I’m not paying six dollars for a bottle of BBQ with a ginned-up backstory. As far as I can tell from the bottle, he was given to aphorisms, like all BBQ men, and is dead, and on Facebook.

But the bottle’s design is nicely done:



That has to be authentic, doesn’t it? Doesn’t seem to be any actual Rufus Teague, and the “about” page just has contact information. Mind you, I got this from my phone while I was in the store, which is about as ridiculous an enterprise as someone calling home from Red Owl and saying “Check the World Book for everything they have on a Mrs. Butterworth. I don’t think she existed.”

The store did not have these.



Those are only at Target. Andy Warhol soup cans. There are several varieties; all look like someone scanned the original into Photoshop and manipulated the hue slider. They are not particularly appetizing, but I’m sure look novel in your cupboard. They only come in Tomato variety. I do not like Tomato soup. It’s like drinking hot thick ketchup.

Let’s go a story, and see if they’re called Iconic, shall we? Yes. The site has some interesting comments:

Tomato fresh, cooked sauce or in a soup the Kitchen Chef created recipie books the accounts in the Cooking books which more or less forgery is the Schengen Molahellas Zionismason Bingo Sitinasarmy Monsanto Molahislam Magdi Abdallah Zain Ozone Osman CIA Evans- Adams honey money forgery

That’s quite a line-up. I’d forgotten all about the Evans-Adams honey money forgery. The author expands on the idea:

The Israel antichristianorthodox Jahoba Monsanto Casino Molahislam criminal cooperation of USA-KKK-CIA-Zionismason-Sitinasarmy with ScandinavaiGermanSwissSchengen MolahislamPederasts&EECMolahellasRoyalsAlDabibPigs= Giorgos Georgiadis with Magdi Abdallah Evangelos Hatzimichail Markos Hatzithakis Satan city Israel Nutritional Genocide Terrorism Zionismason Molahislam Humanitarian Teams PC Monsanto Hobby-Lobby-Dogs rape forge my work bedroom and my kitchen`s Health and recipes..

We had a problem with Hobby-Lobby-Dogs as well, but as it turns out they’re allergic to Tomato fresh, cooked sauce. The author is a Greek woman who lives in Sudan and has a Facebook page, which continues in the same merry vein:

The Price of Armchair pair with table of Golden color set is 90Sudanese pounds in 15th street New Extension Galli Al Dalli fi Bally Molah Haj-Hassan-Markous Mouna-Liza Her-lader Clup SPA Critics-Boulos lisse (Al Madame Molah fi Tourab ismou Farouk), only and the party of German Giant Ophthalmology Professor Clinic is in kinder-garden with Sweat Thumbelina wedding Rose Dolls from Cypriot Super Market Orphanidis.........+***^***+

Ah, Sweat Thumbelina; remember that story from childhood. Now: is this some sort of devous plan to get people to spend 905 Sundanese pounds at the New Extensoon Al Dalli Bally Molah?

Hold on a second: Mouna-Liza? The one by Leunurdoda CIA Zionadinci?







Now it’s 11 years on. I still look to the corner of the street where the giant elms stood, how they were still standing the day after, wrapped in the mist of the morning. The newspaper headline, I believe, was TERRORIZED. Lots of papers ran with “Terror,” the word not yet having been drained by promiscuous application and association with a vaguely-defined offensive strategy. The Daily News got it right:


And it was. Until it wasn’t anymore, for most people. No one can find the exact date when it stopped being War. You can blame all manner of causes - the two decisive victories, the absence of another domestic attack, the mismanaged occupation, the long bootless grind - at least as it was depicted in the news - and the scandals that had the deplorable effect of suggesting some sort of moral equivalence. That was bad but this was bad. Ergo: bad all around.

Eh. Simplistic.

It took ten years, but as the man said, we would not falter; found the SOB in his cinderblock house and shot him; there’s satisfaction in knowing he felt fear and hopelessness at the end. Lofted him up in the copter - close as you’ll get to heaven, pal - and kicked him out the door into the dark water below.

Good. But it’s like reading a history of WW2, how it was won but never ended, how they found Hitler in an Austrian town in 1954. There was never any terminus, no moment after which things took on a post-war cast, no period to the run-on sentence of Islamist aggravation. It feels like so many other things feel: a sharp note struck, and an unbearably attenuated decrescendo. I grew up expecting the big loud sound that would put a period to everything. But that was rare. That as then. Now, as ever, we live between the sharp notes. Gather them all together, and you have the melody of the centuries.

In the end, it’s a major key, I believe. That might just be hope, and you could say hope is the human quality that makes us strive, better ourselves, make something straight out of this crooked timber - and I’d agree. But you’d be a fool not to remember the evil men who aimed the planes at the towers.

I hope I hit it, they thought. I hope it all falls down.


Sept 11, 2001 was the publication date for "The Gallery of Regrettable Food." I remember we considered cancelling the launch party here at Jasperwood. Strenuous objections: no. Keep calm and carry on, although no one said that at the time. So we had the party, with a big bowl of Walnettos as a nod to the man who built Jasperwood.

I saved one wrapper, and put it in the copy of the book. Just looked. It's still there, along with an invite to the party. Made me smile.



Why yes, that's a reminder that there's a new book. Cheap, too. Print version en route in a week; iBooks shortly thereafter.

Have a good day. It's supposed to be 90 in Minneapolis. I'll be outside, working. As long as I can.











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