Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Phoodie Phriday



Excerpt from guardian.co.uk

From a distance it resembled a rather large man in a fur coat, leaning tenderly over the grave of a loved one. But when the two women in the Russian village of Vezhnya Tchova came closer they realised there was a bear in the cemetery eating a body.

Russian bears have grown so desperate after a scorching summer they have started digging up and eating corpses in municipal cemetries, alarmed officials said today. Bears' traditional food – mushrooms, berries and the odd frog – has disappeared, they added.

The Vezhnya Tchova incident took place on Saturday in the northern republic of Komi, near the Arctic Circle. The shocked women cried in panic, frightening the bear back into the woods, before they discovered a ghoulish scene with the clothes of the bear's already-dead victim chucked over adjacent tombstones, the Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomelets reported.

Local people said that bears had resorted to scavenging in towns and villages - rummaging through bins, stealing garden carrots and raiding tips. A young man had been mauled in the centre of Syktyvkar, Komi's capital. "They are really hungry this year. It's a big problem. Many of them are not going to survive," said Simion Razmislov, the vice-president of Komi's hunting and fishing society.

World Wildlife Fund Russia said there had been a similar case two years ago in the town of Kandalaksha, in the northern Karelia republic. "You have to remember that bears are natural scavengers. In the US and Canada you can't leave any food in tents in national parks," said Masha Vorontsova, Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in Russia.

"In Karelia one bear learned how to do it [open a coffin]. He then taught the others," she added, suggesting: "They are pretty quick learners."

The only way to get rid of the bears would be to frighten them with something noisy like a firework or shoot them, she said.

According to Vorontsova, the omnivorous bears had "plenty to eat" this autumn, with foods such as fish and ants at normal levels. The bears raided graveyards because they offered a supply of easy food, she said, a bit like a giant refrigerator. "The story is horrible. Nobody wants to think about having a much loved member of their family eaten by a bear."

The bear population in Russia is relatively stable with numbers between 120,000 and 140,000. The biggest threat isn't starvation but hunting - with VIP sportsmen and wealthy gun enthusiasts wiping out most of the large male bears in Kamchatka, in Russia's Far East. Chinese poachers have killed many black bears near the border, selling their claws and other parts in markets.

The Russian government is drafting legislation to ban the killing of bears during the breeding season.

Suggested pairing: Trafalgar Malted Corpse

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Do You Have A Club Card?


Ah, yes, the supermarket. An icon of Western bounty, a finely tuned and impeccably choreographed meeting of marketing, logistics, inventory control, customer service, and idiots.

Each full cart, each teeming basket, is a reflection of the tastes, the needs, and the indulgences of the individual presenting it to the checkout clerk. I submit that a grocery bill could tell you more about a person than a conversation. I am also a man who hates conversation, so please humor me when I say that seven inches of roll tape is a more meaningful relationship-building tool than suffering through three to five minutes of completely numbing and banal dialogue with a practiced stooge.

Given this perceived (manufactured?) intimacy regarding one's food purchases, of course my inclination is to pervert it; to make something common into something deviant. I amuse myself with thoughts of product combinations that would raise an eyebrow, create a stifled laugh, or cause concern. For example:

A cucumber, an eggplant, a butternut squash, and a jar of Vaseline.

Twenty jars of baby food, a box of 30-gallon trash bags, a pair of rubber gloves, and a paring knife.

A box of Trojan Magnum XL condoms, kitty litter, and a pack of sponges.

Six cans of chili, a jalapeno, a single roll of toilet paper, and a romance novel.

A five-pound pork loin and a box of Shabbos candles.

A frozen turkey and some sparklers.

The possibilities are endless, my friends. I implore you to get out there, make some strange purchases, and revel in the wayward glances.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

THEY Got It, So Now YOU Get It.


Ohayou gozaimasu, league brethren. Another year has passed and we find ourselves back at the dojo, shoes off, chopsticks at the ready, subservient pale-skinned kimono-clad females catering to our every whim and fancy....(sigh). Yeah, A guy could get used to the Eastern life. But this isn't about fantasy, this is about reality. Or, to put a finer point on it, the reality of Fantasy. As in football. We are talking about football, right? I'm confused. OK let's get right to it. I give to you your week 7 haikus - in traditional 5-7-5 format:

Johns-san
So far, so good, but
Overdue for his nerd-fit.
Buddy has mellowed?

