March 24, 2015


Stij enrolled me in DGNTFS, a Cooking Support Group.  DGNTFS stands for “Don’t Go Near That Fucking Stove!”
As you may well imagine, I didn’t hold out a whole lot of hope for this little piece of magic.
I arrived on the appointed day and time, and discovered that it was quite a large group.  I expected one or two other people, but there were fifteen!  I found an empty chair and sat next to a rather large woman whose hair was singed off.
“Interesting look,” I commented.
“Happened when I opened the oven to take out a turkey.  Didn’t know you couldn’t cook it at 700 degrees without this happening.”
“Really?  I didn’t realize that ovens could reach that temperature,” I said.
“Oh, they don’t.  I put it in my kiln I use for firing pottery.”
“How did the turkey come out?”  Only I would ask this question.
“Charred black with a nice glaze.  I’m making a lamp out of it.”
“Well, at least it didn’t go to waste.”
“My husband would beg to differ,” she said. “So what are you in for?”
“Possibly because I accidentally burned my cooking school to the ground. But I think the real reason is either my bread that ate the sofa or my exploding lasagna.” 
“Wow, you’re hard core,” the fellow on my left said.  “There are only a couple of other people here who can do that!”
“Well, I don’t mean to.”
“As a matter of fact, one of them just got offered a great job in munitions.”
“I wonder if she’d like my lasagna recipe,” I said.  “And why are you here, if I may ask?”
“I sealed my driveway.”
“What does that have to do with cooking?”
“I sealed it with my beef gravy.”
At that moment, the moderator walked in.  He was wearing a flak jacket, asbestos pants, an army issue helmet, bullet proof safety glasses and steel-toed boots.  Strapped to his belt was a stomach pump and a taser.
“Good morning, group.  Before we get started, might I inquire as to who made the refreshments for today?”
A little old lady with massive burn scars timidly raised her hand.
“And might I inquire, Maude, as to exactly what they are supposed to be?”
She placed a device against her scarred throat.  “They’re cupcakes,” she replied in a robotic voice.
“I see,” he said.  “Now, class, what does Maude need to know about cupcakes?”
“They shouldn’t move on their own?” a young woman in a “Screw Gordon Ramsay” tee-shirt ventured.
“That’s correct.  Are you paying attention, Maude?”
She nodded, withdrawing a pad and pencil from her pocketbook, and jotting down notes.
“Okay, what else?
“They should be made from flour?”
“Very good, Steven.  Unlike these.”  He struggled to lift one, and it slipped out of his hands and went right through the floor…and the basement.
“They should have sugar in them?” a middle-aged woman with three fingers missing asked.  She must be the other one with the exploding food.
“Well, Gloria, I think that’s probably a moot point where these cupcakes are concerned.
Apparently, each session was to be a dissection of the cooking of whoever drew the short straw for refreshments.
They call this ‘tough love.’
More like ‘tough cupcakes,’ in my opinion.
After a few more rounds of criticism, poor Maude got so angry that she threw her buzzer out the window to inform us that she wasn’t speaking to any of us anymore.
“Our time is up for today. I think I’ll ask our new member to bring next week’s refreshments.  Is that all right with you, Carson?”
“It’s fine with me.  But my husband may be another story.”
“Oh, you’ll have to get a permission slip from him, and an affidavit stating that your fire insurance is paid up.”
“Just drop them by during the week.  My office is…was…in the basement.  Ask at the front desk.  They’ll let you know where I am.”

Stay tuned, folks.  Next week should be pretty interesting.


  1. Love the instructor, my kind of man. Wonder where I could get one of those Gordon Ramsey T's?