Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Once Upon A time, in Hell's Kitchen...

My name is Dale.
I’ll have you know, that I haven’t always looked like this. I used to be quite a lean hunk of meat. I guess that was why The Woman Up There was attracted to me and picked me up and brought me to Hell’s Kitchen. She promised me that she would treat me well, that she would shower me with luxuries that I could not even imagine. I was speechless with excited agreement.
But it turned out, after she left me in the cold for days on end, she had me pounded to a pulp. Then she left me sitting in this ugly bowl of an apartment.
I was devastated.
In her cruelness, there is a slight kindness though. Coz it was not long before The Woman introduced me to Miss Tatum Tater. Tatum was pounded to a pulp just like me, but before that, she had gone through worse. According to her, The Woman Up There thought she was too wild and raw, so she cut her down to size and had put her in The Fryer. Things happen to you in The Fryer. They turn the heat up so high on you that you have no choice but to change. You get soft. You get pliable. When The Woman was done with Tatum, she added salt to injury by pounding her to a pulp.

Tatum and I, we were stirred up to mix and mingle. We were forced to meld together, but I didn’t mind. It may have been a marriage of convenience, but it was still, a marriage. Tatum’s fluffy softness was what held me together through the days, and my rough exterior held her strong.
Our lives were further spiced up with a green Hispanic kid they called Chops Cilantro. Then came a thin, brown italian girl named Scalogni Affettare. Like Tatum, Scalogni too had been put through The Fryer. But instead of soft like Tatum, the heat put on her made her hard and brittle. Next came the French twins, Sel and Poivre. Poivre was slightly bigger than Sel, but The Woman took as much of him as she could handle. They were a mixed lot, but their presence in our lives made it all the more interesting. You could say that they brought their own unique flavours into our tiny bowl of life.

Then The Woman Up There did something we never expected. She came and rolled us up like tiny balls. She even pressured us to flatten our spirits. We ended up like lumps heaped together.
But the worse wasn’t over yet.
She lathered us with eggs, then put us through The Fryer.
It was my first time in The Fryer, and it was unbearable! Tatum and the kids held on tight to me, and with the cloak of eggs over us, we survived the heat together.

That was how I became what I’ve become now. The experience had made my outlook darker and uglier, but inside, I think I’ve improved. My inner self is softer now, more textured and flavoured. I no longer think ill of The Woman. I see now, that she changed me for the better and I see her with longing and love in her eyes.
I have finally become the true Dale. Burger Dale.

Bergedil, a spiced meat and potato cake, a good accompaniment for rice noodles in soup.


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