Posts Tagged With: police

A Better World Through Pessimism

Optimism is overrated. Optimists always preach to pessimists,  “Stop being Dave and Debbie Downers. Just be happy. Life is too short to be downcast. You’ll never get anything done if you always dwell on the negative.”

Well, oh ho, let’s look at all the great life enhancing inventions pessimists have gifted the world.

1)) The first one is the parachute. Sure, optimists brought us the magnificient airplane. That gets shot down in war. Parachutes, concieved by pessimists, enable pilots to survive a crashing plane.

2) Fire extinguishers, neglected by optimists who built opera houses and movie theaters, help patrons to escape a fire.

3) Seat belts help drivers and riders to live through car crashes, sometimes unharmed. It took a look time for pessimists to win the battle on that one.

4) Air bags for cars. You had to be pessimistic about fatal automobile crashes to come up with that idea.

5) Backing up files on computer, on memory sticks, and the cloud. You had to be pretty darn negative here to think up that.

6) Hiring CPAs, tax attorneys, and the lot to do your taxes.  Depressed about doing your taxes correctly and avoiding an audit, weren’t you?

7) Insurance. Preventing you from being financially devestated by a unlikely distaster. Imagine, an entire thriving industry built on pessimism.

8) Our armed forces. We are indeed pessimistic that something horrible will happen to our nation and the world without a military to protect us.

9) Our police force. Our negativity constantly anticipates loss of property from thieves and murderers.

10) Antiseptics and ether. Would you chance surgery without them?

11) Locks on your house. The chance of your house being burgled is clearly less than 100%, yet we all get them and feel more secure as a result.

12) Alarm clocks. We don’t think we can get up in time without them.

13) Firemen. We can be pretty optimistic than we’ll never need a fire station. Yet thanks to pessimists they get built over and over. Homes and lives get saved.

14) Multiple engines on early airlines. Customers were so pessimistic about engine failure, that airlines were forced to add engines to the planes. Airline travel has flourished ever since. Can you imagine our world with air travel?

15) The eraser. Enough said.

There are many, many other life-enhancing inventions spurred on by pessimists. Please feel with ones that come to your mind. Thank you,

Anyway, three cheers for pessimists. I feel more optimistic knowing they’re around.


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


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We’re French and You’re Not – Chapter One – Chardonnay Man – Last Part

6 p.m.: We fly over the battlefields of Verdun, where 350,000 of our countrymen died fighting the brutal German invaders. What is this? Jean points out a crowd of German pig-dog tourists. Enraged, we throw bottles, cabbages, and the contents of our chamber pots at them. Ha! Ha! Suddenly, and without warning, our balloon descends. Horrors! I recognize Président Pommefrite and Chancellor Erwtenzup of Germany. They are very filthy and very angry. They shout and shake their fists at us. We also notice French soldiers firing at us. Jean opines that perhaps we should ascend quickly. Stirred to action, I increase the flame. Our balloon fills with hot air and we leave them far below. Jean and I are so upset by the whole incident that we delay dinner by a full hour.

14 November, 10 a.m.: We find ourselves over the town of Amiens. Jean informs me that Jules Verne used to be its mayor. He astounds me with the information that he had been reading Verne lately. So, that’s what he has been doing with his afternoons. I thought he was cheating on his mistress.

Noon: We reach the town of Calais on the English Channel. We commemorate our successful journey across France with a simple meal of French bread, onion soup, salade Niçoise, and shrimp scampi. We examine the looming channel, but are not frightened.

3 p.m.: A great jolt rouses Jean and me from our naps. What has annoyed us? Oh, our basket has smashed to bits the radar of a French destroyer. “Vive la France!” we amiably cheer. But incredibly, the sailors shout angrily back. Jean suggests that we quickly leave those clods. I once again increase the size of the flame and we climb back into the clouds.

The sailors fire their rifles and the ship’s big guns at us. Boom! But they cannot see us as we are hiding in the clouds and have broken their radar dish. We shout our apologies to our countrymen and fellow adventurers. We toss down cases of caviar and our best champagne to make up for our faux pas. However, this noble gesture does not appease them. Strange to say, they are becoming even angrier. The lack of manners in our navy appalls Jean and me.

