The Hark-Aldonze ripostuary of antiphonal asininity
Episode 3: The Phad Thai Guide to Hospitalisation
Taos Green Chili
Chef Aldonze thrusts
This is Aldonze. Chef Aldonze-Luiz (Loo-eeze) at your service!
Again, I begin with positive. Thank you for your response to my request for my check and informing your many banks to send it to me. I still do not have it but the postman is slow and I am most of patient men.
Now Aldonze gets furryous. I take my cloves off. You call me a dog? How dare you insult the great Aldonze? I understand the English enough to know that you pretend to get sick from my famouse Paella. No one ... I retreat ... NO ONE has ever been ill from Aldonze receipts. This is no truth. Bald faces lie. I get the repression you are a pompous, arrogant, big headded writer with a bloated eggo that porpoises to irrigate me. Ohhhh! I am very mad. I should have you arrested and put behind poles for managing my reputation.
Heed my words, Haark. Do not play toys with me. I have certain connections with the underearth and one word from Aldonze and you will disappear. Perhaps you will wind up in the stagnate waters from whence you harvested the poisoned mussels. This is no idle treat. No more foolishness. I suffer from upper blood pressure and my dottore says I must stay calm. I refuse to comment on the first two paragraphs of your retorte. You write in big words only to confuse me. You write as if you are God's gift to the publishing world. I am not fooled by this trickery.
Aldonze is now calm.
To business; I obtained this version of Phad Thai (not Pad Thai as you say, imbécile!) many years ago while on a secret mission in Cambodia. I am still oathed to silence about my subjective. Blood thirsty army soldiers chased me into the steamy jungles of Thailand where I took refuse with a small family (Lon Gong Dong, his wife and daughter). They kept me hidden in their tiny hut for weeks. While in hiding, I helped Papa Dong plant rice and a strange green tobacco. We would spend many pleasant nights eating Mama Dong's Phad Thai, sipping cold rice wine and smoking green tobacco. I made notes of Mama's receipt in my mind. I also noted the great beauty of 19-year-old daughter, Li Gong Dong. I was young and romantic, non? We fell in love. One starry night, while doing love things, Papa Gong caught us and chased me deep into the snake-infested rain forest with a big Machete. Again, I was lost and starving. I survived three weeks eating the barks of trees and tiny bamboo shutes. I was finally recused by a whirling bird and whisked to saftey.
My thoughts often drift to Li Gong Dong but alaz; it was not meant to be. The image of Papa Dong's large Machete slashing in the thick air narrowly missing my sleek body is a far larger memory. Again, I feel it is not wise to return to my long lost love in Thailand, non? Sì!
I remain, as always, Aldonze. Chef Aldonze-Luiz (Loo-eeze) at your service!
Harold Hark parries
This is Hark. Harold glad to be alive Hark, at your service ... funeral service, that is!
Once again I tried your "receipt" in advance of putting it on the Web. Phad Thai is indeed a savoury masterpiece, and while I highly recommend it, I must tell you that it nearly killed me.
Short of time (and with my academic wife working 12 hours a day to cover staff shortages our Federal Government has deemed it necessary to make in order to reduce the quality of education to philistine standards), I asked an acquaintance, a local chef, to whip it up for a lunchtime goût de foudre at his restaurant.
I was mightily pleased at the bowl he placed before me (it looked just like the photo you sent). But as soon as I inserted a (perhaps) oversized quantity past my fluted, anticipatory lips, the entire mass lodged in my throat, almost instantly sucking dry all remnants of saliva. I hacked and coughed but could not swallow or bring it forth. I gulped some of the beer Mr Elixirs suggested, but the liquid would not pass the lumpen barricade. Instead, it cascaded back in the direction whence it came, that is, out of my mouth and on to the table.
Can you imagine the scene? At the sight of my face, bluer than Krishna's, people rose from their tables and fled screaming from the restaurant. The chef and head waiter took turns pounding me on the back, resorting at last to vaudevillian attempts at administering the Heimlich manoeuvre. Nothing worked. The sound of my gagging and attempts to wretch penetrated the restaurant's front windows. Innocent passersby who didn't faint on the spot began to run for their lives. One poor soul ran into the street and the path of an oncoming ambulance and was hurled some twenty feet.
The crumpled innocent and I joined the ambulance's transportee, an elderly lady whose earlier stroke was now complicated by a massive heart attack. Wheeled our separate ways at the hospital, I was placed in the only room left, in the birthing unit. There a sweating doctor and two midwives searched frantically for an appropriate tool to remove the obstruction. A shout from across the corridor was followed by a flying pair of natal forceps, still warm from delivering a difficult baby and the last minute cleansing of foetal goo. Caught by an agile nurse, they were transferred to the doctor (who bore a terrifying resemblance to George W. Bush), who jammed them down my throat and, to a round of cheers, withdrew the offending clod of Phad Thai.
The Chef later told me that, unbeknownst to him, his new kitchen hand had accidentally tripped behind his back, letting fly a few morsels of unripe persimmon meat from the plate in his hand directly into the cooking Phad Thai. The kitchen hand admitted his deadly deed to the head waiter long after the ambulance had careened away from the emptied restaurant, claiming he had merely been transporting the alum substitute to the rubbish bin.
The hapless fool was summarily sacked, and apologies were made, but the chef has asked me to help pay for the mess that was made, as well as the afternoon's loss of business. When I feigned shock at such an unorthodox request, he vehemently reminded me that it was I who asked him to cook a dish "from that charlatan Aldonze, whose receipts leave trails of death, destruction and heartbreak behind him!"
I had, of course, told him your tales of the unfortunate Spaniard and the outraged Thai father and his compromised daughter. He shook his head in disbelief. At least, we agreed, you hadn't harmed the old sages in New Mexico ... or did you?
Come clean, you swine!