Recipe: Elephant Stew

As I said in my post about serial/cereal commas, I love puns. My aunt Mary gave me this recipe 35 or so years ago, and though of course I have never actually made it, I’ve always loved it. She was very artistic and funny, and every time I read this, it brings a smile to my face. I remember how much fun we had together, creating puppets out of pizza boxes, making beaded earrings, weaving stories about forest animals, and learning about Mae West’s bust while rowboating on Oregon lakes…

Elephant Stew

1 elephant, medium size
2 rabbits, optional
Brown gravy, lots
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Cut elephant into bite-size pieces. This will take about two months. Reserve the trunk; you will need something to store the pieces in.
  2. Add enough brown gravy to cover.
  3. Add salt and pepper.
  4. Cook over kerosene fire for about four weeks at 465° F.
  5. Serves 3,800. If more are expected, two rabbits may be added, but do this only as necessary, as most people do not like to find hare in their stew.

Actually, I might try a version of this someday, with hare as the main ingredient, and skipping the pachyderm.

Bon appétit!

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Best Word Ever: Defenestrate

I love the word defenestrate. It means, “to throw someone or something out a window.” Now, I ask you, how awesome is it that there is a word specifically for that action? Extremely, I say!

Last week I got to use the word when I told my friend Lisa, “If I get tired of you, I’ll just defenestrate you.” And my friend JD told me, “Don’t ever try to correct my bad grammar or punctuation … you will surely be defenestrated!”

There is no shortage of people I’d like to defenestrate, if only in my dreams. However, one of my pet peeves is when drivers defenestrate cigarettes or other garbage. In this case, their defenestration demonstrates a callous disregard for the environment.

If you’d like a visual, check this out – there happens to be a sculptural mural here in San Francisco called Defenestration (Brian Goggin, 1997, at 6th and Howard Streets).

I’m also reminded of two jokes I used to teach my ESL students (although I used the definition, not the actual word defenestrate):

  • What do you get when you defenestrate butter? A butterfly!
  • What do you get when you defenestrate water? A waterfall!

So, who or what would you like to defenestrate? Do you know any good defenestration jokes? 🙂

My Favorite Poem (A Waterbird)

This is my favorite poem. It’s attributed to Lady Murasaki Shikibu, who wrote The Tale of Genji and is said to be the world’s first female novelist. Someday I’m going to get it tattooed on my back in Japanese calligraphy.

A waterbird
Seems as the water’s top
Seen from afar
I, too, drift along
On my way through the world.

水鳥を
水の上とや
よそに見む
我もうきたる
世を過しつ

Murasaki Shikibu
紫 式部

 What’s your favorite poem?