Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What's in a Name?


I have gone from gamely chortling at the silly applications on Facebook to patently ignoring them. This happened sometime after I took the quiz to see which of the fifty states I was. I remember clicking that I like large bodies of water and living near big cities and somehow with Facebook wizardry the state that is most me is Nebraska. So I haven't indulged further in these random quizzes, and truth be told am fascinated that others seem to take them all the time. Which Lost character am I? Really?

But I'm about to whole hog embrace this craziness in the guise of scientific discovery.

A couple of months back, in a moment of whimsy I decided to find out my Vampire name. The gobbledygook that spewed out was, The Great Archives determine you to have gone by the identity Beno Fey, known in some parts of the world as Incubus of The Lamiae, the offspring of a goddess - beautiful, powerful and ruthless. Beautiful, Powerful, Ruthless and Fey? Sounds like a law firm for drag queens.

Beno Fey must be the gayest vampire name ever, but for whatever reason, it's stuck with me. So much so, that I reprinted my findings as a possible blog entry last ides of March. (Those screwy ides.) Does this mean that all my regenerated names would be as faggy? Would this homosameness somehow help me with life choices, or validate who I am? Only one way to find out... I will enter my name into each of the name generators Facebook has to offer.

My Earth name is Richard Hutchins Foster, Jr. Growing up I was Rick. But there was already a Rick and a Richard Foster in the acting unions. So, as an actor I took on Hutchins. (Most people today call me Hutch. If anyone still refers to me as Rick they must be family or someone who's known me longer than two decades.)

As for its meaning: Richard is powerful ruler, Hutchins is a pet form of Hugh which means 'bright in spirit and mind', and Foster is one in charge of the forest. I imagine if I lived up to my name I'd become the King of the Woodland Fairies, Smokey the Bear or a Buddhist Robin Hood.

My first step on the Facebook name generator page was to choose a name to regenerate. I couldn't use my entire WASPy moniker. Only two fields were offered. I decided upon my latest incarnation, Hutchins Foster. Next, I wanted to know if random words would create my Mobster name, my Filipino name, my Cute name, or was some (forgive me) science involved, some method to the virtual madness.

In my test run I typed in my actor name to determine my Soap Opera name. (Although, what really could be more soap opera than Hutchins Foster?) The result? Romeo Vanderbilt. (Okay, perhaps it's the teeniest bit more soap opry.) I submitted my name again to see if the name generator was consistent. Once again, Romeo Vanderbilt. (Hmmm. The name is growing on me.) When I submitted Richard Foster, I became Harlan Vanderbilt. Hutchins Smith became Romeo Fitzgerald. Indeed, there seems to be some method in place.

Facebook has 125 name generators, and I soon discovered that not all of them were pertinent. For instance, the nationality names (Spanish name, Serbian name, North African name) gave me absolutely no insight to myself. What do I care if I'm Gomez del Toro, Darko Markovic or Kutu Labdouni? Also, once I found out my Harry Potter name was an actual Harry Potter character (Neville Longbottom, sigh) I had no desire to find out my Sponge Bob, Twilight or Star Trek name. I even side stepped my Shakespearean name for fear I'd be Malvolio or Caliban. So, no nationalities, no characters, the rest I made up as I went along.

And my results...

There seems to be an eating theme running through my generated names. My Romantic name is Muffin, my Nickname is Honey Buns, my Presidential Code name is Clam Chowder and my Prank Call name is Igor Beaver.

Also there's an animal theme. My Mafia name is Danny "the Weasel" Costello, my Villainess name is The Shrivelled Tiger, my Drag Queen name is Kitten Kaboodle, and once again, Igor Beaver.

And I'm not trying to do this, but there also is a punani theme. My Dog name is Mama Trouble, my Stripper name is Diamond DeepTight, my Prison name is Booty Call, and yes, Igor Beaver.

In three lists! Igor Beaver. And the last time I actually gored beaver was eighteen years ago. Might I have taken the wrong path?

***

Lately my daughter is gaga obsessed with My Little Pony. For you neophytes, there isn't just one little pony like the singular title offers. There are many. And they are all girl ponies, not a steed in the stable. Actually, there are no stables. Come to think of it, they are very non horselike, these ponies. They are the color of fruit sherbet and are always prepping for some gala at Celebration Castle. Maxie has only three of their books and in each of them a major festivity is taking place. One book is about a golden egg hunt, another is about a royal costume party, and the last is the ultimate tea party.

