Turkey dinner

My nonstop-talking flatmate Dean has four days off for the Fourth of July weekend, so he's going to spend all four of those days talking to me, apparently. And to Robert, to the cat, and to himself.

You can't get from my room to the bathroom without passing through the kitchen, so three times on Friday he tried cornering me in the kitchen. I blew him off twice, but the tick-marks on my wall said I had to give him a few minutes the next time. And there he was again, waiting for me in the kitchen after my shower, to tell me all about his new job, cooking — "chefing," he calls it — at a swanky downtown hotel.

July 3, 2022

I won't bore you with too many details like he did (Did you know he's been cooking for 40 years?) but I'll give you the gist, and then a sliver of one of his kitchen stories:

Dean really wants me to know that he's a very good cook. In three months living here, he's told me he's a very good cook a hundred different ways, and indeed, everyone at the hotel is very impressed with his cooking. That's the recurring theme of Dean's stories. The customers love his beef stroganoff and lamb mwabeibei, and hotel management eats there too, and the compliments never seem to stop.

After the cooking stories, he told me about his small-town childhood, the architecture of the courthouse, and his opinions about renaming towns and places for purposes of political correctness, before I slipped away to sanity and silence.

Now, that promised sliver from one of Dean's kitchen stories:

In a walk-in freezer at the hotel, there were several large turkeys, intended as employee gifts for Easter, Dean says, but the hotel bought too many of them. He had a spectacular recipe in mind for turkey portobello or something, so he moved the turkeys from the freezer into one of the refrigerators.

Something came up at the hotel, so his planned menus got bumped back a day, and then Dean needed to take a day off, and when he remembered and checked in the refrigerator, he was happy that the turkeys were still there. For the next day's dinner service, he prepped and served meat that had been thawed and held in the refrigerator for four days before being cooked.

I have substantially less than 40 years experience as a professional chef, and people don't stand in line to give compliments when I make lunch. My understanding, though, is that thawed, uncooked turkey is safe in the fridge for up to two days.

So in addition to the preposterous price, that's why I don't dine at the Hilton Park Hyatt Saint-Regis Four Seasons Marriott Ritz Carlton, or wherever Dean works.

I've always hated driving, and even when I had a car I dated on the bus, in my teens and twenties and thirties. It's a happy memory — holding hands and talking while waiting for the bus, finding two seats together, talking with my girl while the bus made its way across the city, maybe stealing a kiss once or twice.

Riding the city buses nowadays, I sometimes see boys and girls or young men and women on dates, but it's not the same. While they wait at the bus stop, they scroll on their phones. While the bus makes its way across the city, they scroll on their phones.

These couples don't talk, and they certainly don't kiss, and they can't hold hands while holding their phones, so from this cranky old fart's perspective it doesn't seem like dating at all. Those couples are in the same space, but they're not there together.

I waited weeks for someone else to do it, but the lake in the shower was getting deeper every morning, so I did it myself, damn it. You could see gobs of hair down there, all over the catchbar, two pieces of criss-crossed metal presumably designed to catch hair in the shower drain. No telling whose hair it was, or how far back it dated, but three out of four men living here are senior citizens, so the clump was mostly gray.

All the hair was soapy and wet, so my fingers couldn't grip it. I wanted to use Dean's toothbrush to extract the hairball, but I didn't know which toothbrush was his. Instead I borrowed a tiny fancy fork from Dean's drawer in the kitchen, silverware presumably stolen some time during his oft-mentioned 40 years of work in upscale restaurants.

It was somewhat icky work, took ten minutes or so, but with Dean's olive-fork I scraped up enough hair to about half-fill a can of sardines. Then I wiped off the fork and put it back in Dean's drawer, and the shower drains much quicker now.

Being old, I sometimes read the obituaries to make sure I'm not dead yet, and I came across an odd tidbit. The dear departed was unknown to me, but what struck me was this line: "In 1988, she married the love of her life…" followed in the next paragraph by "When their marriage dissolved, she re-married…"

That has to be an intentional kick in the butt to her second husband, don't you think? She was married to him for almost 30 years, but still, her ex-husband was "the love of her life."

