Issue #14 August 4th - August 17th, 2006

Time Off Is For Bad Behavior

Pirates of the Blackened Grill

The Go-Gos remarked that “vacation was meant to be spent alone.” It sounds so good... alone. Master of your own destiny, Cap’n of your own fate, driver of your own school bus. None of the “where do you want to go for lunch…I don’t care either, you pick…no, not there,” conversations will concern you this week. It is you alone, who’ll have pad-thai three (or even seven) times a day, or maybe it’s time to try that ‘Joan Collins Celebrity Diet.’ Nothing but vodka and Collins’ mix ought to drop a couple of vanity lbs. You are a free spirit and you have only you and your Gods to answer to.

Vacations, however, always follow the same themes. Be it a trip to an exotic local, a lazy time at home catching up on reading and housework, or even taking the whole clan to Six Knox Frontier Berryfarm Flag Cityland in the new Fifth Wheel, there are things that all vacations share.

For one thing they all start the same. So much of our lives are spent at work that time off is like leaving the kids with the in-laws for the first time. At first you’re afraid they’ll call… something has happened and only I can fix it, I am important and needed. Then when no one calls, you start to relax. Still, in the back of your mind there’s always that voice… I’m really not needed… I am unimportant… now that Wilson has been doing the job for a week he’ll probably get the promotion I’ve been bustin’ my ass to get. You try to alleviate your fears… I’m the guy that unclogs the wood-chipper… I forward all of those e-mails everybody loves…Wilson’s an idiot, they need me.

On the second day you start to force yourself to start enjoying your time off. You’re next to the pool with a tropical drink in hand; reading the book you got for Christmas that you’d been meaning to crack. ‘This is the life’ you think to yourself, ’I’ll have my mail forwarded here to the pool, I’ll meet hot chicks and they’ll think I’m smart and sensitive, ’cause I’m reading the Dr. Phil book.’ Second day sunburn quickly ends your dreams of relocation. Vacation was meant to be spent alone.

The next phase of any vacation, be it at home or abroad, is exploration. The days in the middle of any holiday, three-day weekend, Vegas road trip or spring breaks in Mexico are for doing and seeing the things you don’t everyday. Maybe taking some pictures of yourself having fun. This goes one of two ways; if you’re alone you wish there was someone to share it with, but if you’re with others you wish they’d give you a chance to enjoy it without bugging you. Vacation was meant to be spent alone.

Truthfully being alone is lonely, everyone is at work, or in school, it’s just you and the daytime TV. Let’s face it daytime TV was the reason you got a job in the first place. It is entertainment of the lowest denominator (no offence intended to Bob Barker,) and all the commercials are lawyers and vocational training. Saying in no uncertain terms that the only reason you would possibly be watching this is if you’d been injured in an accident. They can get you the money you need to start your career as a medical/dental billing accountant or computer technician.

In the spirit of vacation we decided to give Mister Fish a break from cleaning the galley, so we commandeered the fryer vats of the H.M.S. Champion’s Bar and Grill. So a speacial thanks to their kitchen crew for all of the help.

Here’s what we used:

• 3 eggs
• 1 qt. Buttermilk
• 5 ½ oz of pancake mix
• 1 ½ TBL season salt
• 1 tbs. garlic powder
• 1 tbs. black pepper
• 1 tbs. white pepper
• 1 tbs. paprika
• 4 avocados
• 8 oz cream cheese

Here’s what we do:

In one shallow pan combine the eggs and buttermilk and mix well, in another combine all dry ingredients. Core, peal and slice avocados. Pinch bits of cream cheese into crescent shapes and mold to one side of avocado slices. Now, drench slices one at a time in the egg bath, and then toss them in the dry mix. Repeat this step, they should have a nice thick coating of batter. Flash fry at 335 degrees they should crisp quickly. Serve with ranch or other dipping sauce.

Just as all vacations begin alike, so must they end the same. You’ve spent more than you could afford, you’ve done less than you intended and you’d rather have a root canal sans anesthetic than return to the old salt mine. Oh well, somebody has to pay the bills.

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