I bring up the ponies because along with their lives of party throwing leisure, they have outlandish names. I can barely turn a page of the book without Maxie pointing to each pony and labeling them. Crazy insidious names like Sunny Daze, Twinkle Twirl, Pinky Pie (which sound like the newest designer drugs) are all part of this equine fantasy. And each pony has a tattoo on her haunch. Sparkleworks has a mini fireworks display, Meadowbrook a dragonfly, Wisteria a sprig of wisteria, etc. My favorite pony has four leaf clovers on her haunch...why Serendipity, of course.

Last night, while I was reading Pony Party, for the second time, I had this sudden image. A grouchy group of elderly people sitting around a table, smoking menthols, hopped up on pain killers, thinking up all these crazy ass pony names.

OLD FART #1: I like Minty.

OLD FART #2: Minty? What the hell kind of name is Minty?

OLD FART #1: My Ben Gay is minty. And I like Ben Gay.

OLD FART #2: Fine. I'll let you have Minty, as idiotic as that sounds, if you let me call a pony Dazzle Surprise.

OLD FART #1: Sound like a big sissy to me, but okay. Let's shake on it.

OLD FART #2: Can't reach across the table. Just put your dentures back in and call it a deal.

And I bet I'm not far off on how the My Little Pony names are created. And it's probably similar with the name generators dudes. Might not be the same group of people. Instead of old farts, the name generators might be just out of college pimply, but it's the same concept. Name by committee.

And if that's the case, it makes no nevermind that my Witch name is Gwendolyn the Drunk Witch, my Burlesque name is Caresse Royale, or my Superhero name is The Incredible Albino. It's all hogwash. And to waste time finding significance in the similarities between my Celebrity name and my Christmas Elf name (Viggo Mortensen/Zippy O'Leary) is complete folly. It's as serendipitous as wanting the Pacific and being designated Nebraska.

But even so, let me keep the original. Allow me Beno Fey.

Romeo Vanderbilt signing off.


THE COMPLETE LIST

Goth name: Galindus the Immortal
Fantasy name: Blind Man
Italian name: Antonio Rossi
Hippy name: Autumn Blossom
Spanish name: Gomez del Toro
Romantic name: Muffin
German name: Dieter von Metzger
Rock band name: Batter Buckwheat
Nickname: Honey Buns
Bond Girl name: Heidi Taunt
French name: Gaston Fornier
Trailer Trash name: Marlboro Man
Prison name: BootyCall
Japanese name: Akihiro Aburakoji
Royal name: Prince Hutchins the Clean
Dog name: Mama Trouble
Witch name: Gwendolyn the Drunk Witch
Korean name: Young Min Yoon
Drag Queen name: Kitten Kaboodle
Redneck name: Dwayne Houston
Pirate name: Captain Smelly Beard of the pirate ship Not-so-jolly Roger
Elf name: Kanhel
Cute name: Moogliebabycakes
Soap Opera name: Romeo Vanderbilt
Viking name: Eirik
Angel name: Ooniemme the Angel of Gratitude
Serbian name: Darko Markovic
Superhero name: The Incredible Albino
Princess name: Hutchins the Gracious, Princess of Merrimont
Mafia name: Danny "the Weasel" Costello
Stripper name: Diamond DeepTight
Villainess name: The Shrivelled Tigress
Hawaiian name: Kaleo Kalakona
Earth name: Reef Tempest
Prank Call name: Igor Beaver
Gypsy name: Loiza, meaning Renowned Warrior
Dragon name: Manasa the Dragon of Fertility
Gangster name: Paulie "The Executioner" Lucchese
North African name: Kutu Labdouni
Indian Chief name: Chief Bird Necklace
Street Gang name: The Tinkey Winkeys
Presidential Code name: Clam Chowder
Celebrity name: Viggo Mortensen
Christmas Elf name: Zippy O'Leary
Burlesque name: Caresse Royale

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Head


I want to be a fireman. I want to drive a garbage truck. I want to be a vampire.

My son has been making those kind of statements for years. They are always presented with infectious enthusiasm. Like many parents I feed into his desires, "that's nice dear," without thinking he will really end up fighting fires, collecting trash or sucking blood.

Last Sunday, our good friends, Carol and Milo, invited us over to their house for potluck and a swim. Hubby was busy, but that did not deter me. I bundled up the kidlets and trundled on over with hot dogs, little cuties, pink lemonade and a bottle of chardonnay.

