Free as in -donia
September 18, 2023 7:10 AM   Subscribe

The Marx Brothers Duck Soup (full movie on the Internet Archive): Groucho portrays the newly installed president of the mythical country of Freedonia. Zeppo is his secretary, while Chico and Harpo are spies for the neighboring country of Sylvania. Here's your Monday Morning free thread!
posted by seanmpuckett (119 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

When I was growing up, my dad had a huge collection of old movies on 16mm film (along with an assortment of those blue Bell & Howell projectors that are familiar to anyone who was in school in the 70s and 80s). He loved to show us old comedies, especially the Marx Brothers. Duck Soup was easily my favorite (my sisters preferred "A Night At The Opera").
posted by hanov3r at 7:22 AM on September 18 [8 favorites]

Starting out with one of my favorite movies, thank you!
posted by njohnson23 at 7:23 AM on September 18 [4 favorites]

"Why a four-year-old child could understand this report thread! Run out and find me a four-year-old child, I can't make head or tail of it.”

(and ninjaed!)
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 7:25 AM on September 18 [5 favorites]

The mirror scene is among the greatest three minutes ever committed to celluloid. No context needed.
posted by pollytropos at 7:56 AM on September 18 [26 favorites]

There's a gag in this movie involving a telegram that kills me every single time I see it. And I've seen it a lot. I think it's a perfect example of how a joke works, leading you down one logical path only to suddenly leap to another. It's a little joke, maybe not even all that funny to most people, but it makes me laugh, every time, almost a hundred years later.

Maybe you need to see the whole scene for it to be effective, so here it is. The joke I'm talking about starts at about 0:35, when the telegram arrives.

It's just perfect.
posted by Novus at 7:59 AM on September 18 [14 favorites]

That scene is one of my favorites. Seeing it as a kid, I wished I could be that anarchic when dealing with authority, but I was too much of a coward.
posted by njohnson23 at 8:05 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]

Slate found a whole list of other films/TV shows that pay homage to the mirror scene and put together a supercut even.

In other news - for reasons which are far too silly for me to explain at the moment, I'm asking a favor. Could people please periodically remind me "werewolves aren't real" or "don't think about werewolves", or even quote "Werewolves of London"? Memail, toss it into this thread, whatever.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:50 AM on September 18 [8 favorites]

I saw a werewolf drinking a piña colada at Trader Vic's. His hair was perfect.
posted by now i'm piste at 8:58 AM on September 18 [11 favorites]

There is a clever Easter egg in the closing credits in "An American Werewolf in London": "All characters and events in this film are fictitious. Any similarity to actual events or persons, living, dead, or undead, is purely coincidental."
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 9:02 AM on September 18 [10 favorites]

I think everyone needs to grow something. It's gray and overcast where I am. It's a sad day but I look at my garden and all my plants are blooming! I realized this morning that I'm not a complete self-centric a*hole because I keep one eye on the sky and another on my calendar. Plants have suffered and died at my hands, because I'm a lousy gardener. But this morning, Wow! I saw my rosemary, that I had struggled with so hard with re-planting at the start of the year, in full bloom! Oh and this one strawberry plant that nearly died in the heat last year has a full canopy!

Look, all I'm saying is just grow something, anything, And prove to yourself that you're more than this self-hating a*hole.
posted by SPrintF at 9:11 AM on September 18 [6 favorites]

There, wolf. There, castle.
posted by notoriety public at 9:29 AM on September 18 [18 favorites]

I think everyone needs to grow something.

I grow two things: weary and older.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:43 AM on September 18 [15 favorites]

My initial Cannabis 101 for Women workshop went wonderfully! A very modest turnout, sure, but enough where I left confident in being able to present information in a way that left me energized and hopeful. When I got to the part where you can legally purchase weed, one of the slides in presentation briefly touched on growing your own. This led to a woman who had to be in her late 60s raising her hand and asking, "Where can I buy seeds?", and I am like, "I am loving this journey for you if you decide to grow weed, ma'am."

My sweet spot is women 40+, and older Canadian women tend to be gardeners, ime, so if they've been growing their own flowers and veg, they can do this too!
posted by Kitteh at 9:48 AM on September 18 [8 favorites]

Love the Marx Brothers, Groucho's verbal wordplay is definitely my thing. Duck Soup is great but I'm a stan for Night at the Opera, partly because I saw it for the first time with a live audience. There was a kid, maybe seven years old, a couple rows in front of me who was having trouble breathing because he laughing so hard at some of Harpo's routines.

Personally I love Chico's story of how they flew across the Atlantic. Watch the full scene to the end for a Fredonia callback!
posted by mark k at 9:50 AM on September 18 [9 favorites]

I lost my job last week in the stupidest way possible: the company I was working for ended the contract with my agency about two months early, losing a number of people their jobs, and no one bothered telling anyone until about 1 in the afternoon EDT. When I started work at 8. So technically if someone decided to be a dick, they could have screwed me out of five hours of work without a contract. Thankfully, after some throat-clearing, they didn't. They just gave a lame excuse about "dropped the ball on communication" and sent us how to return the work laptops.

So I'm taking today off to unwind and plan, and tomorrow starting with getting my SalesForce admin certificate and jobhunting.

Kind of annoyed, though.
posted by mephron at 10:08 AM on September 18 [7 favorites]

I would be more than "kind of annoyed." What a terrible situation. Sorry to hear that, mephron!
posted by tofu_crouton at 10:11 AM on September 18 [2 favorites]

Marx Brothers is it? Cue for me to be slightly boring and repetititive about Zeppo the Engineer.
On the own-self-grow front, we've just harvested a crop of cucumbers Cucumis sativus the size and shape of lemons and the colour of lemon chiffon pie. Cognitive dissonance in yellow.
posted by BobTheScientist at 10:22 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]

the company I was working for ended the contract with my agency about two months early, losing a number of people their jobs, and no one bothered telling anyone until about 1 in the afternoon EDT.

Sorry to hear, and best wishes in finding a new gig quickly. Did your original contract have any language for termination/cancellation without cause, such as requiring a week or two notice, or pay in lieu of notice? If there was no proper notice, you might be able to squeeze a bit more exit money out of the agency.

Early 2010's - I was on an agency contract (officially 3 months) with a company who had a reputation for just renewing or forgetting to terminate contractors if they were halfway good and the work was there. I kept showing up, they found stuff for me to do, and I kept invoicing.

