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Thursday, January 27, 2005

Life in the Cubicle: part 3

Written in 2003, before I had a blog and before we had copious amounts of overwhelming public evidence that the US should never have gone to Iraq.

Oh yeah. This is what life is all about, kicking back after a hard day at ‘work’ with a coffee (your third over the legal daily quota) and a little yellow book called Cooking with Kenny. Kenny Rogers that is! (For the kids, Kenny Rogers is the guy who sings after Paul Simon on We Are the World. Don’t ask what We Are the World is).

I was sent this Pulitzer Prize nominee by good friend of mine Dave Miller, who has a child now and really should have known better. The books first chapter is mainly about; knowing when to grill ‘em, knowing when to turn ‘em, knowing when to slow sauté and knowing when to run. Seriously. The book also contains an unhealthy, by anyone’s standards, amount of pineapple.

There was pineapple in the coleslaw, pineapple all over the barbeque, pineapple upside-down cake, and finally a big bowl of pineapple pieces, beside some dish that unfortunately would have caught fire if pineapple were added. The chapter named, and I am not making this up at all, ‘Teen Party’ contains various recipes for a Hawaiian themed get together, including various pictures of an aqua green tape player and a scatter of cassette tapes. And which singer have the kids chosen to lead them through this difficult time of life? Tropical Kenny Rogers of course.

The reason for the abundance of tropicana was explained when I reread Kenny’s introduction. He could not thank the people at Dole Tinned Fruit Corporation enough for (surprisingly) giving him large amounts of money to make this book of (again surprise) pineapple related dishes. However, what may have come as a shock to both multiple Grammy Award winner Kenny Rogers and members of the Committee for Subtle World Domination at Dole is an article printed in the Seattle Times on Friday March 14th 2003 (sorry I can’t find the link again). It states that the US government is purchasing five handheld devices that can detect whether a tin-can contains grapefruit or pineapple. The device called a PASS and retailing at $20,000 each will be used in Iraq for the detection of chemical weapons and anything packaged in natural juice. You see, as the Iraqi army retreated from their enemies they removed the labels from all the cans thus disabling the normally hyper-efficient US armed forces.

Sergeant: What’s that soldier?

Private: Gee Sarge, I think it’s a can of delicious and refreshing Dole pineapple pieces in natural juice, but the label’s been removed

Sergeant: Good God don’t open that can, it could contain boysenberries in heavy syrup. Just sit tight, we’ll have to wait for the PASS corps to get here

Private: (scared) Sarge, is this what hell is like?

Sergeant: Yes son it is

Disclaimer: I do not really think that the above conversation actually happens in real life or in the army.

The PASS works by using ultrasound (literally “better sound than usual”). Here is the explanation straight from the Seattle Times.

“Ultrasonic signals, for example, travel the length of three football fields a second through the air, but 14 football fields a second through water. Through steel, the signals zip along at 58 football fields a second.”

When will Americans adopt the metric system and measure everything in car lengths?

Apparently the PASS can also tell Coke from Pepsi. This will be helpful to the army as its sponsorship deal is with Pepsi.

There is a problem, however, for the strong young patriots of the PASS corps; it seems that Iraq annoyingly destroyed all of its weapons of mass destruction before the war, just like they were asked to. Bastards!

Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld announced that it was “possible that they [Iraq] decided that they would destroy them [Weapons of Mass Destruction] prior to a conflict.”

The question was then, well what are you doing in Iraq? US Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz had the answer. "For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on,” Wolfowitz was quoted as saying in Vanity Fair magazine's July issue.

I have two burning questions (as I am sure you do devoted reader), 1. Is your name really Wolfowitz? 2. Why did the US Deputy Defence Secretary do an interview for Vanity Fair? Really the most important question is what does this have to do with Kenny Rogers? The answer, nothing as far as I can tell, but there is something funny about how he holds those BBQ tongs and he does have a beard. Kenny Rogers – Tropical Terrorist? Probably not, but there is something disturbing about the fact that now, under the rule of Shiite Muslim leaders, the showing of soft porn films in Iraqi cinemas is now illegal. “Um, so?” many of you are asking. Well this means that they are watching Sylvester Stallone movies now, or rather they are not, as movie audience numbers plummet. Soft porn was apparently one of the biggest draw cards in Saddam’s Iraq, people loved it. “Now really,” you are saying “this started out as a nice little piece about country legend Kenny Rogers and it has now degraded to discussion on the popularity of porn in pre-war Iraq.” The truth is that I was hoping somehow this could be brought back to pineapples.

So let us dispense with the segways and just say this. What about a TV series starring Kenny Rogers and Paul Holmes (name selected at random). This idea was also sent to me by Dave Miller, whose sanity I now fear for. I have changed the original concept a little. Paul Holmes and Kenny Rogers, driving around in a Chevrolet truck through the United States, with Kenny’s dog, Hooper. The guys can solve tinned fruit related crimes, sleep together in ditches, have sing-a-longs, shoot guns at Paul Holmes, and every episode they can somehow include a situation where Paul and Kenny need to cook something, describing in great detail the recipe, and saying at the end of the programme where the book and Dole pineapple can be purchased from...


Mike said...

Ha-HA! Me again, but this time I can comment as me. Damn their eyes for making me get a Blogger account just so I could give you sh...post comments under my own name. Never mind, I might find something else useful for it. Anyways, if you normally think in areas the size of Wales, then check out An area the size of Wales. It's almost as useful as car lengths. What we really need, though, are Kenny Rogers-equivalents. God knows what you'd measure with a Kenny Rogers, though. Recipes? Maybe only if it had pineapple in it.

Jenn said...

Wow, I can't believe you know about that cook book! Love it! I had it mostly as a joke, but fell in love with the pineapple upside down cake recipe. Somehow, the book got lost and I can't seem to track down the recipe on line. Any chance you could email it to me? Thanks!