6 p.m.: We are over Dover, England. Hurrah! The great race is coming to an end. We see a great crowd below us. It cheers us wildly, so ours must be the first balloon. The throng includes the Queen and most of the Royal family. We also notice an enormous number of police and soldiers. No doubt, they are there to protect us from our enthusiastic admirers.

Jean and I drink several toasts to England, to the Queen, and to a successful race. I stand up and stagger towards the lever to lower the flame. However, I trip on Jean and fall with all my weight on the lever. Instead of lowering the flame, I shut it off completely. We fall precipitously and hit the ground with a squish.

We dust ourselves off and march proudly towards the Queen. For some reason she appears to be upset. However, we attribute her emotion to the passion of the moment. We present her with the first Chardonnay bottle of the season.

But, the Queen, she is not thankful. No, she accuses us of murdering her Corgi. What dog, we ask? “The one under your balloon,” she cries.

Before we think to apologize, ill-mannered British policemen clasp handcuffs on us and lead us away. We hear behind us German and French voices arguing vociferously for the right to arrest us. Their argument appears to be escalating into a brawl. We shrug our shoulders.

* * *

“Bah! Monsieur le reporter, the food here in this jail is horrible! But yes, I have been without Dom Perignon for three days! Why are these stupid English treating me this way? Can it be that they do not care that I won the Chardonnay race?

Monsieur, tell my friends to hurry and get me out of here. The Tour d’Artichoke starts next week! Sacre bleu!”


I hope you enjoyed this chapter from my book. Please let me know what you thought of it. Thank you.

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

We’re French and You’re Not, 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

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We’re French and You’re Not – Overview

We’re French and You’re Not is one of my favorite novels. I’m going to be providing excerpts from the first chapter during the coming days. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did writing them.

We’re French and You’re Not, is a hilarious romp focusing on the clueless French millionaire, Robert, and the effects of his diary on the conventional Wisconsin farm boy, Frank.

While in America, Robert and his constant companion Jean meet Henrietta Montcalm, a meek and nervous redhead. Their influence turns her into a feisty woman wanted by the police.

Henrietta decides to marry Robert and guides them toward a wedding in Reno. Jean can’t stand the thought of Robert giving up his bachelor lifestyle, so natu-rally he tries to kill him. Neither Jean, a burning hotel, nor fighter jets stop Henrietta from marrying Robert and taking off for her honeymoon.

Along their way, they incidentally: squash the Queen’s dog, fly a small plane inside an airport terminal, run McDonald’s in a very French way, rent exploding furn-iture, open childcare in Mammoth Caves, open a gourmet hospital, and drive their Geo Metro the wrong way in the Indy 500.
Sacre bleu, what fun things the Wisconsin farm boy learns about the world.


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


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French Pan Bagnat

French Entree



1 garlic clove
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1 16-inch baguette or 2 ciabatta rolls
½ green bell pepper
¼ cucumber
¼ cup Nicoise or Kalamata olives
2 hard boiled eggs
⅓ red onion
1 large tomato
2 5-ounce cans solid white tuna, drained
2 ounces anchovies (optional)

Serves 4. Takes 55 minutes.


Mince garlic clove. Add garlic, Dijon mustard, olive oil, red wine vinegar, pepper, and salt to small mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Cut baguette along its length. Use brush to spread garlic/ mustard/olive oil over both baguette halves.

Seed bell pepper. Cut bell pepper and cucumber into slices ½” thick. Cut olives in half. Dice hard boiled eggs. red onion, and. tomato. Spread tuna over baguette bottom. Place bell pepper and cucumber slices on tuna. Sprinkle bell pepper and cucumber with diced egg, olive halves, red onion, tomato, and anchovies.

Place baguette top on egg, onion, and tomato. Place baguette between 2 flat surfaces (such as cutting boards, baking sheets). Place heavy object (such as a skillet) on flat surface. Let sit for 20 minutes. Cut baguette into 4 mini baguettes.


1) This dish, Pan Bagnat, is an anagram for “Tan Pan Bag.”

2) How do people in France transport their pans? They use bag pans.

