(Photo from Lighbulb Man series). Lohbado bumped into the renowned vermicellist, Dr. Pastrami Linguini down at Bobo’s Pizzahrea. Dr. Pastrami, at the lunch counter, set down his ham sandwich, wiped mustard from the lips and licked melted spumoni off his fingers. Dr. Linguini liked to eat first course and desert together, alternating spoonfuls of Italian ice cream, candies and foam on top with bites of ham and rye sandwich.
“Hey Pastrami, where you been?” Lohbado shouted, loud enough to be heard over the din of voices, clink of spoons, and glassware, the thump of background music, blaring overhead TVs and the bells and whistles of game stations, “You gotta match? My wife bought a cheese fondue kit and the stuff won’t melt. I thought maybe I been using the wrong kind of matches. It’s supposed to make smooth and creamy stuff, but instead, it comes out in grey, gloppy lumps.”
Lohbado tracked down Dr. Linguini to get things off his chest. Lohbado was having financial and marital problems and needed to talk to somebody.
A roll of fat wobbled on the back of the neck as Dr. Pastrami gurgled to clear his throat and spat a clot of mucous into a paper napkin and then shut down the ipad. He didn’t want Lohbado to see the twitter he just received from Mary Jane about the upcoming wiener roast in Bobo’s basement. Enter through the back door, tap down wooden steps and an amazing transformation happens: Bobo’s basement palace.
Bobo and Mary Jane ran an underground restaurant. Bobo kept his fingers in the sauce, while Mary Jane weeded through the pantry. Behind Bobo’s back, Mary Jane was having an unusual affair with Dr. Pastrami Linguini. I won’t go into detail about their nude eating orgies at the Dingle Dell Motel, or the kinky things they did with room temperature TV dinners.
“I don’t need a lot of sunlight to make this place spin,” Bobo used to boast to those who wondered how he could make an underground bistro stay in business, “The sale of hot buttered croissants is enough to keep the doors open and I’m not even talking about filous, flaky rouleaux or the hen’s eggs stuffed with hog liver pate. Speaking of liver pate, the most expensive kind is made from hogs given a supplement of alcohol. That enlarges the livers, giving them an agreeable perfume. I’ve heard of such livers selling for up to a thousand dollars a pound.”
Lohbado knew that was no exaggeration. He once tried methylated pate at regional headquarters when he worked as a Trainer for the Department of Regulation in the Cha Region of the Poh Valley. It almost tasted like candy and could be eaten on it’s own, as an appetizer.
Dr. Pastrami Linguini took another mouthful of ham sandwich and as the white, semi-masticated ball spun around in his mouth, like clothes in a dryer, his ears moving in time to the jaw, explained to Lohbado, maybe he was using the wrong kind of cheese.
“Stay away from the mozzarella,” explained Dr. Pastrami, while chewing with his mouth open, “Stick with gruyere, old cheddar and emmentaler. Add white wine, a little flour and butter. Whisk it so the stuff doesn’t stick or burn. I guarantee; you’ll love it.”
“Ok Doctor,” said Lohbado, taking advantage of a pause as Dr. Pastrami swallowed, “You’ve got to help me. My wife tells me I’m lazy. On Saturday afternoons, instead of making myself useful, I loaf around and gaze out the window. My favorite activity is to do nothing. You wouldn’t believe how doing nothing drives people crazy. They figure a man who does nothing, even for five minutes, is useless. That five minutes could have been used to sweep the floor, clean the bathroom, fix a leaking tap, paint a wall or go grocery shopping.”
“Divorce is the way to go, if you ask me,” replied Dr. Pastrami, “Divorce was the best thing that ever happened to me. After Brandy left, I could focus on Vermicelli research. Vermicelli happens to be my favorite food. Now I too am a lazy man. I don’t like cooking. So I invented a cook-less noodle. You run the noodles under cold water for thirty seconds and presto, ready to eat! You don’t even need to put them on a place. You can grab a handful in your fist and shove them under the tap and then stuff them down your throat. If you’re too tired, those noodles don’t even need to be chewed. I designed them so they dissolve in the stomach. They’re the most digestible food, next to mother’s milk.”
“Ok Doctor, but after Lohbada told me I’m lazy,” said Lohbado, “She told me I’m an arrogant leech, because I got fired again last week. I can’t even count the number of jobs I’ve lost in the past ten years. It’s pathetic. So I figure, you can’t hold a job. Then don’t work. But Lohbada says I have to pull my own weight.”
“I have the perfect solution,” said Patrami, “I’ll hire you as a Vermicelli salesman. You’ll earn on commission.”
“Then for sure I’ll never make any money.”
“That’s not true. I just invented a miracle product to solve the world food crisis. The noodles are easy to grow. You can sprinkle a few vermicelli seeds in your socks drawer and within three days, you’ll have shoots. Most people couldn’t be bothered to produce their own food. So you sell it to them.”
“And it doesn’t need to be cooked,” said Lohbado.
“Exactly, save on fuel and electricity. Plus the stuff tastes like saliva,” continued the Doctor, “It’s the closest thing to a flavorless food. And it has the texture of mucous. It’s like swallowing phlegm, even easier than eating oysters. You serve it at just below body temperature… the easiest food to digest. Puts less strain on the system, so the stomach and intestines last longer, increasing longevity.”
“They ought to give you a prize.”
“I’m telling you Lohbado. Get out there and sell my Vermicelli and nobody will ever accuse you of being a lazy, arrogant leech again.”