My Creations, Places I like

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Ides of March

"Oh God! Why did it have to be daggers!?!?"

    Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears! I am hesitant to even discuss the things I am about to discuss in fear it will bring me more bad luck; but what the hell, I make my own luck *flips coin*. I guess that reference to Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight was a bad call because if your the one person on the planet who didn't see that movie this is what happens to him later...

    Poor Harvey. At least he gets to become a badass evil doer in the end, right? C'mon everyone has fantasized about being a sweet bad guy (or girl) at some point in their life. The good guys always win but I think we can all agree that the bad guys are just way cooler. Was batman even in this movie? Oh that's right, he was living in the shadow of the Joker the entire time. There is a kid named Anthony who works with me at Sperry's and whenever he screws things up we call him "Tony Bologna", as in "I wonder who is going to show up for work today. 'Tony A-team' or 'Tony Bologna'". Even Lee, our newest Saute Chef has his own version. When Bologna cleans oysters and clams he always leaves the shell fragments in the sink on the line so Lee has started calling Anthony "Barnacle Bill"--a nickname that to this day I cannot say out loud without laughing. I'm even laughing right now as I type this. The point I am trying to make here is that evil doers are not just found in the movies, they're all around us. I myself have an evil alter ago at work you all are probably unaware of. One day I left something out on Greg's prep table and he reminded me of it later. We had a humorous discussion about me needing an evil alter ego similar to Tony Bologna. It was through this discussion that "Petey Prosciutto" was born. Whenever I leave a pot of water on for too long or forget to do something I said I would do (which is rarer than blue Zebras) "Petey Prosciutto" comes out. I even have a voice that accompanies too (why wouldn't I, right?). Its the "Myeah ya see" wiseguy voice as in "Listen up BUCKO and listen good. You must think you're the cats meow around here, but there's a new sheriff in town ya see? Myeah!" We like to have fun. When you work in the same place for 60 hours a week you might as well enjoy yourself, right?

    Now lets return to our regular scheduled program shall we? The other day we needed to make a giant batch of Cesar dressing for our station. A cornucopia of Cesar dressing if you will. Yes a cornucopia. Since its track season everything that has a stable shelf life gets scaled up to infinity. I go to grab the lemon juice from the cooler and realize that there is none. That's ok, I know the hot side has some in their cooler I'll just borrow theirs. Nope they don't have any either. "Your gonna have to juice lemons by hand" I hear from the dessert station. *Record skips off the track* *jogs to dessert station* "did you say by hand?" I mutter to Greg. "Yeah, why how much do you need?", he asks.  *looks at ceiling* *does calculations in head* "four cups?" "Oh wow your gonna need probably 40 lemons for that. You can borrow my reamer only if you promise to wash it and personally deliver it to me when you're done." "Or you'll 'ream' me out, right??" This is the type of relationship Greg and I have. I mean seriously. One day I asked him if our chocolate lava cake was false advertising because the center of the cake doesn't ooze out like lava. His response? "Well that is why we smother it with chocolate ganache" For any normal individual that would be enough; but for me, its never enough. "So then shouldn't it be called a chocolate magma cake?" I ask with a shit eating grin on my face. "No because lava and magma are the same thing" he responds, equally engaged in the nonsensical conversation as I am. "Let the answerer of all answers get to the bottom of this", I say as I scroll through the internet on my phone. "AHA! magma is molten rock that exists inside a volcano in magma chambers. When the volcano erupts magma spews out in the form of lava" Let it be known from this day forward that Sperry's chocolate lava cake is actually a chocolate lava magma cake. This is groundbreaking science at its core (pun not intended...ok pun intended). Pete: 1 Greg: 0

    Lets fast forward. I just left the cooler with Greg's rough estimate of 40 lemons and began juicing them one by stinking one. I juice all 40 lemons through a chinois (or "fine mesh sieve" if you're a jabroni), before pouring the juice into a measuring cup. I bend down to read the measurement, and say "Goddamnit" before dropping the chinois on the table and going to grab the remaining ingredients. When I return Chef Michael, who was prepping next to me the whole time, says: "what was that all about just then?" "There was no lemon juice in house so I had to juice all these lemons by hand for the Cesar dressing" "Yeah?", he says looking confused. "Well I needed four cups, and Greg thought it would take me about 40 lemons to get that much juice...guess how many it took?" Chef Michael now smiling, "I'm guessing 40." I nod my head and we both look over at Greg who was displaying a "what?" type face. I guess when you're working with ingredients all day that if altered a tenth of a gram they can drastically affect your finished product you tend to have a good eye for things. Pete: 1 Greg: 1 (Greg also has an alter ego, but its not an evil doer alter ego. During Sunday brunch one day Greg cooked up the most delicious batch of glazed doughnuts I've ever tasted, and I HATE doughnuts. I made the executive decision to call him "Guru Greg" on Sundays...but that's for another post)

