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• I bought a frozen pizza at the supermarket that screamed "10 toppings!" in bright big print on the front of the box. The picture looked good. I was hungry for pizza. I bought it. Somewhere, a marketing director smiled. I took the pizza out of the carton at home and read the list of the 10 toppings. One was oregano, one was garlic. I'm surprised they didn't count the sauce as a topping. I felt tricked and won't buy that brand again. Somewhere, a marketing director goofed.

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• Actually, whoever decided to top the pizza with garlic is the one who goofed. The only time garlic belongs on a pizza as a topping is if you're serving it to a vampire who has invited himself to dinner. "Here, count, try a slice of this!" Lugosi cringes.

• Speaking of vampires, you can't ward 'em off with just a cross. It's got to be a crucifix.

• You've seen the TV commercial for Pizza Hut, no doubt, that shows customers in the restaurant gushing about menu items. A Chyron on the screen alerts us, "Real people on hidden camera." This helps us differentiate from imaginary people.

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• I was drinking some V8 the other night and was inspired to mix a bloody mary. I have been known to easily include a dozen ingredients (I think I hit 18 once) in a bloody mary, including oregano and garlic, which are legitimate ingredients for a bloody mary as opposed to being a way to jack that big bright print number into the double digits. But in Week 3 of Life Without a Kitchen, I was stuck with working with just the ingredients in the refrigerator, which is parked on the back porch. I didn't even have a proper glass to mix it in; I had to use a paper cup. So I kind of mixed it together by instinct: V8, Frank's Hot Sauce, Rose's Sweetened Lime Juice and A1 Steak Sauce. Although it's been a couple of years since I mixed a bloody mary, and although I didn't have many of my favorite ingredients to work with (OK, I'll tell you one of them: horseradish), it was still pretty damned good. So damned good that I quickly mixed another to make sure the first hadn't been an accident. And the second one was even better.

• Why is it humanly impossible to wait for the pizza to cool to a temperature that will allow it to be eaten without massive burning of the roof of the mouth? And why doesn't scar tissue build up on the roof of the mouth to make it impervious to molten mozarella burns?

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Bram Stoker

• The sex in Bram Stoker's Dracula is “sex without genitalia, sex without confusion, sex without responsibility, sex without guilt, sex without love — better yet, sex without mention” — James Twitchell. It's a very naughty book.

• The thing I like about a bloody mary is that a good one tastes so good that I want to drink it down all at once. Then I mix another and do the same thing. After about three of them, the vodka hammer strikes. I like that feeling.

• I didn't even know how to spell it, but a Google search got me to "lupe garu" almost instantaneously.

• When I was still in the newspaper game, a couple came into the newsroom one afternoon with a hand-written item they wanted me to put in the paper about the birth of their son. They gave his first name, his last name—and his middle name: "Alucard." I refused to print the item and urged them not to have their son baptized.

• "Even a man who is pure at heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolf-bane blooms and the moon is full and bright." I didn't need to Google that one: It's part of the permanent collection.

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• Let's have a big hand for Larry Talbot, please! Larry Talbot.


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 22nd, 2009 04:23 am (UTC)
Re: The Pizza Hut commercials

My friends always bring this up every time we see one. Instead of showing satisfaction over Pizza Hut's new food, you'd think these "real people" would be peeved that their trip to an expensive Italian restaurant yielded them Pizza Hut.

Also, the people at the old Pizza Hut in Olean told us they "ran out" of large pizzas, so they replaced the one we ordered with two mediums.
Jul. 22nd, 2009 12:49 pm (UTC)
I'm a long way removed from taking geometry (1968-69, to be precise), but I think you'd get more pie if they gave you two mediums at the same price, wouldn't you?

By the way, this is a case where the plural of "medium" isn't "media."
Jul. 22nd, 2009 11:53 am (UTC)
And what were you drinking while writing this post???
Jul. 22nd, 2009 12:45 pm (UTC)
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Jul. 22nd, 2009 12:09 pm (UTC)
Jul. 22nd, 2009 12:46 pm (UTC)
He shows up occasionally when I teach newswriting, as a character in a story I'm assigning: "Al Ucard," for instance.
Jul. 22nd, 2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
That's almost as slick as "Dr. Acula"
Jul. 22nd, 2009 04:13 pm (UTC)
I like that!
Jul. 22nd, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately I can't take credit. I heard that on...I want to say Scrubs?
Jul. 22nd, 2009 01:37 pm (UTC)
Ah, a post on my four favorite subjects.

I'm eating some chips right now (well, crisps over here in Jolly Old England), and printed in a prominent position on the front of the bag is the proud announcement "Made with Real Ingredients."

Lord knows what their competitors use.
Jul. 22nd, 2009 04:14 pm (UTC)
Cam, those chips: are they, by any chance, "oven-baked"?
Jul. 22nd, 2009 06:37 pm (UTC)
Doesn't say, though they feel like kettle chips. They're called Walkers Sensations. Walkers seems to be like Lays over here (even Europe's brand names are more active). Sensations seems to be their slightly pricier branch of chips, but they were on sale: 2 bags for the rough equivalent of $3.20. The flavor I've got is "Thai Sweet Chilli," if that gives you any indication of the type of product they're slinging.

Also: the back boasts of their use of "thicker cut, quality Lady Rosetta and Saturna potatoes [...] infused with real ingredients to pack a powerful and passionate punch, leaving you just a little hot under the collar."
Jul. 22nd, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC)
Add Worcestershire sauce and tobasco sauce to your Bloody Mary next time and let me know what you think. Gives it a hell of a kick.
Jul. 22nd, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
I've shuffled those ingredients in and out of the recipe over the years, sometimes in tandem with the ingredients I mentioned, sometimes not. Worthy additions, both.
Jul. 23rd, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)
If you're posting about werewolves, I hear they go well with pina coladas.
Jul. 23rd, 2009 01:56 pm (UTC)
Did you notice Larry's hair?
Jul. 23rd, 2009 12:28 pm (UTC)
I think you've come precariously close to exceeding the having-too-much-fun limit clearly established in the rules and regulations section of lj.
Jul. 23rd, 2009 01:56 pm (UTC)
I don't know how that stuff happens, I really don't.
Jul. 23rd, 2009 03:10 pm (UTC)
"This helps us differentiate from imaginary people."

This made me smile :)
Jul. 23rd, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC)
Glad you got a laugh out of it.

Thanks for posting your photographs. I've been seeing your photo credit a lot in the paper. Good experience and good for the portfolio.
Jul. 23rd, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
Clippings which I have been saving and scanning so I don't have to scramble to do for your Internship class next semester :)
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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• Journal title and subtitle: Ian Hunter, “Man Overboard”


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