Ryan-san (senior)
His squad? A detail.
Doctor can always claim the
Smoothest legs in league.

Hicke-san
Grasshopper reprise
And an ogre shellacking
A nice week for Ry

Civera-san
How does he do it?
Trades are catnip to this man.
Mover. Shaker. King.

Kline-san
Not a word to me
Spoken since the bus throwing.
"Grudge" not just a song...

Fitzgerald-san
Seven syllables?
"I'll be your Huckleberry."
That was too easy.

McDermott-san
Nice start, however
Pride goeth before the fall.
Wise to keep logo.

Shepherd-san
Family, friends, chew.
Jay's got it all, except for
A fantasy team.

Ryan-san (junior)
Ah, yes, the Poet.
Squad is a paper tiger.
We can see through it.

Pheewrap-san
Outside looking in.
Eating rats in the basement.
Now, the long goodbye.

おはようございます
MJC
Fitz
Hicke
SR
Dutes
DR

ございますおは
Pheewrap
Kline
McD
Jbird

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Star is Shorn


Scott Hartnell, Philadelphia Flyers left winger and just one botter in a lineup of Canadian Tuxedo man crushes, has lopped off over ten inches of his manmane and donated the croppings to, ahem, "Locks of Love."

If you have any clue as to how the fuck a near-foot of human hair would benefit an organization like that, I'm all ears.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

We're Not Gonna Bake It


Wife: Hon, have you thought about what you'd like for dinner tonight?

Husband: Hey babe. I don't know, I've got a few ideas but I haven't deesnidered for sure yet.

Wife: (?) Um, what did you say, hon?

Husband: I said I haven't deesnidered.

Honey, what are you talking about?

Why the tone, babe? What's the problem exactly?

I just want to know what the hell you want for dinner, Alan!

Jesus Christ, Ellen! It's always something with you! Dammit!

JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT FOR DINNER!

I WANNA ROCK!




--------





--------



Fine, Alan. You can just stay hungry.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Centaur Singalong!


Sung to the tune of Ritchie Valens' La Bamba. Just press play and sing along, kids!



TSAR BOMBA

The Commies had Tsar Bomba!
The Commies had Tsar Bomba!
And it was tested!
Way back in the sixties!
Yes, way back in the past,
When the Reds were much cooler.
Now vodka, just vodka.
Just vodka, just vodka. No more Drago.
I miss Drago.
Ivan Drago.

Let's get back to the weapon.
Let's get back to the weapon; the biggest threat
The world has known,
The world has known.

See Tsar Bomba!
Love Tsar Bomba!
Drop Tsar Bomba!

Ahhhh.........

repeats

Friday, October 22, 2010

Phoodie Phriday


Bananas Foster

¼ cup (½ stick) butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup banana liqueur
4 bananas, cut in half
lengthwise, then halved
¼ cup dark rum
4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambé pan or skillet. Place the pan over low heat either on an alcohol burner or on top of the stove, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan. When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum. Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum. When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream. Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.


Suggested pairing: Irish Coffee

Thursday, October 21, 2010

BONUS POST

"Come on home, Revis..."

Shhhhhhhhhhh........


Consider the vasectomy. A simple, voluntary procedure enabling the patient to enjoy peace of mind and a higher quality of life, assuming the results of said procedure are understood and desired.

After all, don't we all just want to be understood and desired? I digress.

Consider the vasectomy. The severing of tubes, nothing more.

Is it wrong of me to think, from time to time, of undergoing a similar procedure on my vocal cords? I mean, they do it to dogs, and people love dogs. More than people, in some cases. Hell, in many cases. Unless they are enormous dogs. And rabid. And anal rapists.

My point is this: voices are overrated. And becoming increasingly useless.
Think of the possibilities. No more small talk. No more banal phone conversations. No need to be witty or think on your feet. No speaking out of turn, no "saying things you don't really mean." No presentations, no toasts, no snorts or chuckles. Bombast would cease to exist.

Everything that you communicated would be measured, logical, and important enough for you to write or sign. Additionally, you would master facial expressions, and possibly braille.

Finally, no matter what you did, no matter how depraved or beyond the pale, you would have an out.

You were simply desperate to express yourself.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Whoop Knew?