One day, 9 months after the official end of the contract, I was in the office, sniffing around for a new project to attach myself to, when the director of production noticed me and asked "who's that?". So that work-day ended a little early.
posted by Artful Codger at 10:25 AM on September 18 [2 favorites]

I'm so Tired

I sat up till late yesterday working, and had to get up early for back to back meetings, no breakfast no lunch. And now I have a huge task I need to finish before tomorrow at nine. But maybe it would be best to walk the dog and go to bed early, and get back to the job in the morning. I am very much an early bird, when it comes to work. Those hours spent reading and writing at night are almost wasted.

Yesterday, there was a half-marathon that passed by the front door of our apartment building, and the dog refused to go out. I dragged him out through the back, but he could still see and hear, and probably smell the runners, and he just wanted to get back in as fast as possible. It's a tradition here that when the runners have finished, the street is still kept closed, and there is an afternoon street-party, with little music events, lots of food and all the kids biking and also drawing with chalk on the street. The dog wasn't too keen about that either, but he did come out.

mephron, I hope things will get better for you soon.
posted by mumimor at 10:27 AM on September 18

I went to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival production of Duck Soup with a bunch of high school kids a few years back. I was afraid they would think it was stupid,but they loved it. Some of the girls especially loved the Groucho character. Me, I was always a Harpo fan, and was so happy when the actor ran into the audience and sat on my lap for a moment. Madness.
posted by olykate at 10:30 AM on September 18 [2 favorites]

"The undead surround me. Have you ever talked to a corpse? It's boring!"
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:32 AM on September 18 [2 favorites]

I put in my 2 week notice at my job this morning. I am leaping without a net; I am leaving for moral reasons. Since the Board coup in April and the president's ouster and the installation of banker friend of the Board chair with no education experience and no higher degree as interim president and several patsies as new Board members, it just keeps getting worse here. Last week he fired the VP of academics and the VP of finance and operations, calling it a "Restructure" and saying it is necessary for budget reasons. Oh yes and purely coincidental that they dared to disagree with him. The lies that he and his Trumpy Board buddies are spouting all over the county are breathtaking and the only newspaper is 100% behind everything they do.

Which is going, I suspect, to include either closing the college or magically "restructuring" it so it suddenly no longer includes the $40 million real estate it sits on that he keeps referring to in speeches where he says the College just can't keep up with the upkeep and what a shame that is.

Get out there please people and VOLUNTEER, run for office for your local school and community college boards. The other side has been doing it for years and now we are in really dire straits. This is the bluest of blue states. And yet, here we are and it is happening across the country: they want to get rid of public education and they will succeed without direct and concerted action against them.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:39 AM on September 18 [11 favorites]

Some of the girls especially loved the Groucho character.

When I was younger I wanted to marry someone like Groucho and then I learned he was a terrible husband. Then as I got older learned that people like Groucho make for interesting friends.

What I'm saying is marry a Harpo.
posted by fiercekitten at 10:46 AM on September 18 [9 favorites]

this weekend has been a land of contrasts with some truly awful things happening in my community, but personally I was able to celebrate a friend's Canadian citizenship and we had a party and it was great. We stayed up long into the night playing cards followed by liar's dice.. I highly recommend liar's dice, especially with a group of good friends and siblings. I miss my dad when I play that game, or most any game, he was so funny and such a rotter.. he taught me that croquet is cut-throat and we never knew the game of Hearts as anything but Dirty Hearts.

incidentally, I think the game has many variations and is called different things, but from what I can tell (Blackout, 7 Up 7 Down, Screw Your Neighbour) are more or less the same card game: easy trump-based game, you can have up to 7 players, highly recommend.
posted by elkevelvet at 10:48 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]

Not able to tie it into this week’s theme but…

I’M FREE. I’m free.
Free from the bag of stool attached to meeeee.

Got my anti-clot filter put in last Tuesday, and then on Thursday got my colostomy reversed, and the hernia it caused repaired. 9 1/2 months of body horror has come to an end. Decent chance the hernia repair will fail, but then fixing it again would be an outpatient procedure, so no big deal. But no more waking up at 4 in the morning covered in shit when the skin wafer blows out, and having to clean up, put on a new one, wash the clothes and sheets. Which sucks in the middle of the night. Great respect to anyone who has one that can’t be reversed, and is able to actually live a life.
posted by Windopaene at 10:51 AM on September 18 [32 favorites]

Your theater update: Something Rotten went great this week, any tech issues were on the actual tech and not me, thankyouverymuch (i.e. a light blew). We had a cast party on Saturday and that was fun.

I started rehearsal for Oklahoma last night. To some degree I'm a bit "what was I thinking?" on this one (I'm so-so on it...but I don't like, dislike it/find it boring like the shows they were doing at the end of this year, which is why I didn't do anything for most of 2023), but I did want to do one last show this year and I miss the musical theater people, so here I am. I do kind of appreciate how this seems like it'd be a "wholesome" show a la Music Man (I hate wholesome--seriously, these people are so clean they have to say "Balzac" a lot just to imply something dirty) but turns out to be kind of deeply fucked up--I note that the teens in the show had their eyes bugging out of their heads during "why don't you just grab and kiss her already?" and the whole "talking a guy into suicide" scene and I was mouthing back, "I KNOW!!!"

I have to explain first that musicals can either be (my designation) "light" ensemble or "heavy" ensemble. "Heavy" ensemble are shows where the ensemble is in almost every scene and sometimes you end up doing a lot more than the leads, "light" are shows where half the scenes are between the leads and the ensemble comes out for about three numbers per act. Other than the twelve minute dream ballet (why is this a thing?), it looks to be what I'd call *light* ensemble. Which is to say there's a lot of scenes between the leads and it sounds like ensemble aren't in all that many scenes, they only have thirteen songs in it, and I only have to go to rehearsal two out of the next five rehearsal days and have free time for karaoke. Also since I'm oooooooold I really won't have much to do in this, it looks like. Doesn't sound like there's much in the way of scenery changes or costume changes. So...maybe a pretty lazy show, for a musical? Kinda "laziness for the win" there.

I am taking today off from work, my plans for the day got canceled, and I am lazing about thinking about how sometime I need to just leave the house already. At the very least I have to get this script bound, and I'm debating whether or not to buy more yarn for this project of mine that keeps getting bigger.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:04 AM on September 18 [7 favorites]

Hey, mygothlaundry, I am sorry to see how things are going at your ex-job.

I also work in higher ed, and it's amazing to me how easy it would be for someone Bad to take over a college -- and maybe even more amazing that principled people show up day after day at so many other schools, doing their best to serve the students.

I find myself on the boards of a couple of small, local organizations. Each one started out as just A Fun Thing, but now I am realizing how serious these jobs are.

