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Friday, October 23, 2015

Of Chips and Chippy

Well, here it is, trip 56 to Vegas. Twenty years ago when we first started traveling to Sin City, I never thought I would end up visiting so often. There is something in Las Vegas that compels me, that calls to me like a siren, and I remained tied to the mast. (At least, these airplane seats make it seem that way.) But what is in Las Vegas it that beckons to me so fiercely?

My money. I knew I had it on me when I went there…

So far the trip has been pretty smooth, knock on wood. The Quad Queen ferried Chippy to the Alternate Kennel yesterday. It’s about an hour and 50 minutes each way. Unfortunate that the Left-B-Hind is closed for all of November - Chippy really likes it there, and has only gotten her behemoth head stuck in the electric fence a few times.

Our Hallowe’en costumes are secured in the hold in their custom carrying cases. I think Fremont Street is going to be surprised and impressed, now that we have worked out a stable power supply, and of course, mostly solved the flammability issues that plagued the first nine iterations.

We got up this morning (imagine that) and had a leisurely three hours before leaving the house in Flusherville. I loved not having to get up at some godawful hour and rush off to some 5:00am flight or something. I am also going to love not being on the night flight out of Pearson, which often leaves at 10:00pm or later. That gets you into Vegas at 3:00 or 3:30am Eastern time.

No, this time, it’s sane. We drove across a couple of big honkin’ bridges by the 999 Islands (I have it on good authority from Jackie Moosreiner that ‘those fuckers can’t count’) and breezed through customs. There was basically nobody there. It was so empty, I half expected to see a pad of paper nailed to a bulletin board along with a pencil on a string and handwritten instructions to ‘let us know what yer up to’.
This burg at Applebee's was ridiculously good. Applebee's!
Watertown International. All of it.
We have a few things planned for this trip that are a bit different, including this here new Bonebook Chromebook by USAS that Jimmy Poon got me. It’s super mobile and I should be able to write while flying - and indeed, I can - because this is being written between Watertown and Philly. (Philly is savvy traveler lingo for ‘Philadelphia’. You should try to get comfortable with this sort of vernacular so that you can fit in in places like Philly.)

In fact, I was just cursing Jimmy Poon, because while typing this I hit alt-left to move the cursor - no, that is the same as ‘back’ in the browser. Even though Google docs was saying all along that my changes were saved offline, the document I was working on while aloft was gone. Just gone.

I had a feeling, though, that it had something to do with being offline and that when I connected, the very smart and savvy Googleware would have had my inanities cached somewhere and they would magically re-appear.

And thanks to the Friendly City Free Wi-fi in Philly, they did.

Anyway, as I was saying, Jimmy Poon was over at my place after our shift at Royal Canadian Veeblefetzer, where I inspect the quality of the 10,000 size 7 grommets that fly out of the grommet making line’s sphincter each and every hour.

I’d made some salsa with the last of the homegrown summer tomatoes from the garden that I resurrected this year. A simple recipe, chopped Roma tomatoes, finely chopped onion, fresh squeezed lime, a healthy dose of chopped cilantro, a little salt and pepper, finger long hot peppers, a dash or two of cumin, oregano, and my secret kicker - a couple of tablespoons of pickling vinegar. And with all that, store bought cellophane corn chips. Ah well.

Jimmy Poon broke a chip and spooned some salsa onto it.

“Jimmy, no,” I said.

“No?” said Jimmy Poon.

“No. That’s not how you eat chips and salsa. First of all, whole corn chips are sacrosanct. They are rare and unexplainable and to be held in the highest esteem. Just like virgins in your home town.”

Jimmy Poon emitted his trademark elfin giggle.

“Take your full chip. Observe, two sides, one concave,  the other convex. Never dip with the convex side. You want the maximum amount of salsa that the chip can hold.”

“Okay, I get it.”

“So never break a full chip!!! Only once you’ve bitten part of a full chip can you use the spoon to add more salsa. But even then it’s a lame move. You should put the whole chip in your mouth no matter what. Hold your other hand underneath as a chip guard, as though it might somehow keep the salsa off of your clothing. Now… you’ve watched Seinfeld right? You know not to double dip?”

“I’m not an idiot Royal,” said Jimmy Poon looking up and to the left.

He had never seen Seinfeld. We quickly covered double dipping.

“Now, when you use a partial chip, you have to be careful with a thick salsa like this. Scoop… carefully lift - if you use too much leverage you break the chip.” I demonstrated. “Now, you can’t just stick your fingers in and pull out the chip.”

“What do I do Royal?”

“You use the remainder of your broken chip to complete the dipping motion. Now, the worst that can happen is you break the remainder - and then break again. Now you’re fucked. You have three or four broken pieces of chip stuck in the salsa.”

“Now, what do I do, Royal? Can I use the spoon? I’m getting hungry…”

“Jimmy, no. The spoon is for pussies and for one special circumstance. Here’s what you do for a broken chip in the dip - you send in a rescue chip. Like so.” I picked out a decent sized rescue chip and managed to scoop out all the pieces and some salsa.

“Royal, it is good that you are an expert at something,” said Jimmy Poon. “Hee heeeeeheehhheeee…”

“Most things, Jimmy Poon, most things. Okay, now, here’s an advanced technique. If there is really a dire broken chip emergency in the salsa - and this applies to other domestically consumed dips as well - you send in a special Thunderbirds Laminated Rescue chip. Find two partial chips that are a perfect match for one another. Double them up. And dip… like so.”

Jimmy Poon’s eyes got as big as something that’s bigger than saucers, but not as big as dinner plates.

“Yeah, that’s right. Thunderbirds Laminated Rescue Chips. Jimmy Poon, I have even pulled off a triple lamination T.L.R.C. It’s a rare occurrence and a risky chip rescue - but sometimes a man’s gotta do.”

Jimmy Poon showed me how to do some things on the Bonebook Chromebook, and I was getting it. I thought the little computer might really work well for trip reporting.

“Royal, what about the spoon?”

“Watch and learn, Jimmy Poon. See how there are no chip fragments left big enough to scoop with, and there is very little salsa left?” I deftly poured the remainder of the chips into the salsa bowl.

“Dig in my culinary friend. Dig in.”

    1 comment:

    1. I'm really looking forward to the next adventure, punctuated by drunken ramblings and plenty of quads. Maybe even a cigar or two.


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