So, I have a few thoughts…

Maybe it’s just me, but the way I see it, there is a way to act, and then there is a way to act in Church.

At first blush, you’d think the latter would carry a stricter set of behavioral guidelines than the former, but apparently, I have it bass-ackwards, AGAIN. This brings us to whooping. You’ve seen the clip. You know what it is. This is apparently an appropriate practice among religious leaders in certain pockets of certain faiths.

Let me challenge this thinking a bit. I believe that whooping is absolutely appropriate, but under a slightly different set of circumstances. Below please find my list of those situations in which whooping is called for:

1.) Anal rape. By a horse, or perhaps an enormous dog. And I mean enormous, kids. Don’t give me this “Labrador retriever” bullshit. Cujo big.

2.) Backing over your own infant in the driveway by accident.

3.) You are Justin Hawkins. It is 2004. You are in Wembley Arena.

4.) You are being subjected to The Blood Eagle.

5.) You are a record-store employee who has stumbled upon a murder scene just off the roadway and you are trying to run down and hail a state trooper in a final act of desperation as the victim slips away.

6.) You are Bruce Dickinson, anytime, anywhere.

7.) Powerball Strike. Like, Cujo Powerball.

8.) You are the BP oil well. You have just blown your junk shot. Truck tires, lengths of rope, and golf balls are surging from your cold and corroded orifice. This is your beautiful whalesong, the song at the bottom of the ocean.

9.) You are a TIE-Interceptor. With a shot muffler.

10.) You're salty as heyell!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Look Into the Abyss


Look at this man, this man who just beat you.

Brian Wilson doesn't keep game balls from saved games. Brian Wilson keeps the balls he warms up with in the bullpen instead. These balls are not marked in any way, no date, no opponent, no score, nothing is inscribed on any of them.

There are 100 or so balls in Brian Wilson's locker. When asked how he tells them apart, his answer tells you all you need to know about this hulking Anti-Lidge.

"By the smell."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Phoodie Phriday


One more day and here we'll meet: two makers of the merry.
Snugly tucked and seated up where 8th street joins with Berry.
From just inside that sweeping glass we'll look upon the day,
And chuckle that we're here again; once more, we've come this way.

Once settled in, we'll recognize these moments are so few,
And start the clock that keeps the fleeting time we share in view.
Comfort will envelop us as silence falls like snow,
So thus is forged the iron bond that only brothers know.

Suggested pairing:
Brooklyn Weiss

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cogs in the Machine

The interweb has changed us so much. A world at our fingertips; a world of instant validation, confirmation, gratification, defamation, inspiration, the list goes on and on. Cheese fries.....aw Jesus.

Unfortunately, being connected to the world at the speed of thought has its share of deflating moments as well. Sparks of imagination can be turned to soggy wood in the time it takes to type four words. I humbly present Exhibit A.

I was listening casually to the Rangers/Rays contest on TBS last night. My ear warmed to a familiar sound, the smarmy glissade and a cocksure cadence belonging only to one of the most loathsome character actors the world has ever known. The revelation reared its head: the ALDS finale was being called by James Woods.

I knew in my heart of hearts that there was no way James Woods would be callling a Major League playoff game on a national broadcast, but goddamit, that voice. Finally, the camera switched to the booth, where it was revealed to me that Sharon Stone's drug-addled pimp was being voiced by none other than the Latin King and former Mets great Ron Darling.

Surely, methought, I am on the brink of new discovery. I mean, let's be honest. Who watches baseball AND movies AND has an ear for voices AND has access to a computer AND puts it all together? Only me. It can only. Be. Me.

Four words were offered at the altar of Google's sacrifice. Four simple words.

James.
Woods.
Ron.
Darling.




Jesus. Really? My thoughts (dis)proved to be unoriginal. Ashes to ashes. Lust to dust.

I'm not just common. I'm slow.

Fuck you, interwebs.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Little Excessive...


While cleaving young women in the basement, my mind wandered a bit in search of something a bit less pedestrian than simply hackng them up with a 10" Wusthof Chef's Knife.

Ah, yes. The Blood Eagle. Surely near the top of the list when dinner conversation turns to medieval execution methods.

The unluckiest botter is shackled to a wall or in a doorway with his arms spread and back exposed. Then, two vertical cuts are made with a sword on either side of the spine, from the shoulder blade down to the waist. The aggressor then plunges his arms deep into the writhing botter, reaches around the spine, and pulls the rib cage out and back, breaking the ribs and splaying them akimbo like the wings of some horrific buteo.