Which reminds me, true love is always a disaster. Either she dumps him, he dumps her, he dumps him, or she dumps her, or maybe they live happily (or unhappily) ever after.

We're humans, though — "ever after" is a short-term deal that always ends in death, so unlike in the movies, every damned love story ends with heartbreak.

And now, the news you need, whether you know it or not… 

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It's hard to overstate the danger of the voting case the rigged Supreme Court just agreed to hear 

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Jordan Peterson says he has "post-coital" regrets about his remarks on Elliot Page's top surgery 

I usually pay no attention to celebrity gossip and bullshit, so I didn't know anything about this and know next-to-nothing about Jordan Peterson. I know enough to know he's an asshole, though. It's a rock-solid rule: If you have something snarky to say about someone else's surgery, you're an asshole.

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When abortion pills were banned in Brazil, women turned to drug traffickers  

Ohio doctor has to send 10-year-old pregnant abuse victim to Indiana for abortion after state's trigger law goes into effect 

The Dobbs decision has unleashed legal chaos for doctors and patients 

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Storm of controversy over painting that depicts police officers as pigs 

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The weird, analog delights of Foley sound effects 

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Contact, the sci-fi movie that defied Hollywood norms and made it big anyway 

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Explaining the obvious:
A football coach's prayer is not about freedom. It's about coercion. 

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If Jesus stood on a river would he stand still or move down as if he was on a conveyor belt? 

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One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time...

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The End
Claude Rutault
Tim Sale
Joe Turkel

Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
Tip 'o the hat to Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S, Wynn Bruce, and always Stephanie...


  1. You may not even notice, but - what does Dean cook at home? Anecdotally, "chefs" are some of the biggest home consumers of easy garbage shit food - boxed mac and cheese, Beefaroni, stuff like that.


    IDK shit about shit, but I leave chicken in the fridge for 4-5 days literally every time I buy it, and if it smells good, I let it stretch to 10 days or more. Still alive.


    >Which reminds me, true love is always a disaster.

    "Love is an exploding cigar we willingly smoke" - Lynda Barry


    Re Foley work - this takes some time to get going, but is kinda neat:



    Did you and I see Contact together? The timing is right, the year after I hit SF. Regardless, I definitely thought it was a damn fine film.

  2. As I grew up in the suburbs and mass transit was sporadic and never where I needed it, I dated using my car. I found it quite rewarding. The amount of stuff you could do in a fogged-up car was pretty much everything. Deep, uninterrupted conversations. Girls often made the first move since they had no one else's eyes on them. And sometimes hours just lazing together while music played.

    The only people who have mentioned Jordan Peterson to me are friends who are kinda assholey and think they're better than everyone else -- with no proof proving it. They are generally people who fall back on their parents whenever they need to and who the despicable JP would consider losers and not worthy of his speeches. In other words, his target audience. -- Cheers on this ironic 4th, LArden

    1. Cars definitely have their advantages when dating, oh yeah. My first this and my first that were both in a car, and I didn't even have to drive. She drove. Me nuts.

      An ex-friend now-Republican sent me a link to a Jordan Peterson video a while back, maybe a year ago. I watched for about ten minutes of sixty, and he never said anything that pissed me off or I even much disagreed with, but there was something *wrong* about his manner; he seemed like someone who thought his shit was perfume, who'd never been wrong about anything. It was impressive, really, how he could say innocuous things but seem obnoxious.

  3. • What does Dean cook at home? Stews, never steaks. Anything he cooks at home is in the oven, never the top of the stove. Bacon for breakfast, though, a lot. Never seen him make mac & cheese, and he's sneered at the $1.25 frozen hamburgers I keep in the freezer.

    • I've also left stuff uncooked for a long time, and kept cooked stuff longer than I'm supposed to. I break all the rules and I'll eat anything that's not moldy. I hope for higher standards when it's food people pay to eat.

    • Yeah, I think Contact was you and me, lunch at Wendy's and then two dollars at the St Frank.


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