I am in awe of someone resigning in protest: you're super strong, and I hope you find a new role soon.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:05 AM on September 18 [4 favorites]

I think everyone needs to grow something.

According to one mefite, it's time to plant garlic.
posted by neuron at 11:32 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]

I was on an agency contract (officially 3 months) with a company who had a reputation for just renewing or forgetting to terminate contractors if they were halfway good and the work was there.

At age 25, I had just returned to Canada from about a year on the road overseas. I was staying at my mom’s place for a week or so until I could find an apartment and was surprised to get a call there one day. “Who even thinks I live here? I moved out about five years ago.”

Turned out to be my old employer, a steel mill, where I had worked summers in university. They had, I later learned, tried to reduce payroll a bit by offering an early retirement package to employees. They reckoned three hundred people would take it and two thousand did, so they were reduced to calling up summer students from the eighties to come back to work.

I accepted a gig to train people to drive cranes. They told me when I started in early May that it would be just through September; as well, as a casual employee, I would be paid 75% of what the full-timers were paid. Additionally: no vacation, no benefits, nothing. Not a fantastic deal, but even three-quarters pay was a decent amount, and it let me replenish my depleted bank account.

Come late August, they told me I’d be there until more like October, and that finishing date was later bumped up to Christmas, then February, then April. I was not terribly worried, though, as I knew that at the one-year mark, they had to either lay you off or hire you full time.

One of of my colleagues was in the same situation as I, but he’d been there fourteen months. I asked if he had gone on to full time, and he told me the company had laid him off and rehired him for another year without telling him.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:39 AM on September 18 [4 favorites]

Beginning my second and last (for now) week of staycation (a.k.a. "microdosing retirement")... It's been nice; I had no special plans but I've stayed busy doing stuff around the house and working on a soapstone carving - the Dremel tool helped me rough out the shape quickly, but from here on I need to go slower and use hand tools so I don't accidentally remove too much material.

Yesterday was very productive. First, I cleaned up 3 fans that badly needed it - boy what a difference in air movement when the blades and cage are aren't gunked up with dust! I also managed to fix my keyboard; one key wouldn't sound until I hit i rather hard, and then of course it was loud. I found a video online for how to take it apart. Underneath the physical key is a little rubber mat with pips on it that touch a circuit board underneath; I fiddled with it a bit then re-seated it. After putting it all back together, hey presto, the key worked again! Oddly, before fixing it I found that if I pressed the A4 key below it, the C5 key (the affected one) played just fine...but not if I pressed the B4 or D5 key on either side of it. The rubber mat under the A key didn't touch the mat under the C key at all, so I have no idea why that was so. Anyway, I happily had a nice long practice afterward with no issues from the keyboard.

Now I have to go back to the vision center to explain how bad my new prescription reading/computer glasses are. :( I got new trifocals at the same time, and they're perfect; the other pair was supposed to be the same as the middle part of the trifocals (~4-6 feet focus), but it isn't - it's not any good at any distance. Some lens grinder must have been making a spectacle of himself the night before and was too hungover to do a good job...
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:47 AM on September 18 [2 favorites]

I think everyone needs to grow something.

Don't tell anyone but I actually was grateful that the person who was supposed to man the community garden yesterday flaked out, because it gave me something to do that didn't involve spending money. I was on my way out to run a couple errands and saw it unmanned, so I went back home, got a few extra books and head there for the whole afternoon.

I tended my own plot a bit - the purple peas from the spring are long gone, and I pulled up the one last little plant that gave the purple string bean. The purple carrots never really took off. In October I'll put in the kale.

So right now the only thing there is the huge 4-foot long wall of runner beans, which are still pushing out the occasional flower and feeding the bees. But there are about 20 fat bean pods on it, each swaddled in a little mesh baggie to protect them from birds (or, more likely, from other sticky-fingered gardeners; I lost about 4 pods earlier in the season). I need to let them all grow and then mature and dry out before I pick them, so right now it's a waiting game, checking up on them every couple days and watching them get big. In a couple of them I can also see the dark purple of the bean inside showing through.

The errands I'd had were simple enough to do elsewhere - get a birthday gift for my niece and get resume paper for a job fair tomorrow. My niece is getting her gift via Amazon instead now (it'll be there tomorrow, plenty of time) and I think i have some resume paper already, and if not I'll be using just plain copy paper because honestly, this is a job fair where I'll probably be overqualified for literally everything but it's being run by NYS Unemployment so I need to show up. But - yeah, sitting in the garden for a full afternoon and reading and occasionally answering visitor questions was just what I needed.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:57 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]

Oregon Shakespeare Festival production of Duck Soup...

I think that must have been The Cocoanuts in 2014 starring Mark Bedard as Groucho. I saw it and have never laughed more at anything.
posted by neuron at 12:00 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]

Could people please periodically remind me "werewolves aren't real" or "don't think about werewolves", or even quote "Werewolves of London"? Memail, toss it into this thread, whatever.

There. (points) There wolf! There (points) castle!

(I refer to that joke often. A few days ago, it was "There, house!" And I see notoriety public already made the joke.)
posted by JHarris at 12:17 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]

"Perhaps I can help you with that hump..."
posted by djseafood at 12:21 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]

Oh, about Duck Soup, it was the one Marx Bros. movie that was pure. Every other movie had an awful romance subplot shoehorned into it, because Hollywood executives have always been clueless meddlers.

And: "Wot hump?"
posted by JHarris at 12:24 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]

Windowpaene, thanks for sharing your great news! I am truly happy for you and glad to hear you're FREE!
posted by obloquy at 12:28 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]

Wurrwulf? (~5 seconds starting at the 1 minute mark)
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:31 PM on September 18

I've been wondering if The Marx Brothers could find a new audience in the youngs. Olivia Rodrigo's lyrics reflect a sort of sense of humor that I think would appreciate Groucho and the others.

There's some Marx Brothers movie going around on YouTube that I know I haven't seen yet, billed as a "lost movie", and if I haven't seen it it's probably pretty rare. I should look at that sometime.

As a teenager I once got the film department at the university in my town to set up and run Duck Soup for me off of film, because somehow you could just ask them to do these things and they would. It was a very appreciative audience of one.
posted by hippybear at 12:40 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]

Probably the most romantic thing that ever happened to me in my life, was when someone got the local film institute to make a special Tarkovsky marathon film event just for the two of us. In the main theater. We were there for at least 7 hours.
posted by mumimor at 1:25 PM on September 18 [4 favorites]

Silver Bullet (1985) isn't a great movie, but it does have a great line from Gary Busey:
I'm a little too old to be playing "Hardy Boys meet Reverend Werewolf"!
Also per Mr. Busey from the same movie, "there are no such things as werewolves."
Although there is a werewolf in the movie, so small comfort.

posted by kirkaracha at 1:41 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]

"The undead surround me. Have you ever talked to a corpse? It's boring!"