3) Tan is the color of the baguette, a food vital to emotional well being So, in France, only chefs may own a tan pan bag. France. All other people must pick a different color. But if you do own a tan pan bag and you’re not a chef, you may expect a midnight visit from the police. Now you know.


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

Categories: cuisine, international, observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adventures in Cooking

I often list substitutes in my recipes as the original ingredient is found easily only in the recipe’s native land. Sometimes though, finding the ingredient, usually an herb, is impossible even on the internet.

My most exciting ingredient search was for an herb that grows only in the wilds of Sinkiang Province. And even there, the herb is rare. Then there’s the problem of the Chinese police not believing I was scouring the countryside for an herb.


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

Categories: food, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Brown Sugar Honey Mustard Smoked Ham

American Entree



10 pounds ham
⅓ cup barbecue rub
no-stick spray
1⅓ cup brown sugar
1 cup honey mustard
2 cups orange juice


apple or cherry wood chunks
meat thermometer
disposal aluminum pan
sonic obliterator

Takes 7 hours 30 minutes. (Times vary with smoker.) Serves 15.


Preheat smoker to 250 degrees. Add wood chunks to smoker. Rub barbecue rub onto ham. Score ham in a diamond patter ½” deep. Spray disposal aluminum pan with no-stick spray. Let ham sit out at room temperature for 1 hour. Add ham to aluminum pan. Cook for 1 hour

While ham cooks for 1 hour, add brown sugar, honey mustard, and orange juice to mixing bowl. Mix with fork or whisk until well blended. This is the glaze. Cook until temperature registered by meat thermometer reaches145 degrees. Baste ham with glaze every 45 minutes until done. Remove ham and let sit for 20 minutes


1) Sometimes, ingredients can be hard to find. Once I looked for a specific herb for a Mongolian dish. However, this herb could only be found in a remote part of northwestern China. You need to get permission from the Chinese authorities to go there. Chinese police will probably start to tail you when you start looking all over the land for this rare herb. And even then, it’s seasonal. I opted for a substitute herb.

2) Then there are instances, like for this recipe. I wanted a 7-pound ham. My local supermarket did not have a ham in the refrigerated aisles. They did not have one on display at the butcher. They did not have one there. They did not have one anywhere. I asked the butcher if there might be one at the back. He said no. He added there were no hams in all of Poway, my fair city. I eventually found a ten-pounder 30 miles away. So if your guests give you any guff about the meal you created, zap them with your sonic obliterator. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your kitchen.


– 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

Categories: cuisine, humor, observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mistakes That Hollywood Does Over and Over

Freeze Frame Photo Of Bad Man’s shot

Watching movies and television shows can be a pleasant way to pass the time. They can even be great fun. However, the logic and laws of physics are so often thrown out the window, leaving me the think, “Why even an amoeba could more realistic and better entertainment.” Here then, as they occur to me, recurring mistakes in movies and shoes,

  1. The bad guy never, ever, ever can shoot the good guy, even if they stand only one foot apart.
  2.  The good guy never misses, even if he is 100 feet away.
  3.  The good guy never misses even when he isn’t looking at someone.
  4.  Bad guys will step into open to shoot. Then they get shot.
  5.  When the good guy shoots with two machine guns he doesn’t have to aim. He also is invulnerable. (I know, some of these pickies are similar.)
  6.  One good guy will die so that the upright people can be shown to have affection and compassion. The surviving good guys are then justified in slaughtering boat loads of badies.
  7.  The bad guy will always leave a captured good guy alone and give him enough time to escape.
  8.  The teenage girl will always explore all the rooms in the house even though her friends were already slaughtered there.
  9.  Archers will shoot flaming arrow after flaming arrow at the enemy. How hundreds of archers manage to light thousands of arrows from three fiery cauldrons is a mystery to me. I also wonder how none of the archers get burned drawing and loosing the arrows.
  10.  The actors in action movies deliver there cliche-ridden lines with such intensity as to bring on hernias.
  11.  Police have the funds and time to pursue any murder, any major crime.
  12.  Detectives always throw away the rule book.
  13.  Sword fights look so staged. Yep, we’ll clash their swords up here. Then we meet by our feet.
  14.  Why would swordsmen strike for the ankles?
  15.  No matter how disciplined the ancient armies were, they always break formation to go into individual duels. Even if we know from tons of contemporaneous records that the Romans and the Greek hoplites trained for months to manuever as one.
  16. The driver can turn his head to talk to the passenger for up to a minute and never hit an oncoming car.
  17.  The murderer never, ever, ever, ever, ever goes very far from the scene of the crime.
  18.  The crime scene never get contaminated.
  19.  Suspects always sass the questioning detective.
  20.  Wives die off first, especially in Disney(tm) movies. The real world has the husband dying first.

