“Okay, pick one”
HODGE PODGE LODGE – I need you all to take a seat in here… somewhere. Most of you will be sitting on the floor. I vacuumed it a couple of weeks back, so it’s more than sanitized. You could eat popcorn off that floor. Literally. There’s some over there in the corner. Well, it’s gone now. Harold is quick. Isn’t he quick?
Did you have any trouble finding this place? I’m sure you realize there are 915 Hodge Podge Lodges in the lower 48. This one just happens to be at my house. There is no listing in any directory that I’m aware of.
No, I just opened my HP Lodge about three minutes before I started the first paragraph up there. Somewhat ingenious, you ask me. Anyone asking? Anybody?
Well, here’s the deal. I’ve got several topics I’d like to discuss today. Somewhat of a hodge podge of stuff. Get it? Unfortunately, I can’t settle on any one topic. So, I decided to make use of your collective wisdom and let y’all pick the topic for me… for us.
No, I don’t care to explain it again. I’m just going to go ahead and describe the different ideas and let you choose the one you like the most… or hate the least. – Oh, and for a snack you’ll find a big bowl of peanuts over there by the—Yeah, I see you found it.
Okay, if everyone is lucid, here’s your first topic up for vote. “Supreme.” Do you know what that word means? A lot of people don’t. SUPREME refers to the best you can get. By definition it’s “the highest in degree or quality.” Unfortunately, the word has been messed with over the years.
I was at a popular Mexican Food restaurant today with my short-tempered friend Brad. I had looked over the multi-page menu for about ten minutes when the waiter came by for the third time to ask if we were ready to order.
I answered his question with a question. I hated to, but it needed done? I asked him the difference between a Supreme Tostado and an Ultra Tostado (a tostado being a flat crispy tortilla with meat and/or beans on top.) The waiter kindly pressed down hard on Brad’s shoulders to keep him from coming across the table and strangling me. The Bradford was ready to order.
Anyway, as Brad swore at me, the waiter explained that an Ultra Tostado has meat on it and a Supreme doesn’t… thus making the Ultra better than the Supreme. Better than the highest degree or quality.
That revelation made me curious as all get out as to what a “regular” tostado would be. Lettuce and cheese? SUPREME my foot! There oughtta be a menu law.
See? Now that’s a pretty good discussion topic, isn’t it? Well, don’t vote on it yet. Here’s another. “Exercise.” We all know we should, but only 18 people in Montgomery County actually do it. That said, let me ask you this. Do you think that “Boot Camp” is a good name for an exercise program? Do the two words, when placed together, entice you to pay money and drive miles, or do they scare the willies out of you? – “Somebody make me exercise? It’s genius!”
When dragged into an event kicking and screaming, you’re more likely to participate. It’s part of the Wo-Tang Principle first taught by Zhaka Zulu.
Unfortunately, there’s a big flaw in the concept. I just can’t see anybody making me show up for Boot Camp. Unless the camp is in my living room and the instructor has a key to the front door, it’s not happening.
I can go into depth about the Boot Camp if I have to. Might upset some drill sergeants, but I could go on. For now, though, let’s move on to another possible topic. “Meat smokers.” Last month, Big Al smoked a big ol’ pork roast for our Christmas meal. The meal was the best thing I got for Christmas. I did some serious clawing and biting for leftovers, too. I’m so glad Mom wasn’t around to witness what we’ve become.
So, ever since Christmas I’ve wanted a smoker. I don’t want one like Big Al’s, though. He’s got the giant metal monster with a wood box and chimney and all that. I don’t want anything big and heavy, unless it’s in a Hershey’s wrapper.
Big Al had to tend his smoker all day. I don’t have the wood or the discipline to do something like that. I’ve got just enough patience to apply direct flame. Burn it good. I’ve been known to char some pretty gnarly things and get away with it. But play with a rack of ribs for hours? The words “slow” and “cook,” when put together, become bad words, do they not?.
No, I want something that I can throw on a grill when I’m not even hungry, and then walk away and forget about. Eight hours later an alarm goes off and I say, “Whoa! The meat! I forgot all about it.” I go outside, fork a slab of something onto a platter and walk it into the house. That’s what I want.
They call something like that an electric smoker. A lot of people say that an electric smoker not only doesn’t give meat a smoky enough flavor, but it’s also only meant for sissies to use. Hey, I’ve read the reviews.
Anyway, I don’t want to get into all of that unless I’m forced. When you start talking about BBQ grills and smokers you can really stir the proverbial pot of nasty. So, I urge you not to vote on that topic.
The next topic is bicycles. Yesterday, Kay and I were in Academy. I’m over there looking at smokers and she grabs me by the belt loop and drags me over to the-- Yes? Oh my goodness. You’re right. Time. We have no more.
So, we… what? We vote? No, that’d be stupid, wouldn’t it. We’re out of space and time and peanuts. Speaking of which, I just wish you’d look at this floor. Kay is gonna raise a fit. And, do you think my vacuum will pick all of that up? Pathetic.
No, it’s my fault. I shouldn’t have tried such a bizarre experiment in topic selection. I’m not saying I’ll never do it again, but the next Hodge Podge Lodge activity will be held outdoors. This in-the-study thing is over as of now. Some of you guys can’t be trusted. – Harold, don’t you give me that look! I know a boot camp with your name on it, Li’l Mister.
To view Brad and Mark’s review of Schilleci’s New Orleans Kitchen click here: Pizza! You can reach Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org