Going to their house is always a pleasure. Not only do they have an eclectic, bubbly group of friends, but their home with the faintest whiff of oil and varnish is the epitome of an artist's idyll. Milo Reice is a wonderful painter and his vibrant multi media artwork adorn the walls. His works can be small celebrations of life, or they can be huge installation pieces, often times with mythological or biblical themes: murder, torture, crucifixion, nudity and sex (ah, those biblical themes) often make appearances in Milo's paintings. He shows regularly in galleries in Europe and here in the States, and it seems only fitting that in the movie Swordfish, Halle Berry strips in front of an authentic Milo Reice.




At one point I broke away from the pool to take a peek in Milo's studio, which makes me feel like a kid sneaking into a church. This is where amazing things are created, and I never know what I'll find. There leaning against the wall was one of his huge pieces. A naked beheaded man was lying on the ground, with blood everywhere. And kneeling over his body were two jubilant society ladies in modern dress, one with a pair of scissors in the act of snipping off... Hold up. I can't bring myself to write that. Let me just say she's about to execute a...double beheading. (Now, I can take a deep breath and maybe even uncross my legs.) I have been exposed to a lot of artwork in my life, but never before have I seen a corpse castration on canvas.

No matter how violent the piece Milo's somehow manages to infuse his works with his unique wry humor. For instance, these women look as if they're stuffing dollar bills into the g-string of a Chippendales dancer, rather than performing the ultimate snip snip. However, it wasn't the humor that I registered first. With ultimate horror I exclaimed, "Milo Reice!" Nonchalantly, Milo enters his studio and offered, "You've seen that before." But no, I was quite sure I hadn't.

Milo seemed to enjoy taking me in as I absorbed the grizzly act taking place on canvas. He then told me the title of the painting was Judith and the Head of Holifernes, based on one of the books from the Apocrypha, sort of a third testament if you will, sometimes included in the Bible, sometimes not. The main story in the Book of Judith is of a widow saving her people by getting Holifernes, one of King Nebuchadnezzar's generals, all lickered up and then cutting his head off. Most artists who tackled this topic, such as Michaelangelo, Gentileschi and Rubens simply showed the beheading. But Milo insisted that Judith would have had such adreneline coursing through her that she would have sliced off the general's privates as well. Poor Holifernes, or as Milo calls him, George W. Holifernes.




And Milo was in the middle of the painting's back story when Sebastian walked in. I stifled my initial instinct to yell, "Get out of here. This is not for children!" Because if I raised a red flag like that my six year old would have moved heaven and Earth to catch a glimpse. Instead, I impotently stood by watching my son study the painting. It felt like time stood still, which allowed me to reflect on my possible bad parenting technique. Then Maxie, my three year old, came in and stood next to her brother, both of them transfixed by this violently and sexually charged painting. Maxie gets scared much more easily than Bash. An episode of Scooby Doo can send her into fits of hysteria. Even still, I held back. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Finally Sebastian broke the silence.

"Gross," he said.

"Gross," Maxie echoed. She's in an echoing phase.

"Look at all that blood," Sebastian said disgusted. So much for being a vampire. "There's too much blood."

"...much blood," Maxie agreed.

Bash chided, "I can't believe you Milo."

"... you Milo," my mynah bird repeated.

And they both ran out.

No mention of the beheading, or the beHEADing, the bloody saw on the ground or the sharpened shears in hand. (Although later Sebastian said he thought the ray gun was cool. That's part of Milo's humor, including anachronistic objects as a nudge nudge, wink wink for the viewer.) All my worry and the only disturbing thing Sebastian could process was a pool of blood.




I want to be a fairy. I want to be a princess. I want to be a fairy princess. I want to be a ballet dancing fairy princess. I want to be a unicorn.

Much like my son, my daughter has had flights of fancy in regards to career direction. But when were driving home from Carol and Milo's house Maxie's tone was different. There was no lilt in her voice, no smile upon her face. She had made up her mind and no one was going to change it.

"Papa, I want to be an artist."

"Well, darling, that's great. What kind of artist do you want to be?"

"A painter like Milo."


All images are details from Judith and the Head of Holifernes by Milo Reice.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Chrysalis


I was in the kitchen trying out a new recipe, something I was beginning to suspect my family wouldn't eat, when my six year old son came in wearing a princess dress and sparkly shoes. For those of you following my blog, you know this is not unique behavior. With a pensive look he inquired, "Papa, when am I going to turn into a girl?"