Enough ranting for now. Carry on.


– 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

Categories: observations, proof you cannot deny | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

I Solve the Speeding Problem

People drive like bats out of Hell. They don’t care about the speed limit. They don’t care about the law. They don’t care about the injuries, and sometimes death, they inflict on other drive drivers.

Clearly these people are truly reprehensible, bad eggs even.

What can been done to stop these speed demons?

1) Have police issue speeding tickets. This is a good, partial deterrent. It’s main flaw is that are only so man traffic cops on the road. This leaves millions of miles of roads across our nation unpatrolled. True, a number of these cops lurk in speed traps instead of patrolling dangerous stretches of traffic. This is indeed a flaw with this deterrent, but it stills holds that there aren’t enough policemen patrolling our roads to deter the speed demons. An officer of the law who isn’t there can’t issue a speeding ticket.

2) Let the insurance companies take car of the speeders. Let them charge higher insurance rates for the lead-footed drivers. Pfft! Doesn’t work. The speeding drivers just don’t give a rip.

So, what can we do? What do the speeders care about? What will they obey?

The laws of physics.

No matter how fast you drive, no matter how determined you are, you can’t drive your car through the car or truck in front of you.

This means that if all the lanes in front of you are blocked by vehicles going slower than the speed limit, you can’t speed.

But how can we rein in the speeders?

I’m glad you asked. My solutions depend of two observations that are nearly as true as a the laws of physics.

1) A significant portion of drivers are unable to drive as fast as the speed limit if they are going uphill.

All we’d have to do is make roads that only go uphill. But this isn’t true anywhere. Phooey.

2) But there will always, always be one driver that tries to pass a slow truck. However, they will drive one mile per hour faster than the truck they are driving to overtake. Then lanes are blocked by vehicles going slower than the speed limit.

Hurrah! We are onto something here. Simply drive enough trucks everywhere to slow down all the traffic in all lanes of every single road in the country.

But how do we get enough trucks on the roads for this plan to work?

Buy them! It could be the government doing the purchasing. It could be you. Do your part!

Where do we get enough truck drivers?

Hire them! Hire the unemployed, Unemployment would fall to zero. It could be the government doing the hiring. It could be you. Do your part!

There you go. Another problem solved. You may sleep easily tonight.


Paul De Lancey, concerned citizen and 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


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How to Commit a Yummy Murder

If you’re thinking of committing murder, why not use Twizzlers(tm)? They’re yummy and fatal if used correctly as shown below.

1) Buy  several bags. Don’t worry about this, there is no waiting period for buying Twizzlers as can happen for guns.

2) Interweave the short, weak Twizzler pieces into a massive, sturdy candy rope. E Pluribus Unum. “Out of many, one.” This used to be the motto of our great country. By constructing a Twizzler rope you are paying homage to our nation’s founding fathers.

3) Choke your victim with the Twizzler rope. Did your murder make society better off? Did your victim annoy the heck out of everyone he met? If so, give yourself a pat on the back.

4)  Eat the Twizzler rope. This act neatly disposes of the murder weapon and honestly, can you really stop yourself from eating all that yummy candy?

5) Call the police and say you found the victim dead and you just don’t know what happened. They might not believe you but without a murder weapon what can they do?

I hope you’ll find this little household tip useful.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

P.S. Murder is actually wrong. Just say no.

P.P.S. Even though murdering spouses eliminates the need for going through nasty, prolonged divorce proceedings, it is still wrong. Just say no to murder. Don’t make me come back there.