I will not be threatened by a walking meatloaf!
posted by kirkaracha at 1:48 PM on September 18

Love the Marx Brothers, Groucho's verbal wordplay is definitely my thing.

mark k Then you should definitely read S. J. Perelman He wrote for the Marx Brothers, was a contributor to the New Yorker in the 1930's and 1940's and his writing is consistently laugh-out-loud funny, with the same kind of wordplay and mockery as Groucho. I discovered him in high school and I got in trouble for laughing during a "quiet period" in an English class.
posted by PlusDistance at 1:59 PM on September 18 [7 favorites]

There's a guy here in town who is very connected in the film lover's community. Also, there's a restored 1930s Art Deco movie theater downtown.

Apparently, if you know the right people, through the grapevine you can hear whispers about when his next secret 'movie night' is, where basically he takes over the theater downtown on a night when nothing else is scheduled, does movie trivia and other games, and shows one of his favorite movies. I have yet to go sadly; I recently just learned of this and they haven't fit into my schedule yet (or I find out too late).

*( or apparently he is allowed to change one side of the marquee on the afternoon of the event, and usually it's something cryptic related to the movie, like it will read "nobody puts baby in a corner" and that's it, which tells you it's secret movie showing night and it's Dirty Dancing that's playing., so you can technically find out by driving through downtown coming from the correct direction within a couple hours of the event)

**(Sidenote: I heard he had been doing this at one of the Marcus theaters on slow weekday afternoons, and the manager was OK with it being him and a couple friends, but apparently people can't keep their mouths shut and it ballooned to enough people that the manager got mad and kicked him out)
posted by AzraelBrown at 2:05 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]

Silly Spy
"Who would've guessed that wild-haired, silent Harpo Marx, the most anarchic of the Marx brothers, was also a secret agent for the U.S. government?"
posted by clavdivs at 2:06 PM on September 18

There's some Marx Brothers movie going around on YouTube that I know I haven't seen yet, billed as a "lost movie", and if I haven't seen it it's probably pretty rare. I should look at that sometime.

Unfortunately it looks like that (Donkey Shines) is just someone's labor of love. For a second I was hoping that a copy of Humorisk had finally turned up!
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 2:13 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]

Some lens grinder must have been making a spectacle of himself the night before...

I see what you did there...

In attempt to get a couple of behavioral issues possibly tied to food under control, I've spent the last 2 weeks trying out different flavors of wet food on Menace and Mayhem. As neither cat is a big fan of wet food the project has required purchasing single servings of 15 different flavors across two brands. So far variations of salmon and a seafood / chicken combo are the biggest winner and Sheba seems to be preferred to Fancy Feast. I would LOVE to get them on a higher quality food as well, but they both eschew the good stuff.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 2:19 PM on September 18

Fancy Feast makes a "Petites" line, which is way too much plastic, two single servings joined together into one package. My boy cat is finicky with his food, and he LOVES several of these Petites, including seafood flavors he won't go for in other brands. I guess the bonus is, single servings, so no open packages.
posted by hippybear at 2:24 PM on September 18

Speaking of growing things...we harvested two bags of specialty peppers yesterday and still have loads of green peppers and blossoms on the plants. My lemongrass is going nuts, loving the recent hothot rainy weather, and every day I see through the fronds out the back window and I'm so happy I get to take it with me to the new house.
Hmmm, a nice little door sign naming the house Freedonia isn't a bad idea...we will be free of upstairs neighbors and downstairs neighbors and landlords, and the doggy presents in the yard, and whatever falls apart will be our problem to solve. I've discovered a tenacity in myself for fixing stuff (no electrical tape or duct tape bandaids allowed, it must be fixed), and satisfaction therein. On the other hand, where in the hell am I going to put all these boxes of glassware? Who let the somme and beer brewer collect every type of wine, beer, and bar glass possible? I'm way behind in my annual breaking of glassware schedule; I usually manage to break a glass or two every couple of months and it all balances out.

Oooh I have a werewolf story. When An American Werewolf In London (the film) came out, I'd gone to see it right away. I got home* and went to bed, and had a dream that my bedroom door was opening s l o o o w w l l l y y...just to the left of my bed, parallel. I'd never had scary creature nightmares, but I knew it was a werewolf, and if I woke up and turned my head it would get me.
Suddenly, my hanging lamp (between the bed and the door) crashed on with a yowl and clatter and I screamed and my cat was cursing at me to get his claws out of the graduation tassel I'd hung from the lamp pull because I was too cool to hang it from the rearview mirror of the car.
*maybe slightly stoned, probably
There are werewolves and there are cats and hanging lamps and tassels, who's to say what's real?
posted by winesong at 3:03 PM on September 18 [4 favorites]

Jordan Weisman and L. Ross Babcock III were both gamers at the US Merchant Marine Academy when they met in 1980 and also fans of Duck Soup. They jokingly named their first roleplaying publishing company Freedonia Air and Space Administration or FASA for short.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 3:32 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]

I guess we're not quite in Spooky Season yet, but since we're talking about werewolves I will link here the BBC Radio drama adaptation of An American Werewolf In London [1h50m], which is very good and its own thing and I recommend.
posted by hippybear at 3:45 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]

I just wanted to share that I'm training to run my first marathon. Yesterday, when I stopped my work out, I had jogged/mostly walked 18.97 miles. Most of the time, I would just continue to make that a nice even number. Yesterday, I just stopped the workout. I was done walking, thank you very much...
posted by skunk pig at 6:20 PM on September 18 [4 favorites]

18.97 is a very nice even number in base 18.97
posted by hippybear at 6:38 PM on September 18 [5 favorites]

Re-comment. From Harpo Marx's autobiography "Harpo Speaks":
The day I got back I took a suite in a hotel on Central Park West, dumped my loot there, and went with Woollcott to have dinner with as many of the mob as he could round up. Waiting for us in the restaurant were Adams, Broun, Benchley and Dorothy Parker. A little later George Kaufman came in. He was carrying a newspaper clipping and he had a mean and sour look about him.

