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3:31 a.m. - 2003-04-14

HASSENPFEFFER, HASSENPFEFFER?

So Saturday night, we decide to call Susie's Mom, have her come down to babysit Andrew, and go out to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.

Susie's Mom shows up about 5 p.m. with her Diet Dr. Pepper slurping, $1,100-owing, stale cigarette-smelling, sexually repulsive son in tow.

I don't really have a problem with that. Don't touch my son's peepee and we're cool, y'know?

Because I'm in a good mood.

Oh.

And because I password protected the computer before they got there. So as soon as we pulled out of the driveway and Mom and Bro-in-Law raced to get on the computer, they'd be greeted with a little message telling them they couldn't surf the web and would have to actually WATCH my son while they were guests in my house, NOT surf for porn.

Tee hee!

I'm such an imp that way!

So Susie wanted to go to this Japanese Steak House that she likes to go to once a year.

I suggested this new Japanese Steak House in town instead that I had heard wonderful things about from Edweird.

So we went there instead.

We're seated after some gibberish from the hostess. I love Asian food. I love Asian people.

But I'll be damned if I can understand them 90 percent of the time.

I think they know this too. That's why they choose to mangle their enunciation of the English language for me. Everything sounds like "hassenpfeffer" to me.

"Hassenpfeffer hassenpfeffer, hassenpfeffer?"

"I'll have a Heineken, please."

"Hassenpfeffer?"

"Sure. Sounds good to me!"

"Hassenpfeffer, hassenpfeffer?"

"HA! You got that right!"

Since this is a Japanese Steak AND Sushi Bar, I decide to indulge my one fantasy that I've harbored for the last 20 years and finally decided to try some authentic sushi.

I had tried to make sushi one time before several years ago at home.

Basically, I was stoned and sucked on a frozen orange roughy filet for about 15 minutes until it became gooey enough to eat.

Personally, I didn't think it was all that great at that time. But everyone told me that wasn't really authentic sushi, so I figured I'd give it another try.

I ordered the sushi appetizer. Four pieces of sushi.

Lady Hassenpfeffer brought the sushi to me sometime between the soup and the salad.

It was four pieces of raw fish on four lumps of cold rice.

And I paid seven bucks for this.

Now then ... I've got a sushi tip for some of you.

If you've never ordered sushi before and decide to do it, listen up.

They'll bring you your sushi.

On your plate, you'll see a tiny lump of green paste.

You'll think to yourself "Cool! Guacamole!"

You will smear the guacamole on the sushi, hoping to kill some of the taste of the sushi.

Here's the funny part...that isn't guacamole. It's called "wasabi".

I found this out as my eyes were watering out of my head and I had coughed up several loogies that were currently frying on the hot grill in front of us.

Wasabi tastes a lot like an extremely strong horseradish. Or, as they call it in Germany..."Hassenpfeffer".

It is most commonly used in torture practices in Korean concentration camps to make prisoners talk. They threaten them with a smidgen of wasabi and prisoners will tell them everything they've ever learned in their entire lives.

If you order sushi, they put it on your plate to determine if you're a sushi virgin or not.

If you try the wasabi, you're obviously a virgin. Those that pass on the wasabi have already had the trick pulled on them once before and wisely pass on the stuff.

So I'm running around the restaurant like Yosemite Sam after stepping on hot coals until a cook comes bursting out of the back with a fire extinguisher, spraying it at my face while everyone laughs and applauds like I'm part of the show.

Hey, I got a dollar tip. So it wasn't all for nothing, y'know?

Anyway, it was excellent food. Excellent.

And I do love these places because of the show that the cooks put on. Our cook had a fascinating sense of rhythm as he banged his spatula and fork on the grill, playing a really cool song.

He did the onion volcano thing that is all the rage at Japanese Steak Houses that virgins still oooh and aaaahhh over, but us veterans merely sneer at.

He flipped all sorts of stuff up into his chef hat, spread fire around the grill with his bare hands and for an encore, placed his tongue on the grill until the smell of seared Asian chef tongue flesh filled the air.

These guys really go all out for the customer's enjoyment.

Afterwards, we went to Lowe's Home Improvement store, where I bought some weed killer and bug spray for our anniversary.

Because that's the customary gift for the 15th anniversary....pesticide.