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

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Toad in the Hole

British Entree



1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon mustard powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
1¼ cups milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (2 more tablespoons later)
2 pounds bangers or plain pork sausages or beef sausages
¼ teaspoon rosemary
¼ teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion
½ tablespoon brown sugar
¾ cup beef stock


Combination 8″ x 12″ casserole dish & time machine (They’re handy!)

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.


Add flour, mustard powder, and salt to 1st mixing bowl. Blend with whisk. Melt butter. Add eggs to 2nd bowl. Beat eggs with whisk. Add melted butter and milk to eggs. Mix thoroughly with whisk. Add liquid contents of 2nd bowl to flour in 1st bowl. Blend with whisk until mixture becomes smooth bread pudding. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.

While pudding sits, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat sides and bottom of casserole dish with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Put casserole dish in oven. Raise temperature to 425 degrees. When oven temperature reaches 425 degrees, remove casserole dish. Add sausages evenly to casserole dish. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes or until sausages start to brown on all sides. You might need to turn them over at least once. (Be careful! Use oven mitts!) Remove casserole dish from oven. Pour bread budding over sausages. Sprinkle with rosemary and thyme. Put casserole dish back in oven. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until toothpick stuck into batter comes out clean.

While batter bakes, mince onion. Add onion and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add brown sugar and beef stock. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Ladle this beef stock/onion gravy over bread pudding and sausages in casserole dish.


1) Sometimes it can be quite hard to track down every ingredient listed in a recipe, even when you think they should be easy to find.

2) In the case of this recipe, bangers were the items that were hard to track down. Impossible even. There’s a small discount supermarket (Small supermarket is a bit of contradiction, isn’t it?) that occasionally carries bangers, the British sausage. Occasionally. When it’s overstocked somewhere in San Diego County. How often does that happen? *Bangs head against wall*

3) Sorry for the delay in writing this tidbit, I had a headache from banging my head against the wall.

4) But wait, there was no delay for you, was there? It’s kinda like having your own time-travel machine.

5) Anyway, if you can’t find bangers nearby, try and get plain pork sausages. If your supermarkets don’t have such things, try and get beef sausages.

6) Don’t settle for tiny breakfast sausages. Just don’t. The sausages will settle under this dish’s bread pudding. Your guests will make remarks that while meant to be witty, will come across as being ungrateful and mean. You will race to your closet to get your saber. All sorts of boxes full of stuff you don’t even remember will fall on your head. Your headache will come roaring back as if The HulkTM himself is squeezing your skull. You will be in no mood to see reason. You will skewer all your guests, dispatching them with a hearty “Take that” or “Ho, ho.”

7) The law will take a dim view of such stuff. No, not the screaming of “Take that” or “Ho, ho,” rather the offing of your diners. It bears repeating, police don’t like premeditated murder or even manslaughter in this case. On the other hand, they’re remarkably tolerant of what you say while killing someone. They know if you’re so disturbed as to end someone’s life, you’re not going to be at your literary best. To save yourself embarrassment, may I suggest picking up a copy of 101 Clever Things to Say While Murdering?

8) So murder is out. You will need to create your own bangers. A banger is 65% pork sausage, 30% tusk (dried bread), and 5% seasonings. Simply, take your Bushnell 457 Sausage InjectorTM and fill it with a mixture of 5 parts dried bread to 1 part seasonings. Then inject the tusk/seasoning mix into the plain pork sausage until the ratio of pork sausage to mix is 13 to 7.

9) It does take practice to get the pork sausage/seasoning mix proportion just right. It takes even more practice to inject a lot of mixture into a sausage that already fills in casing completely. In fact, you’re almost certain to explode the sausage, causing you to fly into a rage, fly to your closet to get that saber again, and dispatch the first guest who even comes into your kitchen. That would be bad, run-on sentences like this are horrible.

10) Oh and Bushnell 457 Sausage Injectors are truly hard to find. The company stop making them in 2014. Which is why you simply must have a Bushnell 323 Combination Casserole Dish & Time MachineTM. Simply go back to a time when your local discount supermarket carried bangers. Then use that same gizmo to bake this entree. See? Life is good after all. Thank you, Bushnell.

– 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

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