When I started to greet him, Kaufman put a finger to his lips and shushed me. He sat down, laid the clipping on the table, swatted it with the flat of his hand, and took out his watch. I could only see the headline on the story:

First American Popular Artist to Entertain Soviets Receives Ten-Minute Standing Ovation

Every time I tried to speak, Kaufman shook his head and held up a hand to stop me. Otherwise he sat perfectly still, glowering at his watch. The others were as puzzled as I, and the table went quiet. The waiter brought drinks. Woollcott told him we weren't ready to order yet Time passed. The waiter came back. Woollcott said we still weren't ready. Kaufman hadn't moved. I said, "George—" He silenced me with his hand. Around us, other diners finished eating and left, and new customers took their places. Kaufman was still in a trance, as if he was hypnotized by his watch.

After what seemed like an hour he put the watch in his pocket, turned to me and said, "That was ten minutes, Marx. The Russians applauded you for ten minutes, eh?" He snorted, took the clipping, got up from the table, and left the restaurant.

It was gratifying to see that my friends were so proud of my newest success.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 7:55 PM on September 18 [7 favorites]

A while back I picked up a copy of Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel, which contains scripts from a short-lived radio show starring Groucho and Chico. Allow me to share some random excerpts:


CHICO: Hey boss! She's shooting at me! Do something! I'm too young to die!

GROUCHO: Nonsense, Ravelli. You're just the right age.


GROUCHO: Sir, I resent that. My assistant doesn't steal. Why, he worked in a bathhouse for over five years and never even took a bath.


GROUCHO: Oh, there you are. I didn't recognize you with a clean shirt on. Listen, Ravelli. You'll have to snap out of it. Today's Monday, tomorrow's Tuesday, and the day after that's Wednesday. Half a week's gone by, and you're still sleeping on the desk.

CHICO: I'ma feel sorry, boss. But I joosta can't sleep at home.

GROUCHO: Why not?

CHICO: I ain't gotta no desk.


CHICO: Hey, driver, why don't you look where you're going wit dis old tin can?

GROUCHO: Listen, Ravelli. You'll have to stop berating this car. What do you think you are, a carburetor?


MAILMAN: You don't know what you're talking about.

CHICO: Is dat so? Well, you don't know what I'm talking about either.


GROUCHO: Charity work... hmm... Bardwell, I'm not the kind of fellow who likes to talk about his good deeds, but it may interest you to know that I've been sending some pretty large-sized checks to various charities, and not even the charities know that the money came from me.

BARDWELL (mildly questioning): But Mr. Flywheel, I don't understand. Couldn't they tell by the name on the checks?

GROUCHO: No, no, that's how modest I am. I didn't even sign the checks.
posted by MrVisible at 8:09 PM on September 18 [7 favorites]

You'll have to stop berating this car. What do you think you are, a carburetor?

I am going to wake up at 1am chuckling to myself about this. It's so perfect and so funny.
posted by hippybear at 8:16 PM on September 18 [5 favorites]

Oof, even I groaned at that one.

Reminds of the family that was on a long car trip when the engine suddenly died in the middle of nowhere. The father pulled over, popped the hood, and for a few minutes he fussed with this and that and muttered under his breath before finally slamming the hood shut and climbing back in the car in a huff. The family peppered him with questions - "What is it? What happened to the car? Did you fix it?"

"No!" he barked in frustration. "The carburetor won't carb, the alternator won't alt, and the pistons won' either!"
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:43 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]

Oof, even I groaned at that one.

GROUCHO: Oh, that just says if any party to this contract is found not to be of sound mind, the whole contract is null and void.
CHICO: I don't know . . .
GROUCHO: It's standard. It's in every contract. It's whey call the sanity clause.
CHICO: (laughing) You can't fool me, there ain't no such thing as a sanity clause!
posted by mark k at 10:35 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]

Groucho was, to many people's surprise, the most boring of the Marx brothers!

I strongly encourage everyone to read Harpo Speaks! - the autobiography of Harpo Marx. His life was so full of adventure that the book hardly references the other Marx brothers (Chico excepted) or their film career. Harpo was at the Algonquin round table. Harpo was at San Simeon. Harpo went to Russia and was recruited as a spy for the US government. And Harpo sounds like a great human being through it all. Of course, it is his autobiography.

And Chico is likely the most fascinating of the three. So fascinating that we know very little about him but there are always hints that if we knew more, several people could land themselves in prison. Somehow the 'money' to finance their films always came from a friend of Chico's - someone he had met in Las Vegas perhaps. Harpo recounts how at the age of 13, Chico was already running around with lots of money that he made in pool halls. Chico would dissapear for days on end and had a horrible gambling addiction, so much so that the other Marx brothers had to save him from bankruptcy.

In Harpo's biography, Groucho gets a short mention as the brother who liked to stay home and read books.
posted by vacapinta at 12:57 AM on September 19 [8 favorites]

Fancy Feast makes a "Petites" line

I'm testing both "Petites" and Sheba's "Perfect Portions". Overall, they like the Sheba more. I'm trying to find something both of them will happily eat, as neither feline really likes anything other than dry food (They turn down canned tuna! I've NEVER had a cat turn down tuna, much less two!)

I'm not terribly happy about how much non-recyclable packaging I am wasting, but I finally admitted to myself neither cat likes canned cat food and making it from scratch is not happening.

In other news, I'm in the midst of dealing with some bullying behavior in relation to a thing I volunteer to do. I'm having a hard time keeping my cool about it.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 3:53 AM on September 19 [2 favorites]

It's been noted that if their lives had gone a little differently (Al Shean not having been their uncle, for example) Julie (Groucho) would have been the only one who would have gone into show business, if he wasn't actually a doctor and not just Dr. Hugo Hackenbush, Artie (Harpo) would have gone into the family business, and Leo (Chico) would have gone into the "business" of the "family."
posted by dannyboybell at 6:24 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]

whattabout Zeppo?
posted by djseafood at 6:56 AM on September 19

Harpo was at the Algonquin round table.

I first read this as "Apalachin meeting" and was confused because I don't remember the Marxes as one of the Five Families.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:13 AM on September 19

Spaghetti squash and chicken with sautéed onions, salt, pepper, chili flakes, olive oil. Lunch.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:50 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]

Did somebody say werewolves?
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 11:42 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]

There. There house!
There. There withal!
There. Therefore art thou Romeo!

