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Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Genetics of Sausage-Making. Really.

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My parents went to a meeting at their doctor’s today.  Apparently he has some scam where he has figured out how to get people to throw money at him without doing anything he doesn’t normally do, without also having to strip. Good for him.

As my mother was registering for this event,  the nurse detected her accent and asked her where she’s from.

“I was born in Portugal.”  Never mind she had lived more years in California than in Portugal by the time she was forty.

“Oh, then, you must know how to make good sausage.”

Cue a lot of blinking from my mother.  “Erm…. no…. I don’t make…”

“Well then your mother must’ve.”  Oh great.  She thinks it’s genetic.

“Erm, well, no… we’re from a city.” Seriously.  They had some cornfields.  But they were such clueless city folk, when my mother’s aunt moved to Leonore, a farm town in Central California, she thought it appropriate to SQUEEZE A CHICKEN to get the eggs out by breakfast.

Yes I said squeeze it.  Like a toothpaste tube. Let’s all have a moment of silence for that chicken that died that morning, its little chicken day ruined by a broken egg where no broken egg should ever be.

That woman did not ever make a sausage.  Neither did my grandmother, her mother, my mother, or any of my grandmother’s sisters, cousins or nieces, irrespective to how many post-fourth grade years they have completed.  None of them did it.  They were too busy catching the train.

Years ago, my grandmother’s neighbors were out on their front lawn, armpit deep in intestines, curing them to make sausage, when we rolled up in our Sunday best.  That smell is something that I will never forget.  To describe the horror of it wouldn’t do it any justice; it nearly seemed to suck the oxygen out of the air itself.  It was like being covered in a moldy blanket in a dank trunk.  And how it smelled like a whole lot of work.

Having smelled that, and with the utmost respect for those who endure it for the rest of us,  I will never understand how that woman was inspired to shoot my mother a look of abject disappointment when she said this:

“I can tell you where to buy it.”

I’m BACK!!

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For a long time, I’ve kind of given up on my writing.  Anyone who really knows me knows a grand streak of insecurity has followed me from my childhood, through high school and college, through my teaching career to…well, whatever you call what I’m doing now.  I kind of gave up on it.

Then I just, on a whim, entered my monologue from the Marsh in a contest for a scholarship to go to the Disquiet Festival.   And I won a spot.

Yes, folks, Prodigal Lusophone is going to Portugal this summer.   Do I expect them to kill the fatted calf?  No.  But it would be nice if I can eat some veal a couple of times and go shoe shopping.  I can’t wait!