Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bake-Offs, sharks, and rubber chickens

In which it is clear I have all the ingredients for silliness.

This week's Thursday News of the Absurd Will Someone Please Write This Book Inspirational Moment (TNoftheAWSPWTBIM) was inspired by Professor Paula Vogel's "Bake-Off" for playwrights at Brown University. MFA students have 48 hours to write a play based on a literary character (one year it was Don Juan, for example); plays must also include the necessary "ingredients" (such as a master and servant, sword play, a statue, etc.).*

Off topic: This reminds me of college, where to entertain ourselves my roommate and I would assign each other phrases that had to appear in our essays. We started with academic phrases like "diametrically opposed" and eventually devolved into such things as "hide the money and run out the door."**

In any case, I am also cooking for Passover this week, so I am thinking about ingredients.

And then, a rash of strange thefts hit the news:

Thief nabbed with 68 tubes of toothpaste (Reuters)

Man pleads guilty to serial shrimp shoplifting (AP)

Man offers $69 for Klondike bar after shoplifting

And this site, at which you can read about how El Pollo Loco's 20 foot high rubber chicken was stolen and Manuel Noriega's wife ripped off $485 worth of buttons.

So here is my question: what if all these people were in cahoots and the stolen items were the ingredients? What dastardly plan could they possibly have created that would require:

- 68 tubes of toothpaste
- a ton of shrimp
- one Klondike bar
- a 20 foot high rubber chicken
- and all the buttons from the clothing section at a department store?***

Here's my idea:
They're keeping something big happy. Like a great white shark. He needs lots of shrimp to eat and man, that shark's breath stinks afterwards. So someone has to brush for him with toothpaste. Lots of it. The rubber chicken is the only thing big enough and soft enough to pass for a great white shark toothbrush. And, um, the dastardly plan is to release the shark into Lake Michigan to terrorize people, but he only has so much salt water survival time so they have been training him to follow a trail of buttons back to their underwater lair. The Klondike bar is going to be tied to the shark's fin so humans will see a delicious snack instead of a scary fin, and will not scream or swim away.

What's your story?

* Thanks to my friend Erika for the link.
** which I actually squeezed into a psych paper, thank you very much.
*** It is possible that it was not the buttons which were necessary, but the NOT having buttons on the clothes


Tabitha said...

LOL!! I like your story. I think you need to write this one. :)

C.R. Evers said...

OK. I'll give it a try. My story is about a boy who wants to have the worlds best, scarriest and grosest Halloween costume. He decides to be a giant zombie chicken. But he needs a way to rig the inside of the rubber chicken so that he can fit, so he has to steal a bunch of buttons to make the inside part of the costume fit right.

He needs the toothpaste for 2 purposes. 1) is approx 8 tubes to smear all over the chicken suit to give it a more "zombie" patina. 2) is to shoot out of the bottom of the costume so it looks like he's leaving little zombie chicken droppings on the ground. But Chicken droppings aren't complete or gross enough w/o bits of worm. or grubs, so he swipes a ton of shrimp to mix w/ the toothpast to look like he has bits of worm, grub or maggots in his zombie chicken poo.

OK. That's my story. :0) HOpe I didn't leave anything out.

Jacqui said...

Tabitha, soon my To Write list will be longer even than my To Read list.

Christy, I love it. You win. The chicken droppings are the best part, clearly.

Candace Ryan said...

"...soon my To Write list will be longer even than my To Read list."

That is so overwhelmingly my situation.

I agree with Tabitha, you have to write this. The story has chosen you. Besides, we need more rubber chicken/shark stories out there.

Jacqui said...

Candace, tis true about the world needing rubber chicken stories. There is much similar absurdity in my current book, but perhaps the shark-keepers will get their own book. I am imagining a sweet Chicago crime boss, maybe in the 20s, and a talking shark...

Amber Lough said...

*sigh* I love this blog.

Jacqui said...

:) Thanks!

Paul Michael Murphy said...

Heinrich Kaufman's "Free button with purchase of Sauerkraut Value Meal #1" promotion was working splendidly until that weaselly Manuel Martinez opened another one of those wretched El Pollo Locos right next door. Now, business at Kaufman's "The Distinguished German" is lagging, so Heinrich hatches a plot to put El Pollo Loco out of commission.

Calling on a band of trustworthy Krauts from the Old Country, he schemes to steal El Pollo Loco's giant 20 foot chicken and stuff its rubber gizzard with a ton of shrimp. He will then become a local hero when he "finds" the chicken and returns it to Martinez. But days later, when the shrimp has spoiled and the stink drives the chicken craving customers away (and to The Distinguished German because there's no olfactory cure for the smell of nasty shrimp like the pungent, yet delicious aroma of sauerkraut), Martinez will finally identify the cause of his flagging business and incessant headaches brought on by the continual whiffing of putrid shrimp. He will cut open his precious chicken (hopefully right in front of a sea of horrified children) and attempt to remove the rancid seafood. But will he be able to? No. Because Heinrich used copious amounts of toothpaste to bind the shrimp to the inner walls of the rubber chicken and as everyone knows, toothpaste, when it dries, might as well be concrete. With no other option, Martinez will be forced to ditch his giant chicken in an abandoned salt mine, where it will slowly degrade, releasing toxic El Pollo Loco contaminants into the water table and Martinez will be shut down for good by the EPA.

And how will Heinrich repay his loyal Krauts? With a Klondike Bar, evenly divided among the conspirators. Because everyone knows how much Germans love Klondike Bars.

Brenda said...

This has to be the funniest 'recipe' around...I love it...

Jacqui said...

Paul, I bow to your genius. I am surprised, though, that you failed to mention how many lederhosen the thieves would lose if they didn't have extra buttons to hold them on.

Brenda, thanks!

Paul Michael Murphy said...

I'll put it in the revision. Lederhosen! How could I have neglected the lederhosen?!

(okay, so my knowledge of Germany is limited to sauerkraut, stuff I learned from Indiana Jones, and the many variations of the Franconian dialect.)

Jacqui said...

Paul, obviously mine is little better...