Having mastered the art of following a question with a question when I have no idea what the fuck else to say, I ricochet asked, "Is that what you think is going to happen?"

"Oh, yes." he pronounced with a certainty I wish I had when facing law enforcement or my mother.

I felt I needed more information before I tackled this one, so I dug deeper, "Sort of like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly?"

That did it. I could see from his reaction I became the out of touch, know nothing, what good are you, Papa. He let out a sigh and exclaimed as if I were mentally incompetent, "Of course. That's called metamorphosis."

Feed Me

So proud of hubby. Last night, he opened in the Musical Theatre West's production of Little Shop of Horrors. For those of you with your head up your tuchus, Little Shop is about a plant from outer space who eats people. Okay, so it's not folksy Oklahoma!, however it's a fab musical. And even though three puppeteers operate the giant carnivorous plant, Michael provides the voice of this meat eater. (As I said a couple of posts back, Michael knows meat. Type casting.)

When he did this role on Broadway, it was one of the of the easiest gigs going. He sat in a booth with a microphone and five monitors, four with views of the stage and plant, and one of the conductor. Because no one could see him, he could read directly from his script, or drink a pitcher of martinis, or plot the downfall of a third world country.

In my humble wifey opinion, I think his voice is stronger then it was on the Great White Way. His chiding "tough titty" thrilled me to my bones, and his "No shit, Sherlock" made my heart do a pitter pat. Never has American musical theatre produced dialog more scintillating.

A peculiar thing happened during intermission when I was taking a leak. I was humming Somewhere That's Green when a man who could have been my grandfather took the urinal next to mine. He was one of those pissers who unleashes the beast and then stands there with both hands on his hips. I worry about splatter with these types. Anyway, he says, "Well, I made it here, now if I can only get it started."

Having trouble peeing hasn't been a problem of mine but give me a couple of decades and just possibly I too will be talking to nearby urinaters. I must say, I wasn't sure of protocol. Was I to respond to his statement? Should I have pat him on the back and said, "Best of luck," or something? I chose to walk away without comment and wash my hands extra good.

I came out of the restroom and noticed one wall of the lobby was covered with encased gold records. This was when I first knew the theater was named after a dead celebrity. And it was only after I studied the song titles...Rainy Days and Mondays, We've Only Just Begun, Close to You...that I made a startling realization...

I just heard my husband sing Feed Me at the Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center.

Friday, July 10, 2009

penis


The other day, my three year old daughter said, "Papa, I like your penis." Lately I've tried to be more gracious when receiving praise, but somehow saying thank you seemed entirely wrong. Likewise, returning the compliment, "And honey, I like your vagina," was completely out of the question. I'm doing my best not to read too much into this statement. Oh, who am I fooling? I'm trying not to freak the fuck out.

But when I slow down and put it in perspective, I realize that yesterday she said, "I like your glasses," followed by "I like your big teeth." So very possibly she's in an I like phase. Even still, "I like boy" was only last month and her progression to "I like your penis" is alarming.

We're pretty free and loose with nudity in our house. We toss off penis and vagina in the same blase manner as if we were saying nose or elbow. We want our children to feel comfortable with their bodies, and yet we remind, "That is for you to touch and no one else." Free and easy but keep your knees together. Could signals be any more crossed?

We didn't call it a penis when I was growing up. My mother gave it the unfortunate moniker of do do. (Sounding like the opposite of don't don't, rather than the extinct bird.) Mom is a self proclaimed prude and after she taught my brother and I what to call it and where to pee with it, I don't recall her discussing anything below the waist until I was going through puberty.

I was in junior high when she gave me a book entitled Boys and Sex. She wanted me to read it and ask her questions. Instead I hid it behind my Hardy Boys collection. But she was really excited to be helping me through this stage of my life so she kept after me to read the book. After putting her off for a couple of weeks I thought the matter closed, but Sally had bigger plans. She wanted to invite the author over to our house, along with some of my friends and their fathers, and have a Boys and Sex workshop. Thankfully, my father is as private as I am when it comes to matters of the do do.

Could you imagine? Sitting around with your friends talking about the changes in you body. Nothing could have been more mortifying, except perhaps if my mother were to have walked in on me while I was stroking Mr. Happy. Oh, wait a minute. That did happen. Pounding the pudding, choking the chicken, Morking the Mindy. I've all but blocked out that memory. Wetting your Willie, whacking the weasel, making the bald man cry. The scar it left goes deep. Greasing the flagpole, making a banana split, firing the Surgeon-General. She quickly closed the door and then talked through it as if nothing had happened, "What sounds good for dinner?"