There. Underthere!
posted by JHarris at 2:26 PM on September 19 [1 favorite]

We're werewolves, not swearwolves.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:06 PM on September 19 [5 favorites]


posted by Greg_Ace at 3:13 PM on September 19 [3 favorites]

Farwolf was that weird Airwolf/Farscape crossover episode.
posted by hippybear at 3:16 PM on September 19 [3 favorites]

Freedonia acknowledged in a minions movie
posted by falsedmitri at 3:51 PM on September 19

We have finished moving to the new house over the weekend. Tiny Monster cries his eyes out for 20 minutes straight every time we walk through the door because it is not Home. My resolve is breaking. I can afford another $1800 a month to just keep our apartment too, right?

posted by The Monster at the End of this Thread at 6:36 PM on September 19 [1 favorite]

Maybe you can find some kind of ritualistic thing to do with your kid to mark this new place as home? I don't know exactly what, but maybe something would make that transition real.
posted by hippybear at 6:51 PM on September 19 [2 favorites]

Maybe "discover" it? Plant a flag, claim it in the name of your family.
posted by JHarris at 2:46 AM on September 20 [1 favorite]



Might be the creepiest German word (but I'm still looking.)
posted by From Bklyn at 4:11 AM on September 20

Just returned from a counter protest here in downtown Kingston; when the local 2LGBTQIA+ community outnumbers the shitty anti-trans rights folk, you love to see it.

Also, the nutters' protest "signs" were literally pieces of printer paper. Like, do you even protest, bro?
posted by Kitteh at 8:53 AM on September 20 [3 favorites]

This week I've been wanting for a phone call, a few screening questions before I can do a thing this Saturday. Was starting to get worried, closing window of time, still no call, sometimes my phone only sends people to voicemail and doesn't even ring. Found out the other friend waiting for the same call had received it, she gave me the number that had dialed her, I called in. Yup, they've tried to reach me and left messages. My phone shows no incoming calls, no new messages. A smartphone that is good for everything except receiving calls and taking messages. So super useful.

At least it's sorted, I'm good to go for Saturday!
posted by dorey_oh at 3:20 PM on September 20 [1 favorite]

Also, speaking of the having of flags, I have a ticket to see Eddie Izzard in Seattle next month, so excited!
posted by dorey_oh at 3:22 PM on September 20

I know we don't do politics in the free threads, but this seems big....uh, Rupert Murdoch just stepped down as the head of FOX. That's....big, right?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:46 AM on September 21

I dunno, kind of sounds like "here's the new boss, same as the old boss" to me so it's not like I can get excited. That said, looks like there's a thread for it now?

In other news, we had to sit through a lecture on burnout at work. INTERESTING TOPIC THERE, ISN'T IT. I kept my mouth shut through the whole thing. I think I concur with the Nagoskis that "self care" and meditating and going for walks and sleeping does not fix that problem, or at least it doesn't fix my agony between 8-5 M-F. Then again, nothing is going to fix my agony at work. I did appreciate that he said that extreme stress literally makes you less intelligent/unable to take in more information/having to prioritize your survival over learning or comprehension. I did laugh at the idea of talking to your supervisor about making this better since literally I'm told no to everything. Guess what another symptom of burnout is, having no control over your work life.

We also got told that while upper management isn't going to revoke our WFH/hybrid privileges (yet....), we are going to have to renew that on a yearly basis and have a "mandatory review" every year as to whether or not we get to keep it. And that upper management would like to see more faces in the office. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:20 AM on September 21 [2 favorites]

I once read of someone who had named their two children 'Sky' and 'Ocean'. I always wondered: If they ever had another child down the line, would they name it 'Land'? Or perhaps 'Cliff' for a boy, 'Hilly' for a girl...
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:12 PM on September 21

So ... like, 15 years ago, maybe, because my mom mentioned that she was having trouble with it, I looked up tinnitus to find out more info — and I'm still getting multiple daily ads about tinnitus. These are among the pesky bastards that make it through ad block because they pretend to be articles, etc., and THEY FOLLOW ME EVERYWHERE ALWAYS NONSTOP PERPETUALLY. I just got a huge animated one in email because for some reason I was stupid enough to sign up for Wordgenius word of the day at some point. What was I thinking?

I suppose I've sealed my fate by mentioning the t-word again, but it was never going to stop anyway. So if you ever get [you know what] just suffer with it. Dont look it up, don't research it, don't mention it, don't whisper it. Don't even read this comment. The discomfort will be less painful than the ads.
posted by taz at 2:21 PM on September 21 [3 favorites]

I worked with a guy named River for a few years. He had hippie-minded parents who let him choose his own name when he was old enough. I think it's a really great name if it's one you choose for yourself, and one that is probably a problem if it's one given to you.
posted by hippybear at 2:29 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]

I'm still getting multiple daily ads about tinnitus

Several years back, and for the longest time, it seemed that I was being stalked by an ad for some earwax remover. The really gross ad where they're showing a ginormous blob of it. WTF? I had never googled it. I search often for audio-related products and topics (former career and current hobby)... big marketing fail if that's how they used that tracking data.

I don't yet understand why Internet ads are not better curated, or more intelligently matched to my online activity. I think I'd pay $10 a month to Google to have the ability to permanently banish any ad that offends or annoys.
posted by Artful Codger at 2:43 PM on September 21

I think you need to change some setting somewhere about not seeing personalized-to-you ads to get rid of that stuff. I got Internet-stalked by this one guy's ads all the time until I blocked that, but it's been years so I forget where that setting is.

I just found out the power is going to be out all day on one of my work from home days in 2 weeks and both in-office day slots are already booked. I either have to ask someone to switch with me (I don't really want to), ask if there's a third hoteling station I can borrow for the day, or say, hey, can I use a vacation day for this BS? Unfortunately that's also Zoom therapy day so power out all day is a problem for that. My head hurts just thinking about this nonsense and I don't want to ask the one coworker to switch with me since I wouldn't want to be asked, but I think I'm stuck asking, dammit.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:56 PM on September 21

Do you have a cell phone that has data tethering that is robust enough to let you use that for your computer? Also, can you Zoom over your phone? I don't know what your phone situation is, and being one who is on the weaker side of phone capabilities myself, I don't want to make any assumptions.
posted by hippybear at 3:01 PM on September 21

We were without electricity for a day with the recent floods here, and my husband hooked up the router to ... something (he has lots of mysterious power thingies for his work and his electric bike), and my laptop battery actually managed to last by the skin of its teeth with the display turned down to almost-off, but I would have used a power bank for that ... so I just looked up power bank to use with a router, and it seems like you can do that (I'd ask for advice on Ask Me though). Maybe two power banks, one for router, one for computer? Forgive me, everyone, if I'm way off-base with this! Not my bailiwick!
posted by taz at 3:29 PM on September 21

The coworker very nicely took up my offer to switch. I could presumably Zoom via phone, but I really hate doing that on a small screen, and work is still an issue that day.