Came home and Andrew was in the den, watching his tapes. Grandma was on the computer...playing solitaire. While Bro-in-Law sat all sullen because his plans to surf the web for porn and tickle his pathetic wiener were foiled by yours truly.

I rule!


Yesterday, we took Andrew to our community Easter Egg Hunt.

He had just woken up from his nap when we whisked him into the van and drove the mile to the clubhouse area.

About 75-80 kids were already there with their Easter baskets, ready to get as many eggs as possible.

The thing started at 4:30 and we got there at 4:25.

What we didn't know was that this wasn't sponsored by our subdivision ... this was sponsored by a new local church.

So the kids are all antsy to get started on the hunt, but the church people had a better idea.

First, they read a story to the kids that NONE of them paid attention to. You don't promise kids an Easter Egg Hunt and then force them to sit on a hot tennis court so you can read them a story about Jesus and some trees. Hell ... even I lost interest in the story right around the part that goes "Once upon a time".

So after this long-drawn out story told by a guy whose elbow was severely messed up, we said a prayer.

A really long prayer.

I'm not uncomfortable praying on a hot tennis court in temperatures that are pushing 90 degrees.

But I was uncomfortable with this guy's elbow.

It was like it needed to be drained or something. He had a lump on his elbow that was as big as a grapefruit. I couldn't pray because I was desperately fighting the urge to frantically search for a hat pin and poke that thing unmercifully until elbow fluid sprayed out all over the kids on the tennis court.

Alas, the prayer finally ended and the King of Big Assed Elbows explained that the kids would now be broken up into two groups...four and under go in one direction, over the age of four goes in another direction.

So we get out there, and I'm pumping Andrew full of valuable tips that will assist him in the hunt.

"Andrew, listen to me," I whispered as I carried him to the field. "There are golden eggs out there. That's what you're looking for. If you find a golden egg, you get the big baskets full of crap. That's what you want. Don't worry about the pink and purple and yellow eggs. Concentrate on finding the golden eggs. You got me?"

"No," he said, because he says "No" every time we ask him a question now.

"Good," I said. "Remember...the golden eggs!"

The lady says "Go!" and I put Andrew on the ground and start frantically searching for the golden eggs.

I guess it would have been a better idea to just watch the swarm of kids descend on the golden eggs. The kids who had already scoped the field out and knew exactly where they were.

Meanwhile, Andrew's shuffling around like the town drunk, aimlessly staring at the colorful eggs on the ground.

"Pick them UP!" I hissed at him. "Put them in your basket!"

He watched the other kids and then slowly got into it. By the time all the eggs had been picked up, he had gotten about 12 eggs full of Tootsie Rolls and Bit o' Honeys.

I finally met some neighbors of ours that I hadn't met but Susie had. I had pegged them as "hoity-toity" without meeting them because every time Susie had invited them to our home for anything, they always politely declined.

So I meet them and they're dressed to the nines.

Hell...the guy's polo shirt was tucked in to his shorts and she was wearing a sun dress for Pete's sake.

Everyone else there was in their sloppiest t-shirts and baggy shorts. They were dressed as if they were having lunch with the Queen.

We live in a nice neighborhood. But there are much nicer neighborhoods in our city than ours. I'd say we're upper middle-class and that's how the majority of the people I've met in our neighborhood could be described as.

But these people are trying to be something that they're obviously not.

I hate that in people.

I mean...I hate a lot of things in people.

But putting on airs about yourself...that's a pet peeve of mine.

I am who I am when you meet me.

People who try to act like they're rich when I've seen the inside of their homes and baby...you ain't rich ... they really gripe my goat, if, in fact, that's a phrase.

It was kind of funny...after the hunt was over, everyone went to the clubhouse to have hot dogs.

We met up with some other families from the street and were talking with them.

The Hoity Toits kind of stood to the side, looking disgusted by the amount of people there who hadn't taken the time to tuck in their shirts and iron their clothes before the event.

Susie invited them over to our group and the woman politely declined, saying they needed to get home because they had company coming over.

Hey, that's cool.

Don't bond with us.

Now we know which house to aim the bottle rockets at on the Fourth of July.


By the way...thanks to all those who've responded to Plug Day yesterday.

If you can help out either plug, it would be most appreciated by everyone involved.

Rawk on!

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