    I finished mixing the Cesar together with a mega immersion blender (or "stick blender"; again, if you're a jabroni), and was making my way to the cooler carrying the five gallons of dressing. I was almost to the cooler door when this happened:

     My fingers must've been oily from blending the dressing together because the giant Lexan of Cesar slipped right out of my hands and crashed to the floor. Close to five gallons of Cesar dressing and 40 hand juiced lemons down the drain. I had effectively created my own BP oil spill right outside the walk-in cooler...Quickly and quietly I grabbed one of the dishwashers to help with the spill (it was far to big of a mess to mop up so the shop vac was required) hoping no one else would come back and notice. "Don't let Chef Michael see this. We just cleaned the floor earlier today", the dishwasher explained. Sure enough within seconds Spaniard came waltzing by. "Whad you do!?!?" Chef Spain screamed, laughing hysterically. "SHHH! I spilled the Cesar dressing. Don't let anyone else see, ok?" "You got it, I won't tell a soul", he said to me as he walked away. Moments later people were running back to see what I did. "That little bitch!", I mutter to myself before Chef Michael arrived on the scene. He took one look at the spill, nodded his head, and walked away.

    After the mess was eradicated I walked over to the hot side and gave Chef Michael the damage results. Thankfully I had the foresight to pour some of the Cesar dressing into quart containers before I made an oops, otherwise we would've been screwed for service. When I told him how much we lost he laughed and told me to not worry about it. I cannot tell you how vital it is to have a Sous Chef who isn't a dick. He could have tore me a new asshole for my accident, and he would have been completely in the right. But he didn't, and my respect for him went up even higher than it was before.

    When I returned to my station, Chef Mark, my station partner, asked me what happened. I just looked at him and replied: "The Ides of March is what happened." He laughed and we set up our station. Later that night, whenever something went wrong Mark would shake his head and say to himself, "The Ides of March". I know what you're thinking. You're probably thinking, "doesn't he know its August?" Well I was making a reference to Julius Cesar from Shakespeare's play (who's name has nothing to do with Cesar dressing) where he was warned to "beware the Ides of March". I blame this whole mess on the soothsayers. Damn soothsayers...

    Even tonight, days after my great oil spill I noticed a sizzle plate lying on the ground next to the dessert station. Being the good employee that I am, I reached down to pick it up. "YIKES!!" I cry out. The sizzle plate must have been in the oven because it was scorching hot. When I returned to the salad station Mark asked me why I screamed. I replied to him: "God damn Ides of March". Towards the end of the night I found myself in the walk-in cooler shucking a dozen oysters for an order when all of a sudden I hear a crash from outside the cooler. I race out to see what happened only to find Mark bent over picking up a stack of sizzle plates that were scattered all over the floor. I asked Mark what happened and he stands up, looks at me and doesn't say a word. His mouth said nothing but his face said everything..."God damn Ides, man."

Side Note: Sorry Mom and Dad for all the foul language in this post (my Dad thinks its poor taste), but have you ever tried to watch Pulp Fiction on TV? "Snuff you!" I mean, come on already. You can't tell me you haven't watched a poorly edited movie on TV and weren't half hoping the editors slipped up and forgot to edit out one of the curse words...Although I will say Samuel L Jackson's line in the edited version of Snakes on a plane may be the funniest edited line in the history of movies. With a little TV magic, "I'm sick of these mother fuckin' snakes on this mother fuckin' plane!" suddenly becomes "I'm sick of these monkey fightin' snakes on this Monday to Friday plane!" I kid you not. But don't take it from me, just ask Samuel L Jackson himself...

    Its so epic that if you type "Snakes on a Plane" into YouTube, the 3rd search suggestion is "Snakes on a Plane TV edit". Its the type of perfection that this world needs right now. I don't wanna toot my own horn or anything but this post is awesome. I hope you have half as much fun reading it as I did writing it. Cheers.

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