Hahahah, I'm not sure on the technicalities of that either. I think the modem would last without power for about 4 hours and presumably the laptop might last a few hours on its own, but we have to work on a tiny laptop hooked up to two large screens and you really can't do the job on the tiny laptop screen and the large screens need a big power source, so.... eh, bugger it, I'll just come in.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:30 PM on September 21

I don't listen to music a lot. It's part of my trauma, I couldn't handle any form of artistic expression for a long while, and in my history, my ex, who caused the whole PTSD thing, was against music. (He has his own issues). But today, I was listening to a podcast about about music while was cooking dinner (risotto and tomato salad if you need to know). The kids were confused and pleased but the thing was that was work, I'm preparing to introduce my home town to someone on Wednesday and music is a huge part of that, so I have to get it. It's pretty cool to experience that I can do it. No anxiety, no flashbacks. So good. And also a great deal of inspiration.
posted by mumimor at 12:42 PM on September 22 [7 favorites]

Mrs. Dewd is approaching 70 years of age and had never been on a backpacking trip.
Today I dropped her off with some friends to do a section of the Long Trail over Jay Peak.
It's dark now and I bet she's really proud of herself tonight in her tent.
posted by MtDewd at 5:45 PM on September 22 [3 favorites]

WHEREAS: It is shaping up to be rainy and gross in New York for the next 3 days straight.

WHEREAS; the photo group I belong to cancelled its meetup today because of the weather.

WHEREAS: I have an absolute glut of produce in the fridge, mainly green beans and sweet peppers.

WHEREAS: Even though I am unemployed, I have somehow managed to come well underbudget with my groceries for the month.

WHEREAS: I have discovered recipes for amazing-sounding baking and cooking things that will use up a lot of the aforementioned apples.

WHEREAS; I have been obsessing about a job hunt and my finances for WAY, WAY too long and it has been fucking exhausting.

RESOLVED: After I go get my CSA stuff in an hour, and stop by the grocery store, I am going to hole up inside the whole rest of the weekend and go ABSOLUTE HAM on the kitchen. Clean out the fridge, freeze half the green beans and peppers, put the slow cooker to use and indulge in a homemade apple cider and a smoky chili, breakfast on steel-cut oats with apples and cheddar, and stock up on homebaked cookies, snack bars with apples and peanut butter chips, and lock in a longish movie for the blog.

I guess I can share with my roommate.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:51 AM on September 23 [2 favorites]

It's about to turn cooler and wetter in my corner of the world, so I'll be "celebrating" by making Instant Pot pot roast (using the homemade chicken stock I made last weekend, and browning the meat! before it goes into the pot with the other ingredients) and essaying another foray into my recent bread-making adventures.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:12 PM on September 23

YouTube decided to share the first ever Julia Child television episode with me so now I am making french onion soup. It will be a nice dinner this evening.
posted by hippybear at 12:33 PM on September 23 [2 favorites]

Is it still "French" onion soup if you use American cheese on top?
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:39 PM on September 23

American cheese does have superior melting qualities, but does not provide the sharpness that is needed with french onion soup.

But hey! You do you!
posted by hippybear at 12:51 PM on September 23

I shall do me by continuing a decades-long tradition of zealously avoiding American cheese (and by extension Velveeta) altogether.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:25 PM on September 23

My partner is out of town so I do what I was always do when he leaves: cook the foods he hates. I am eating fish-fragrant eggplant right now, and it is gorgeous.
posted by tofu_crouton at 4:00 PM on September 23 [2 favorites]

Two points:

Decent American cheese, like deli-sliced Boar's Head, is actually a fine product. In fact, it's preferable for some applications, particularly melty ones in involving eggs and breakfast meats, or cheese burgers. It works quite well in grilled cheese when combined with very sharp cheddar, which doesn't melt all that well on its own.

When my spouse is out of house for dinner, I'm all about the foods I can't make otherwise. Kale, sausage, and white beans, yes please, as well as my homemade Shake'n'Bake pork chops that remind me of my youth but are so much better. Covid and related issues have put a damper on that fun, though.
posted by mollweide at 6:38 PM on September 23

Garlicky kale and white beans pasta is one of my favorite dishes.
posted by tofu_crouton at 6:51 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]

... cheddar, which doesn't melt all that well on its own.

I'm always baffled by this claim. Cheddar melts plenty well for me, and has actual flavor.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:58 PM on September 23

I guess it depends on the cheddar. I'm partial to extremely sharp and old cheddar, and I find it tends to get a bit oily on its own when it melts.
posted by mollweide at 8:04 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]

Earlier today we had our first real rain shower in over 4 months. I went out on the deck with an Adult Beverage and savored the petrichor. It was lovely. In a couple months I'll be tired of the monotony of rainy weather, but at the moment it's a pleasant change of pace.

Meanwhile the house was filled with the aroma of pot roast cooking, which is a very different smell but also nice, and comes with a hearty meal at the end.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:14 PM on September 23 [4 favorites]

I love going out on the deck and smelling the aroma of whatever I'm cooking inside, which happens when I have the exhaust fan on or the kitchen window open. It's like, ahhh, that's why I'm spending the time cooking.
posted by mollweide at 8:50 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]

How can anyone hate fish-fragrant eggplant? That is the true mystery of this day.

Here, the kids are off on a short holiday, and I have been doing nothing, including not cooking, though I love to cook. I think the week has been so intense, in a good way, that I just need to rest a lot.

Now, when I have walked the dog, I'm going to clean the house and make quince jelly.
posted by mumimor at 1:30 AM on September 24

mollweide, share your homemade Shake'n'Bake pork chops witchery? That sounds like a thing I need to know.
posted by taz at 2:24 AM on September 24 [1 favorite]

What is "fish-fragrant eggplant"?

Over the last few months I've had a couple jars of green walnuts steeping in vodka, with a few cloves and some lemon peel and... there was something else in there but I've forgotten what... with the intention of it being a drinkable liquor, "Noccino!"

Frankly it's a gruesome-looking brew, black seen straight-on through the bottle, and a livid, poisonous green when some light gets through it. I strained it yesterday, added sugar (maple syrup - because Quebecois) and water and put it in some bottles. Turns into roughly four litres, which made my wife shiver with yuck: it tastes very tannic and medicinal as yet. It should, with time, mellow out to just medicinal and sweet. I'm a fan of these vaguely weird, herb liquors though so I'm looking forward to it. Of course the big irony/ silliness of the whole endeavour is that I'm off alcohol pretty much entirely so I might have a sip or two but likely not more. A lot of it will turn into gifts - god I hope it doesn't suck.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:52 AM on September 24 [1 favorite]

What is "fish-fragrant eggplant"?