"You know what sounds good, how about leaving me alone!"

The next time I was aware that my parents were aware I had a penis was in my mid teens. I walked out of the shower and my dad was there. He looked at me with what felt like pride. His oldest was becoming an adult. I was okay with the unspoken father son moment, but about a week later my mother said, "Your dad says you have a bigger do do than he does."

A temporary amnesia set in. I have no idea how I responded but I would like to think I had the balls to have said, "Back off, Mrs. Robinson!" In reality, I probably scrambled around like a hamster in a plastic ball trying to escape, but bumping into furniture instead.

Then today, as if to say I want to be part of this blog entry too, my son came into the kitchen totally naked with a partial woody and he said with gleeful pride, "Look, Papa, my penis is pointing." I acknowledged that it was indeed pointing and he left the room.

This brings to mind a moment when he was three (I'm sure the topic of many therapy sessions to come) and I came bursting into his room to put clothes away. Sebastian was lying on his bed fondling himself. Frank your Sinatra, strangling the spitting cobra, Impeaching Tricky Dick. And he yelled at me with disdain, "Look what you did, Papa, you made it go down."

I wanted to tell him, that yes, there will be certain disappointments. It's easy to get hung up on cock sure ideals, however don't let your ego get pricked.

But instead, I did what I was taught. I pretended not to notice, left his room and through a closed door asked him what he wanted for dinner.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Michael Jackson was only Mortal



who wore makeup and a wig
and had questionable parenting skills

sound familiar?

Out of the Blue

Out of the blue my son asked me, "Papa, are you happy?"

My first thought was that I've got to stop wearing my pissed off, put upon face. But then I was struck by the fact that Sebastian has never asked me about my feelings before. Was this a new phase? A looking outward, away from the me, me, me.

And then the question really hit me. Am I happy?

I thought of my grandmother who died in 1994, after ninety-four years of life. At her memorial service I read from a letter she wrote. Its contents have become one of my foundations. In it she said she strived for contentment. That happiness was momentary, as was sadness. But really, there was nothing wrong with sustaining a pure, almost zenlike (although Grandma would never have used the word zenlike) form of contentment.

Then coming back into my present self, I wondered what level of happiness anyone can really achieve while picking clothes off the floor and contemplating a trip to the grocery store with two kids who have recently discovered the joy of stealing Rolos. Truth be told, at that moment even contentment was eluding me. If only I could find my zen with housework.

I'm a bit of a stickler for the truth, but it occurred to me that my six year old was not interested in Eastern philosophy. So, instead, I copped out and said, "Yes, I'm happy."

He nodded his head with an unusual intensity which prompted me to ask, "Honey, are you happy?"

Sebastian is basically a good natured kid and quick with the yes, so I assumed that would be his answer. And then he'd distract himself by asking me again about the paramedics he saw at the side of the road earlier that morning.

Instead, with thoughtful purpose he answered, "I'm adjusting."

They grow up so fast.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ode to Pork


Lately I've distracted myself with so many things: Humphrey Bogart movies, holiday pool parties, chicken pox, unpaid bills, celebrity deaths, vodka. I've been so distracted there hasn't been a blog entry, a
Facebook update, nary a tweet. (Shameless plug: follow me on Twitter. I'm mommywithapenis.) Finally yesterday, I posted the following Facebook status update "Hutchins wonders what could be all that bad about frying up pork chops." I had no idea I stumbled upon a hotbed of controversy.

The responses were varied. Someone wished me Happy Monday. Someone else gave me a gentle vegan/vegetarian warning: Don't get me started. A third person wrote out a yummy sounding recipe: Use a couple of spoons of olive oil and cook it on low-med heat for about 12 min each side. Make sure you add your spices first: onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika, crushed chili peppers. lemon optional. Make some white rice, red kidney beans and you will turn Puerto Rican on us.

And then there was this: Pork is full of nasty parasites. The tapeworms found in pork are some of the most deadly. These tapeworms can travel to the brain and spread disease that could even kill a person. Some people have developed brain seizures and other health problems after eating pork.

She then attached a video link that has since been removed. I imagine it looked something like this... (The following is not for those of you with weak constitutions.)



