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Saturday, Nov. 24, 2001
For those of you concerned that the lack of an entry yesterday indicated some sort of gastrointestinal distress on the part of Outfoxed, let me reassure you.

I didn't explode, but only because I stayed away from sharp objects. I happened to fall into the clutches of two grandmotherly ladies who love to cook, and are damned good at it.

You should have seen them beaming as they watched me shovel in the chow. It was positively heartwarming. Even before the meal, during the prayer, one of them said "....and thank you Lord, for sending us Outfoxed on this day, for he shall swab the plates of all leftovers and keep our dishwashing to a minimum."

Once again, during the preliminaries, I was summoned to man the special oyster cooker that Stu and I have dreamed up. I did it in Chincoteague at the oyster festival too. It's such a hokey thing, but such fun.

Stu has one of those Red Devil Wok things you have probably seen on infomercials. Portable, propane fired woks. On TV, they can be seen cooking up whole buffalo in half the time it would take to do in the George Foreman burger grill you bought at Wal-Mart.

We hit on the idea of taking oysters and just sauteeing them in butter and garlic. On the Red Devil grille, this takes a little practice, to get them to the point of being just a bit crispy without burning. And retaining all that flavor. You then push them to the outer ring portion of the wok and people amble by, toothpicking up a succulent hor'deouvre.

At least that's the theory.

Stu went over to the other side of the yard and set up his deep fryer to play dunk the turkey, and I was left in charge of the wok. Since many of the two dozen in attendance knew nothing of our sauteed oyster scheme, there was a hint of mystery about what I was up to.

Two quarts of oysters were produced, I fired up the wok, and commenced the cooking. An aroma filled the air that seemed almost cartoonish, a wafting tendril of smoke which would form into a hand, drift into the house and pluck the hungry throng from football and DVD movies. They floated out to me.

"What is that? Whatta ya cookin?"

To gesture in an inviting way was to let them know that the samples here at Cafe Outfoxed were free and the toothpicks plentiful. I neglected to mention that there was a finite limit to the actual supply of oysters.

Within 20 minutes the yard was a mob scene. I swear, someone was on a cellular phone inviting folks from the neighborhood over. A cloud of locusts could not have gone through wheat at the rate those oysters were being devoured. I felt akin to a short order cook at the only diner outside of the Ford plant at noon. At one point I looked above the mob and saw Stu, peering anxiously my way and I could read his very thought.

"Oh dammit, I'll never get any oysters. And from my own wok, too."

Truth be told, he never did. If I hadn't laid hands on the first batch, I wouldn't have, either. There was some good natured grumbling from the locusts when I ran out, but I shut down the grille and ambled over to see how Stu was coming along with his turkey frying.

"How's the bird doing, pal?"

Stu sputtered, and paced a bit. "Savages. They're all savages. Cleaned you out, did they? And not a one for old Stu. Heathen horde."

We actually use terms like heathen horde, he and I. It makes for good theater. Healthy vocabularies. Although much of what he was saying after that would be considered R-rated vocabulary.

I never knew a parrot could do stuff like that.

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