The most wonderful food in the world, IMO

Maybe in a tie with pasta alla gorgonzola
posted by mumimor at 3:02 AM on September 24 [1 favorite]

Well, the biggest cooking project of the day yesterday was a bust; a snack cake with both apples and peanut butter chips in. For whatever reason the cake part didn't bake up well at all - it formed this weird crust on the top and then the inside never baked through. I threw out the whole thing.

But it's okay - there's a different apple cake recipe I have that's always worked, and I"m going to try again, but just by making that and throwing in a handful or two of peanut butter chips. It's okay - I've still got all the ingredients, and I even chose that in part to use up an absolute damn glut of apples from the CSA...The OTHER big project yesterday was a sort of DIY hot cider drink, involving chucking 6 sliced-up apples and one sliced-up orange into a crock pot with a quart and a half of water and simmering it all for several hours; it made something that was not the same as "hot cider", but wasn't half bad.

I also did some food-prep/storage hygiene - chopping up most of the green beans and half the peppers, and some lingering celery, for freezer storage.

Still staying inside today (still rainy and gross) so I'm inside again - the plan is to try that cake again and to also make some kind of cowboy-cookie kind of thing that cleans the leftover random stuff out of the pantry - the half cups of nuts and chips, some oats. And a chili - a couple weeks ago I had a similar kitchen-work weekend and made up a big batch of "chili base" in the slow cooker - dumping a bunch of dried chilies and sun-dried tomatoes into the crock pot with water and rehydrating them all, and then blitzing it up into a paste that got frozen into one-cup portions, which were meant to be frozen and then used to make chili or pozole in future. So now today all I have to do is brown some stew beef and throw it into a crock pot with some of that base with some beer, and leave that simmering all day.

....I am also kind of shocked that I've done so well with the finances this month. I've been keeping a very careful eye on money this month because of being technically unemployed; I got a part-time contract gig nearby, for less than I usually make an hour, and I get like a days' worth of unemployment each week. Surprisingly I didn't have to do that much in terms of spending - the biggest changes I made were to spring for some cheaper choices at the supermarket (Kraft cheese instead of the fancier stuff), and to hit up the local library a lot more, and to put my savings deposits on pause. ....And somehow I've gotten to the end of the month that I'm in the black enough to make some deposits to my savings this month anyway (less than usual, but still it's something).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:36 AM on September 24 [3 favorites]

Ground beef was the best price it's been in months so we bought a lot and I'm making eight pounds of meatloaf to freeze today. Also roasting the last corn of the season (probably).
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:29 AM on September 24 [1 favorite]

Just coming back in to share:

Steel-cut oats with maple-roasted apples and cheddar cheese.

posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:37 AM on September 24 [2 favorites]

Sure thing, taz. I prefer thick-cut pork chops. If you're using thinner chops, you can probably skip the oven part and just finish them on the stove. First, I brine the chops in a wet brine (1/3 cup of kosher salt in 1 quart of water) for an hour or two. You could dry brine or just salt the chops before cooking, though. I then pat the chops dry, dredge them in flour, then in a beaten egg, and finally bread crumbs. Store bought Italian seasoned bread crumbs seem to work the best here. I then brown them on one side on the stove in a little oil, flip them, and finish in a 375 degree F oven. I don't pay much attention to time because I use a thermometer, but I think it takes ten minutes or so in the oven to get a thick chop up to 140 degrees F.

The three-part dredging is a bit of pain, but I think it's key for getting the bread crumbs to both stick and form a bit of a crust.
posted by mollweide at 8:39 AM on September 24 [1 favorite]

This is a thing that actually happened to me.

When I was in college, I worked in a junk store. One slow night my co-worker and I were hanging out and talking by the register at the front of the store when a man stuck his head in and said, "Can you call me a cab?"

I, having been raised on the Marx Brothers, said, "Okay. You're a cab."

The man shot me an angry look and walked out.

It was exactly as fulfilling as I'd always imagined it would be.
posted by MrVisible at 5:41 PM on September 24 [6 favorites]

"On that day, at that moment, MrVisible became a Dad."
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:50 PM on September 24 [2 favorites]

Mumimor, the fish-fragrant eggplant sounds great, but the recipe has too many things I can't get (or don't know how to get). Like the Sichuan chile beanpaste, Chinkiang vinegar, and potato starch, which I've never seen here. But here's an actual thing that happened, I read your comment, looked at the recipe, and moments later I was in my online grocery site looking at some stuff, and I searched "waffles." And the search return was a single item: eggplants.

THEN I went to talk to my husband about our project of mixing up some neem oil to put on our Mandevilla that is being attacked by aphids, and he was looking at videos of people mixing and using neem oil, and he started talking about ... eggplants. Because someone on one of the videos was putting it on their garden eggplants. Is there such a thing as being haunted by eggplants? Who ya gonna call for that?

Will update if there are further aubergine incursions. 🍆👻
posted by taz at 9:38 AM on September 25 [2 favorites]

Ding! I was looking at dead simple bread recipes on youtube, watched one that seemed promising for an exceedingly lazy non-baker (from a French guy! Or maybe Belgian or something. How are you not going to trust a French or maybe Belgian or something guy on bread, even if it's the simplest recipe ever?), and decided to have a look at the rest of his recipes, and found ... Eggplant Caviar. (I really am not doing this on purpose; the Eggplant Coincidentality Index is just really high today.)
posted by taz at 11:35 AM on September 25 [1 favorite]

Mumimor, the fish-fragrant eggplant sounds great, but the recipe has too many things I can't get (or don't know how to get). Like the Sichuan chile beanpaste, Chinkiang vinegar, and potato starch, which I've never seen here.

Its funny because I discovered the recipe during lockdown, where I think Fuchsia Dunlop was launching her then new cookbook, and was all over the media. I was isolating at our family farm with over 100km to the closest Chinese restaurant, and decided it might be the time for learning how to cook Chinese food. And lo and behold, there was an online Asian store that delivered to my doorstep! That was serendipity (specially given that the "normal" online stores had nearly nothing they could deliver that far away, so a well-stocked Asian store was just weird).

the Eggplant Coincidentality Index is just really high today.

Well, they are in season...

The other day I has some nice white eggplants, and I decided to make a fancier version of parmigiana, where I broiled the eggplants whole like for Eggplant Caviar, and then put spoonfuls of the resulting creamy eggplant interior on top of slices of ripe tomato, and finally a thin slice of mozzarella and a sprinkling of Pecorino. I now realise I should have taken notes, because I am not entirely sure of the seasoning. Maybe there was a basil leaf involved.
posted by mumimor at 1:44 PM on September 25 [2 favorites]

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