shifts of one hundred which was also the number of gas masks on hand. Well, the first shift manfully ate their hot dogs and immediately fell to the floor suffering from violent convulsions. Then Private Owchinko’s stomach burst open flinging his guts all over the mess hall. Soon, everyone’s guts erupted just like cooking popcorn. Owchinko turned his hideously contorted face toward me and said, “Dang, at least it wasn’t papaya.” He then died with a look of complete serenity on his face; well, at least as serene as one could get with an exploded stomach.

We carried the men outside and buried them properly. We put on all their tombstones, “He wouldn’t eat papaya.” Since bullets were scarce at our base, we gave our departed comrades ten hot-dog salutes. Most of these franks exploded in air giving off the same noise as rifle shots. However, some didn’t explode until they hit the ground. One hot dog, in particular, landed on a latrine and exploded, scattering its contents for hundreds of yards. Private Franco noted that the smells of the latrine improved the smell of the hot dog. However, Captain Pizarro displayed true genius when he stated these franks could be terrible weapons of war.

We drifted along in papaya hell until we received orders to fly over to Europe. The Germans had just broken through our lines in a massive offensive now known as the Battle of the Bulge. Disaster loomed and every airman was needed. We armed our bombers with our hot dogs, which now had been rotting for an additional four months in the hot, humid Hut of Hell.

Our 800th Bomber Group arrived just as the Germans seemed poised to overrun the heroic defenders of Bastogne. None of our infantry or armored divisions could get to them in time. None of the other bomber groups could get off the ground due to bad weather. However, we could and we did.

We bombed the hell out of those Nazis. A Tiger tank can take a direct hit from a Sherman tank just twenty yards away and drive away only mildly annoyed, but just one hit from our franks just ripped those tanks to bits. Down they fell, ton after ton of freedom franks. The foul, poisonous vapors from the exploding dogs suffocated the supporting German infantry. Our hot dogs created a huge hole in the German lines into which poured General Patton’s troops. Patton, that glory hog, claimed full credit for the American victory at Bastogne.

However, we knew better and so did many others. In fact, Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain praised us saying, “This was their finest meat product.”

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