The other night the Beast and I got home at the same time and prepared dinner together in the kitchen. We settled on a pasta dish we used to make all the time but hadn’t enjoyed in years. It’s dead simple to make: slice up a couple heads of radicchio and brown in a pan with some olive oil. Add a big wedge of gorgonzola cheese and a splash of milk or cream. Continue to cook until the sauce is thickened. Meanwhile, cook a bag of strozzapreti pasta. Add that to the sauce and top your portion with lots of salt and pepper. Eat. Enjoy.
While I cooked, the Beast prepared our new favourite cocktail: Add two ounces of Lillet to the prettiest glass you own, filled with ice. Add a couple dashes of rhubarb bitters. Stir. Enjoy.
In the kitchen:
Foodie: What are all those books?
Beast: Just a whole bunch of books that I’ve had on my list for a while and they were all good prices at BMV.
Foodie: I’ve never read anything by P.G. Wodehouse.
Beast: Me neither, but he’s known as being the funniest prose writer in the history of the English language. But I’m worried I won’t like him because I hate typical English wit.
Foodie: Oh I love English wit! You know, like Jane Austin….or Jane Austin. You love it too.
Beast: I love tweeds. And Truman Capote’s short stories are supposed to be incredible. Nikolai Gogol is also supposed to be a very important short story writer, who I’ve never read. Bruce Chatwin’s novel is about a guy who collects a specific type of porcelain and I’ve read a couple things by him that are excellent. And John Cheever because it’s an American family novel that’s supposed to be very good. And I read a couple of references to him when I was researching Philip Roth.
Foodie: Yeah I have a list of stuff too I want to read. [Pause] What are we going to watch on Netflix for dinner?
Beast: What do you think about watching the last two episodes of The Larry Sanders Show and then Pulp Fiction?
Foodie: OMG that’s an amazing idea! I am so glad that we went through Larry Sanders. Do you know my brother and dad used to watch that show all the time but I didn’t like it then? I was probably going to the mall or drinking lemon gin or playing in a basket-ball game. They should have really supported by sports career more.
After two episodes of Larry Sanders, after dinner, after finishing a bottle of this wine and 20 minutes into Pulp Fiction:
Foodie: Wait, what’s going on ? Why are Jules and Vincent wearing t-shirts and shorts all of a sudden?
Beast: [pausing the movie] Just so you know, whenever you have a question or whenever anything looks out of sorts, you need to remember that the movie doesn’t follow a linear structure. It plays with time. That’s one of the reasons the movie was so important at the time.
Foodie: Oh yeah! I can’t believe I forgot all of that.
Beast: Do you know that I probably watched this movie more than any other in my youth?
Foodie: Wait, how old were you?
Beast: Twelve, or 13.
Foodie: Oh fuuuuuuck. I was like 21 or 22. I was in second year at McMaster. Holy shit….the 1990s. Do you remember the 1990s even?
Beast: You know I’ve been thinking about this, maybe because of Larry Sanders and because we’ve been watching Girls. I was thinking that the two things that represent the ’90s are essentially the OJ trial, which is basically about a man killing his wife and getting off because of race politics, and the president of the United States cumming on an intern’s dress in the Oval Office and that these things actually are innocent. They’re from a more innocent world, a pre-9/11 world. Those were our cultural fixations.
Foodie: Huh? Uh, killing your wife is not innocent.
Beast: No, neither is cumming on an intern’s dress. But the world has become so profoundly warped since 9/11. Remember when we were talking about John Stewart earlier?
Foodie: Yeah, after seeing him on Larry Sanders.
Beast: I think that culture is partly to blame. George Bush is so stupid blah blah blah…don’t you think the president could speak a complete sentence? Blah blah. Fuck a complete sentence man! Aren’t you glad that there are people in the White House who aren’t actively working to undo 500 years of Western Civilization?
Beast: There’s this New Yorker article on Guantanamo Bay that basically outlines how a lot of intelligent people worked very hard to erode 800 years of English common law and 250 years of American constitutional law by looking for a grey zone in the world where everything that western society rests on does not apply. The only other place they could have gone besides Guantanamo would have been outer space. And I guess that’s why I hate John Stewart, or the people that love him so much: you know, the ones saying, “Oh did you see that clip of George Bush and he didn’t know whether to pull or push open the door? Wasn’t that hilarious?” Who gives a fuck! Lots of people misspeak in the world. Lots of people act stupid. George W. Bush and his buddies actively worked to erode the fabric of western civilization. Jon Stewart touches on it but I think he give a lot of people who have a sort of aimless leftism the right to be thoughtlss about it. We are living in such abysmal dark times that really, it’s a laugh to think about the OJ trial and Monica Lewinsky. It seems like the Waltons or Andy Griffith in a weird way. Wouldn’t it be great if we could go back to being obsessed about whether a sports star obviously killed his wife?
Foodie: [Laughing.] That’s so true! Now that shit seems like it would be all in a day’s news, like Pistorius.
Beast: There’s just something about that decade where everything just seemed like…just whistling. And it’s fucked up because the whistling is really fucked up stuff: sexual impropriety in the White House; lying to Congress, murdering your wife and getting off because of racial politics. There’s nothing normal about any of that but the 12 years since 9/11 have been so dark, so stupid and filled with so much fucking awful stuff–misanthropy, misuse of public trust. I mean, life is not horrible, but we’ve reached a point right now where Bill Clinton getting his dick sucked were the good ol’ days.
Foodie: [Silence] I’ll stop asking questions about the movie. Can we watch it now?
Beast: Maybe I’m just getting older and grumpier. I don’t know.
Foodie: Holy shit! I completely forgot about Uma Thurman and Fox Force Five!!!! “Fox, because we’re foxy. Force, because we’re a force to be reckoned with, and Five, because there’s one, two, three, four, five of us.” Do you know that my ex-boyfriend made Fox Force Five t-shirts? They were so cool. OMG I think I have it upstairs. Do you want me to go get it?
Beast: Where do you think you filed it? Under ‘H’ for hip? Under ‘I’ for ironic? Or under ‘C’ for cool?
Beast: Well, sorry that everything I say can’t be reduced to a cute little t-shirt. I’m not that clever.
Foodie: OMG and it still fits!