Most mornings, I wake up early.
I start a cup of coffee, have some yogurt, and eat vitamin and fiber chews.
Then I get out my wireless headset so I can listen to my favorite podcasts.
At some point, Tinny jumps up on my shoulder and takes a nap. And I pet her.
I can type or text while my arm is around her. She doesn’t mind much.
The earlier, the better. More time to pet her. But at some point, I have to get up, shower, get dressed, and go to work.
She hates those goodbyes.
I do too.

Grandparents Place

When I was little, my dad would drive us to my grandparents’ place in Chicago.
We’d visit for family things. Dinners out or dinners in.
Well, that, and to pick up the dry-cleaning. They owned a chain of dry-cleaning stores.
Sometimes, we’d borrow one of his employees to work as a maid.
They all looked so sick and weary.
Carbon tetrachloride cleaning solution. Nasty stuff.
My grandfather died from that stuff.
And dozens of his employees. Dozens.
You don’t tell your children about this kind of thing.
My other grandparents ran a grocer’s warehouse.
We just visited for free food.


These Left Twix vs. Right Twix commercials are annoyingly stupid.
There is no Left and Right Twix.
The packaging opens from the left and right, but the two pieces are Top and Bottom.
And I don’t think a candy bar company would ask:
“Are you a Top or Bottom?”
While the Twix assholes work their shit out.
I’ll be eating Kit Kat.
Because it’s not Left, Right, Top and Bottom.
it’s all one bar.
Although their commercials are wrong, too.
I never break off a piece of a Kit Kat bar for anybody.
I just give them their own bar.


What do you dip your fries in?
Cheese dip?
Barbecue sauce?

I like sour cream with my fries.
What’s so weird about sour cream?
They’re potatoes, right?
And what do people usually have with potatoes?
Sour cream.
And bacon bits.
And green onions.
And cheese.
Not the cheese dip crap, but real cheese.

Why not just make a baked potato?
Because I can pick up fries a lot quicker than it takes to make a baked potato.
And it’s harder to dip a baked potato.
Cut it up, and it crumples apart on your fork.
Fries. Fries.

Fried Baby

They said that if I tried to open a restaurant that served fried baby, the townspeople would chase me with torches and pitchforks.
But the truth is, they’ve been pretty good to me.
The zoning commission approved the lot. Right next to an adoption agency. The building inspector says that the restaurant is up to code, and the health inspector says that the kitchen is clean.
“Don’t forget hairnets,” he says.
“On the babies?” I ask.
“No, for your fry cooks,” he replies. “Babies are usually bald, right?”
“Oh, right,” I say.
The town arrives.
Brandishing pitchforks?
No, waving coupons.

Funny Turnover

Things are a bit shaky where I work.
There’s been a lot of turnover recently.
When employees quit or get fired, management sends out a memo to the staff to let them know.
That way, you know who to go to for something.
But they never say why the person is leaving.
Some say it was sexual harassment
Other say it as a personality conflict with bosses.
Instead of participating in water-cooler gossip, I just assume that they were eaten by clowns.
So, when they hired a clown for my surprise birthday party, I stabbed him with the cake knife.


Every year, we go to the lavender festival.
You’d think there’s only so many things you can do with lavender, like grow it in a pot or dry it for a scented pillow, you’re wrong.
We cook with it.
We clean with it.
And we even bathe with it.
But most importantly, it keeps away the alien invaders.
No, not the retirees from California.
Real aliens. From outer space.
And they’re deathly allergic to lavender.
We offer pamphlets about them, but don’t beat anyone over the head with it.
Except for the aliens’ human agents, I suppose.
Are you one?

Slippery When Lard

Usually, The Girl Scouts sell cookies to fund their troops and overhead costs.
But the boxes of cookies don’t offer much of a profit margin, and sometimes people flake out on their orders.
Meagan, who has an Entrepreneurship badge, suggested that her troop sell something with much greater profit potential.
So, they did the market research and came up with a plan to sell titanium hip replacements to the residents of the nearby nursing home.
“Installation not included,” she said with a wink.
The troop giggled with her, and they went back to wiping the floors down with slippery Crisco.

Cook the books

We had a good deal going between me, Bill, Steve, and Ted.
Bill runs the front company.
Steve runs the back end.
Ted’s the numbers guy.
He cooks the books. The books.
Sometimes, he cooks them in a wok.
Other times, he cooks them in a crockpot.
Once, he cooked them in a pressure cooker.
Man, those books cooked up good.
What’s the front company?
A restaurant. A great restaurant.
Yep. The special is book.
(We tell them it’s veal.)
People eat the evidence. The fucking evidence. And they love it.
Two thumbs up, and Michelin stars on the way.

Radish Flower

Jacob’s on Grant is my favorite restaurant.
What’s good there?
Well, it’s not on the menu. And it’s not on the off-menu menu, either.
But everybody ends up getting it.
It’s the radish that the chef cuts up like a flower and puts on every plate as garnish.
Seriously. I shit you not.
That radish is soaked in something special, because it tastes absolutely amazing.
Unlike anything I’ve ever tasted.
Whenever I go to Jacob’s and I see someone leaving a radish-flower on their plate, I ask them if I can have it.
Oh, and the salmon is okay, too.