Growing up, I dreaded pork night. My mother would lightly season the chops. And when I say lightly season, I mean no seasoning whatsoever. And then she'd put them into the oven until they resembled something you'd scrape off your boot after taking a stroll through a cow pasture. There was nothing nice about the tough piece of sinew I had to force down my gullet every other Thursday. And dry! You could give me a glass of the Mojave and it would be as refreshing.

It wasn't until I met Michael that I understood the juiciness, the detectability, the absolute nirvana that is a beautifully seasoned fried pork chop. It's easy for me to rag on my poor husband. Well, let's face it, he's an entertaining fellow with a shitload of quirks. But when it comes to pork or beef or chicken preparation, there are few who can top him. What can I say? Michael knows meat!

One of those who could cook pork better than my man was his Aunt Alvina, who Michael called Aunt Bean Bean. Aunt Bean Bean could cook a smothered pork chop that would make you cry. First it was fried and then cooked in gravy. (Anyone need a tissue?) And whenever Michael asked Bean Bean for the recipe, she'd respond with, "a handful of this, a smidge of that." Hers was a recipe by feel rather than exact measurements.

Let me leave my pork diatribe for a moment. One Thanksgiving, Michael's family came to California from Alton, Illinois and Bean Bean proceeded to cook the entire meal. She even brought an extra suitcase which contained her own utensils and seasonings, worried of course that we had none of our own. I remember her at our stove with her own set of cooking spoons, stirring the mashed potatoes, ladling the gravy. She had her own way and didn't want anyone else in her (our) kitchen. It was one of the tastiest Thanksgiving dinners I've ever had.

When Bean Bean passed away, there was the typical family disputes that I've gotten used to with Michael's family. (One of Bean Bean's kids found out she had a different daddy than her siblings, at least that's the rumor.) I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but amidst the family squabbles I wanted that set of cooking spoons. I can't imagine they were worth anything, but they meant something to me because from the beginning, Aunt Bean Bean accepted me into her home and welcomed me into the family. And those spoons, that she packed in her suitcase, represented her love and acceptance. In between shouting matches we asked the family for Bean Bean's spoons, and a silence occurred. Her children loved that we wanted their mother's utensils. Not only did they pack up the spoons, but a whole bunch of other kitchen items. I'm not sure where most of that stuff is, but the spoons live proudly in our kitchen. The smothered pork chop recipe unfortunately is buried with her.

So, my trajectory has been hating the pork chop, to loving the pork chop, to cooking a mean pork chop my own damn self. Well, guess what we had for dinner last night? That's right, a bit of the pig. I washed and dried my chops, dipped them in beaten egg and then well seasoned flour, and placed them pretty as you please into heated canola oil. I know I've done good when my husband says, "You put your foot in those pork chops."

As I was cooking the chops I updated my running feed on Facebook which sent me to the above YouTube video. For those of you who were too skeeved out to watch it, there is a claim if Coca Cola is poured onto a pork chop, within two minutes worms will appear. They will be so disgusted with corrosive nature of the cola that they will have to crawl out of their cozy place in the meat. This is supposed to prove that all pork no matter the cut or expiration date has worms. And I had chops sizzling in canola.

As I served my kids dinner, I imagined child services ringing my doorbell because I didn't change the menu. And if that poor mother in North Dakota can be brought up on charges for drinking while breast feeding, then it seems to me that I easily could be hauled away for feeding my babies maggot infested pork.

After the dishes were cleared away, I decided to do a little research. I found this interesting... The Centers for Disease Control have noted incidents of trichinosis are now less common than it used to be. From 1997-2001 an average of twelve cases of pork related infections per year were reported. Only twelve! Really? The way I've heard people fretting, I imagined one in ten got trichinosis. See what happens when government regulations are in place, keeping us from feeding our hogs raw meat, garbage and sewage.

And there's a whole slew of other articles and YouTube videos about this very Coca Cola pork chop debacle. Evidently, it's been an urban legend for years. You can find undeniable proof that it's true and irrefutable evidence that it's a hoax. Which is it?

Instead of answering, I leave you with a Coca Cola pork chop recipe and an ode. I've not tried this recipe yet, however I think I may have to temp brain seizures in order to partake of its white trashy goodness.

Rewritten from the Bard...

Tis but my fork that is thy enemy;
What art thyself, if not a piece of pork?
What is pork? Is it not hock, nor rib,
Nor carnitas, nor moo shu, nor any other part
Belonging to a pig. But none compare to the chop!
The mouth watering bone-in pork chop
By any other name would taste as sweet.