29 February 2008

Leap Year

I still remember, I think it was at one of my father's company Christmas parties. This was in the '70's.

It was in this big old house and to my eyes everything seemed to be covered in red velvet. I recall a long buffet line with all the classics: cheese fondue, glazed strawberries, a carving station. The '70's.

In those early days, I had awful hair. I still have awful hair. But not like that. I had this big poofy beehive thing going on. It was the kind of haircut where if you catch yourself in between two mirrors in 1979 with your mom making you try on cherry-colored blazers, you just begin to cry.

Here I was, weird hair kid wondering up and down the buffet aisle pilfering deviled eggs. And then I came upon something I hadn't seen before. Amid all the plethora of gaudy decadence and fatty ambivalence sat a sterno-fueled tray of odd breaded smidgens of what I assumed to be food.

Yet everyone passed these smidgens by.

So I walked that buffet line three whole times up and down before finally I took hold of the little courage my beehive offered me, and I tonged a trio of these odd smidgens down on a warm dish.

I began to walk away.

"Hey kid," said the voice. "You know what that is?"

I turned to notice three waitstaff peering in my direction like some ill-willed trifecta. I looked up at them.

"That there, kid," the Antony of the group smirked, "is frog legs."

I let an eye slip plate-ward. "Really," I coyly replied.

"Yeah, kid," his swarmy reply. "So, you really gonna eat that?"

To wit, I looked the man in the eye and replied: "I heard it goes well with cottage cheese."

Sorry. The story actually doesn't get any better than that. Perhaps you'd rather read some other writer describe the witty send-up that arrived on his tongue. But not here. No, the best my single-digit brain could manifest was: "I heard it goes well with cottage cheese."

But you will find, dear readers, that even today amid the hassle of a 24-hour world, that parcel of rebuttle will go a long way. I urge you to try it out first chance you get.

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