Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Eat This: Part 2

I mean, take acorns. If my memories of 5th Grade Biology serve me correctly, acorns are pretty toxic. Yet Native Americans figured out how to leach the toxins out, a long and involved process that went like this:

1. Gather acorns
2. Tie acorns up in a sack and then beat the sack with a stick
3. When tired or the stick breaks, get another stick
4. Scratch between your shoulder blades with the second stick and then discard it
5. Put the smashed acorns in a pot
6. Give the pot to a mime and have him pretend to stir it over a fire for an hour
7. Kill the mime
8. Bury the pot for seventeen days
9. Unearth the pot and then set it at the top of the tallest tree you can find
10. Wait for lightning to strike the pot
11. Retrieve the pot
12. Remove the acorn pulp from the pot and then put it into a different pot
13. Bury the first pot with full military honors
14. Cook the acorns overnight
15. Serve with crackers and a hearty Zinfandel

Actually, in all honesty, the Native Americans just rinsed the acorns repeatedly until the water didn’t turn brown. This is because they actually wanted to eat the acorns, as opposed to writing a humor blog about the process.

Another question: why would anyone take the time to figure out which bits were edible and which weren’t? Well, I imagine it’s because they were starving and ‘potential death’ versus ‘inescapable death’ seemed like a pretty good bet. If survival shows have taught me anything, it’s that your definition of ‘edible’ changes radically when you haven’t eaten in a couple days.

So, back to the fugu. In all probability, some Japanese fishermen were having a bad season and decided to give the funny looking fish a try. A couple of them died, but the rest were okay. Some judicious trial and error, also probably during a slow season, probably taught them which bits were good and which should be reserved for your mother-in-law. All the weird stuff we eat probably springs from that sort of situation.

I mean, beer is water and yeast that gets heated the right way (yes, that’s a massive oversimplification), but to my knowledge, every civilization we know came up with it at one time or another.

Ancient Egyptian Woman: Thutmos, what happened to that mix of grain and water I left on the window sill?

Thutmos: I was really thirsty, so I drank it!

Ancient Egyptian Woman: But, I was going to use that to clean out the privy!

Thutmos: Y’know, you’re gorgeous when you’re angry! C’mere.

Ancient Egyptian Woman: Hmmmm, I seem to have stumbled onto a magic formula that makes men stupid! And pliable! I’ll rule the world! (maniacal laughter).

Or something like that.



Duncan said...

So, does this mean you are planning on PRINTING Art the Wanderer in book form after you get done writing it? As for East Coast cons, I (currently) only know about ConnectiCon, but, I guess I could look that up for you...

Anonymous said...

Could have been the other way:

"Hello mother-in-law, I have some part of a wonderful fish I catched, Do you want to try it ?"
"Why, thank you, it is delicious."
"OK, now I take the other part. ... Arg!"
"Children, lets skip that part of the fish son-in-law ate..."

TX_Val said...

Actually I hadn't realized until now that you may have combined my idea and yours. Maybe after Thutmos got bored with his stupid arse, realized her new drink could woo her the much younger and buff man from down the road, so maybe she got the fish that was known to be toxic, and fed it to her drunk husband, only to find that he passed out after eating a small portion. When he woke up on the cart (I don't want to go on the cart) she would be disappointed to learn that only a portion of the fish was obviously poisonous.

So then maybe it was her quest to find the poisonous parts...

Jason Janicki said...

I'm actually already done writing Art. I'm just being a bastard and doling it out in pieces :)

I'm currently trying to get an agent to publish it 'for reals.' I'm also looking into the possibility of self-publishing.

I would appreciate any info on east-coast cons, Duncan! :)

True, it could have happened the other way. Including "Hey, let's get Bob to eat it!" "Yeah, he'll eat anything!" :)

Maybe she used her newfound drink to get him to build her a cart? I dunno, one person wielding both alcohol and poisonous fish would be too much :)

TX_Val said...

The cart was my attempt at a monty python reference... you know..
"bring out yer dead"

"I'm getting better."
"No you're not, you'll be stone dead in a moment."
"Well, I can't take him like that. "It's against regulations."
"I don't want to go on the cart. "

*sigh* I'm so sad.. .
I guess I'll just get back to work..