You would think that at this stage, the aggressor would have effectively made his point. But wait, it gets better.

The aggressor returns to the ravaged innards and grasps the lungs of the botter. He then pulls them out the back of the moaning ruin and salts them. Yes, salts them.

Things end for the botter shortly thereafter.

Suggested pairing: Fava beans and a nice Chianti.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ephram Bejeezus


Here are today’s highlights:

Carrie Fisher snorted coke with other Star Wars cast members on the set of The Empire Strikes Back. Drug use was limited to the Hoth scenes - for reasons any decent fan would readily appreciate. Prior to this development, only two words came to mind when I thought of drug abuse within the context of the Star Wars Universe: Salacious Crumb.

Tom Brady and Randy Moss got into a recent bitchfight over their respective hair. Randy told Tom that the new ‘do made him look like a woman. A 6’4” 225 lb. gridiron slut just ripe for the taking. Nice.

Today marks the 50th day of Centaur Posts for Pheewrap. You know that feeling when you swim out too far and turn around, only to realize that you’ve got to make your way back to shore? Watch Gattaca. You’ll never look at whiskers the same way again.

Unnamed aging coworker regaled a few of us this morning with some cell phone pictures taken inside a local watering hole. The photos consist almost exclusively of the cleaving of young women between 25 and 35 years younger than said coworker. Hint to those in the know: he really likes the smell of hops.

In related news, I have not seen Brett Favre’s penis yet, but anyone with the early gossip is free to comment.

Dinner tonight is likely to be stuffed shells. I also need a new black belt.

Yours,
Pheewrap

Postscript: After review, I realized I referenced the "cleaving" of young women as opposed to the "cleavage" of young women. I chose to leave it in its original form. I will ask my brother what this mental gaffe indicates. He's a doctor.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

BONUS POST

Shame'd

Ahhhh.

So... here it is. Finally, the day has come.

The retroactive post.

The date says Sunday. The time says morning. But this isn't Sunday morning, is it? Nooooo. That would be too easy.

No, Pheewrap. It's Monday, and you are late. You are late because friends and family and food and football and baseball and craft beer and getting out and about was more important to you yesterday then owning up to your daily blogging responsibilities. Alright, then.

You get one pass. Everybody gets one pass.

Don't let it happen again.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Change Communication


OK, I'll reluctantly acknowledge the fact that cell phones are never going to go away and that people will be on them for no apparent reason at seemingly ridiculous times - FOREVERMORE.


Fine. I get it. But there's a line, dammit. The phone calls while shopping? I'm over it. The dude in the bathroom stall who is chatting happily while explosive blasts of gas and excrement pepper the dialogue? Swing away, Merrill. But sometimes, even after you've sacked up and decided that it's the way of the world and you've got to budge, well sometimes - certain stuff just gets to you.


Super Fresh. An ATM right beside a Coinstar machine. I need some cash. Next to me, the woman walks up, coffee jar in hand, cell phone cradled to her ear.


"Yeah. It say 7% but I don't have no bank. I'ma do it here."


I close my eyes and exhale. I swipe my card and punch my keys. The ungodly jangle of pouring coins fills my head like a minted, coppery vuvuzela.


"Haha aight it's goin' now. It's countin'. I'ma wait, hold on."


Christ, little machine teller, it's only a pair of twenties. What are you looking for in there?


"Haha aight I'ma tell you. One dolla... Two dolla... Three dolla... Hold up it's countin' still. Aight -there it go - fo dolla..."


The bills mercifully drop. I snatch them up and stalk through the automated double doors, jaw set, eyes narrowed. The delighted laughter of someone who is still counting follows me out into the parking lot.


Halfway to my car, I realize that it is only going to get worse for me in the years to come...


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Do You Like Luxury?

Yeah, I do! Fuck yeah!

I mean, what is luxury, exactly? Everybody knows that there's no accounting for taste, right?

Luxury is what you want it to be, man.

