Tuesday, February 14, 2023

IT'S STEW TIME!

As a man experienced in love, even though I haven't had any in a decade, I naturally have words of advice for the lovelorn and desperate on this holiday: give her a puppy, and go eat by yourself somewhere. Same for women. That way both of you will have a full meal, and come home to a creature that is happy to see you. It's simple, it's practical, and like every relationship it makes a mess of your social life.

The stupendous thing about Valentine's Day is that the rest of us can enjoy hearty grub and drinks in places with a bare bones ambiance, undisturbed by the swooning, cooing, sickening sounds, and sweaty crowds at beautiful romantic little restaurants with precious desserts, lovingly plated entrees, and exorbitant prices.

I'm thinking stew. Meat on the bone, potatoes, and glass of hearty red.
Any woman worth her metal is probably thinking the same.
And nowhere the smell of roses.

I'll probably go down to Chinatown, to a chachanteng for milk tea and a good meal. There will be no melting couples there, the tables do not have precious little vases with single red roses in them, no one down on bended knee making a proposal, and no soft and suitable music. It will be great. Unfortunately they don't do what you know as stew, and my other idea -- baked Portuguese chicken rice, suitable for one person with an appetite, or two people to casually share over the newspaper comics page -- is also not one of their specialties.
The problem with trying to paint baked portuguese chicken rice (焗葡國雞飯 'pou gwok kai faan') is that it's slopped with a mild curry sauce, then sprinkled with cheese before it's put under the broiler. So everything is a range of muddy orange, yellow, and pale warm brown. No actual recognizable anything. The chicken and potato chunks (there MUST be potato chunks) are hidden under an ochre-hued blanket. Shapeless and formless. The melted cheese further disguises the terrain.

Note that I've left out the shredded coconut and optional roasted chili peanuts, because they would only further muddle the picture.

If you see someone with two pipes on his table and cup of Hong Kong Milk Tea, waiting for his order to arrive, that will be me.


My imaginary next girlfriend, in case you were wondering, has a good appetite, likes spicy food, and would probably enjoy doing the crossword puzzle while smoking her pipe after lunch. Rattray's Old Gowrie (a broken flake) or Arango's Balkan Supreme, maybe.
I have a lovely unsmoked Peterson bent apple system which is suitable.
A no-nonsense shape, but just feminine enough.
When I saw it years ago I just had to acquire it, as it was perfect. But I never smoked it.
It wouldn't look right sticking out of my face. I am too angular and scowly.
It would look very happy with a woman.


If, like Rat and Pig in Stephan Pastis' comic strip Pearls Before Swine, you are celebrating 'Not Having Anyone Around To Constrain Your Freedom Day' by eating cold pizza alone, you too need to follow it with a pipe full of fine tobacco afterwards.

No sweetened flavoured mixtures.
Good stuff.


Take a walk around the neighborhood while doing so.
Avoid couples. Or people walking a puppy.
And anyone with roses.




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