Luxury could be two extra hours of sleep.
Luxury could be a week with nothing going wrong in the workplace.
Luxury could be a dead wife.
Luxury could be a poached egg smooshed in sherried crabmeat.
Luxury could be a new Jagyooah and some window treatments.
Luxury could be an absence of strangers working on your house.
Luxury could be a month where you have money left over at the end of it.
Luxury could be a pygmy giraffe and a pair of Eastern Bloc hookers.
Luxury could be all of this, or none of this.

Whatever. Let's fucking luxuriate.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

BONUS POST


The Shadow Cast


I don't think you fully understand the p-p-pressure I am under...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

REPRISE

Note to Constant Reader: In the past, as a communicator, I have been accused of flowery and superfluous writing. I know, I know, ridiculous. However, as an ever-inquisitive and eternally open-minded man of self-examination, I am not above looking at my work through the lesser lens of the marginally literate. For instance, I, myself, have noticed an abundance of hyphenated words in my posts. Perhaps what the critics say is true, perhaps my proclivity towards a meticulously crafted turn of phrase is more a bore than a boulder; more of a yawn than a yarn. Well, I shall fearlessly put this insight to the test. I offer you yesterday's post, rewritten (or unwritten, frankly) so as to convey its most basic content and message, stripped of the glossy nuance and practiced veneer borne of a LaSallian education. I now stoop to your level, John Q. Public, by choice.

It's Evolution, Baby


College, Christ, what a shitshow. Good times, though, some crazy shit. I remember Lincoln Court, the five of us, the crap we gave each other, the pranks, some of it was pretty fucking funny, actually. I'll write about it.

We were all broke, and we had no taste. There was a Greek pizza joint down the road, Overbrook Pizza. The pizza was crap but they made decent sandwiches. My favorite was the Chicken Parm grinder. Chicken, cheese, sauce, bread, what else do you need? Good to go. Anyway, I averaged three or four a week. Naturally, my body turned it into poop.

Everybody poops, hell, there's a book about it. I always really enjoyed it though. Maybe it's a Freudian thing. I dunno, ask my brother. He's a doctor. Anyway, I would spend a good hour on the shitter. We had two bathrooms so it wasn't an issue. Since I'd be in there for so long, just basically avoiding everybody, I'd bring provisions. Didn't seem too weird to me but the guys got a kick out of it. Poop Kit, they called it.



POOP KIT (college)
Discman
Smokes
Lighter
Ashtray
Food
Drink
Playstation Weekly
TP
Dip
Dip cup

I quit smoking after college. Quit dip, too. I still love to shit, but I don't need to hide out in the bathroom for an hour or two since now I have a whole house to do it in. I enjoy the poops but don't bring a backpack with me anymore.


POOP KIT (today)

Beer
Laptop


Same thing, really. The laptop is, like, six things on the first list. Alright, two.

Monday, October 4, 2010

It's Evolution, Baby

The university experience was a time of learning, a time of growth, a time of simultaneous indulgence and deprivation, and a time of glorious transition.

One of the transitions I enjoyed most was the regular transition of Chicken Parmesan grinders from Overbrook Pizza into bodily waste. Don't get me wrong, the initial consumption of said grinders was equally as marvelous an experience, but the aforementioned transition into waste paved the way for one of my fondest collegiate memories, the Poop Kit.

The Poop Kit was a well-known bathroom essential for young Pheewrap. While its daily preparation would elicit the occasional snicker or off-colour remark from my dear roommates, in my heart of hearts, I firmly believe that simple envy drove their derision. A few minutes prior to the fecal experience, I would dutifully collect the most functional and comprehensive list of bathroom aids you ever did see:

THE POOP KIT (circa 1998)

Portable CD Player
Pack of Marlboro Lights
Zippo Lighter
Ashtray
Small Sandwich
Soda
Gaming or Adult Magazine
Stashed Roll of Cottonelle
1 Tin Skoal Straight (optional)
Cuspidor (also optional)


Those were the days of reckless excess, of course. As the years pass and the times change, so too must the personal institutions that have sustained us. In the spirit of this evolution, a simplified, streamlined, and crisply executed approach to a time-honoured tradition is called for:


THE POOP KIT (modern day)

2 Cans Light Beer
Laptop

I know that somewhere, Darwin is smiling.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

What the FUCK is going on here?


Gridiron horror.

More questions now than answers.

Shhhhh... Red October...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Not Quite Out of the Woods

Forgive me, but I must:


Now truly, would we have it any other way?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Phoodie Phriday


Excerpt from CNN.com

Last orders - death row menu requests

If we’re going to have this discussion, I have to start with Memphis-style ribs. I’d move onto a heaping amount of moist Texas beef brisket. Grilled asparagus. One In-n-Out 3×3 burger with fries, animal-style. A 12-oz dry-aged ribeye medium-rare. Wait, make it rare. What the heck. Wash it down with a cherry lambic and finish it off with peach cobbler and one piece of chocolate cream pie. Did I say one piece? Better make it two.

Over the past year, I’ve covered two executions in Virginia and have interviewed a death row inmate in Texas. At each of those events, one subject that always draws a lot of interest is the last meal request. Next to what a prisoner’s last words were, the most popular inquiry by reporters always seems to be what the person ate before death.

Last November was my first trip to Jarratt, Virginia to cover an execution at the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Greenville Correctional Center. The night of November 10, 2009 was to be the last for John Allen Muhammad, also known as the D.C. sniper. His last meal of choice? Officials told the media that Muhammad didn't want the outside world to know. Fortunately for us, one of his lawyers accidentally spilled the beans and announced that his client had requested chicken with red sauce, and small cakes for dessert.

My reaction: that’s it?! Of all the things you could have, you just wanted chicken and cake? But as I later came to find out, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the menu options aren’t limitless.

As Larry Traylor, the Director of Communications for the Virginia Department of Corrections, explained, "For the last meal, the inmate may select any meal, or combination of items, from the institution’s 28-day cycle menu. The meal must be completed no later than four hours prior to the execution."

I’m sure the cooking staff does a fine job in making the meal, but I’d want a little bit bigger selection for my last eats on earth. Then again, if I’m on death row, do I really deserve to have whatever I want?

In Texas, prisoners get far more leeway in choosing their last meals. “I had three pieces of Popeye’s fried chicken, two catfish filets, a bowl of green onions, a bowl of tartar sauce, a bowl of homemade ranch dressing, a bowl of shredded cheese, a bowl of crumbled eggs, two double bacon cheeseburgers, a large order of fries, and a chocolate milkshake,” boasted Texas death row inmate Hank Skinner a month ago.

I know, I know. What’s crazier about that last paragraph - the half-grocery store that Skinner ingested for his last meal, or the fact he can still talk about it?

Skinner was set to die by lethal injection last March for the murders of his then-girlfriend and her two sons. Less than an hour before he was to enter the death chamber, the United States Supreme Court stayed his execution and agreed to hear his suit against the local Texas prosecutor, whom he has sued for violating his civil rights and failing to turn over DNA evidence. But let’s get back to what he ate.

“The guys over here [on Texas death row] make [the meal] out 14 days before our date. When guys are making it out over here, they’ve got real big eyes, they want this, they want that. None of them ever eat it all,” says Skinner.

But, for his own part, Skinner was determined to leave no bowl of cheese or green onion behind. He told us that he made it all the way to the last half of the second cheeseburger before stopping. I guess when you're about to die, you don’t worry about the digestive repercussions of such a huge meal.

Last week I found myself back in Jarratt for the execution of Teresa Lewis, the first woman put to death in Virginia in nearly one hundred years. Unlike her counterpart in the Lone Star state, Lewis kept it simple: two fried chicken breasts, peas with butter, apple pie or German cake, and a Dr. Pepper.

All of this got me to thinking - what on earth would I want to eat for a last meal? Granted, I don’t ever want to find myself on death row scribbling down a menu of my last grub. But if I were given a chance to plan it, where would I start?

Barbeque would be the first and the last word on the menu. And it has to be Texas-style barbecue. I love you, Carolinas, but my culinary heart belongs to brisket. And the brisket I really want is the moist version from Rudy’s Country Store. My grandma’s snickerdoodle cookies would be a must. Mom’s fried chicken, Matty’s prime rib, Emily’s chocolate chip cookies, artichokes with mayonnaise, ripe California avocados, El Pollo Rico rotisserie chicken….aargh, so many choices to make.

My wife’s list is pretty simple: my Caprese salad, my guacamole, my homemade applesauce, and a triple-scoop of gelato from her favorite shop in Rome, Giolitti.

It's a simple question but harder to answer than you'd think: what would you want on your last dinner plate?

Suggested pairing: Lightning Electrostatic Ale