An eerie tale to go with your Ale

Oh Bartender! Trade me a pint for a true story? Fabulous! I thought you might. ;-)

One of my very first customer duos was a middle aged man who would bring his elderly mother to my shoppe once per month. She seemed to be on the verge of the end but sure did love selecting a variety of pastries jinterspersed with a bit of convo. They both seemed very kind, very... errr... shall we say "normal" (a category I personally try to stay far far away from). The type of folk that would chuckle at the mundane, converse stoically about weather & go on about how the good 'ole days are never to be duplicated again (especially after seeing my prices). I would chuckle along with them & spew forth some nonsensical drivel, even though I generally despise that type of thing, because they were good customers after all.

Years passed & their visits became ritual. I never did secure any hard facts about either of them- but hey, I'm great at supposition, so what did it matter?! All I needed to know was this: if a mid-forties, soft-spoken gentleman who dresses like a priest, was living with his Mother in this day & age... why... it's quite obvious he was channeling Norman Bates.

Yes I am serious! Oh you're laughing at me are you?! You won't think it's funny when I tell you that one fateful day, he arrived at my shoppe ALONE. I knew darn well he had murdered his mother, taxidermified her himself, propped her body up in his basement & proceeded to stop by for pastry. I assume he figured my Angelfood Cake was exculpatory.


  1. Exculpatory, Ma'am? Sinful sounds more like it. Or so I heard. I mean, I am sure the gentlelady didn't earn the moniker of "Food Porn Goddess Extraordinaire" from her blogfans for no reason.

    As a matter of fact, it has been suggested that the gentlelady would make a perfect substitute to take the bar over for me next time I take a vacation. I am sure the patrons wouldn't mind.

    I surmise that Pastry chefs and bartenders do have a lot in common: both try in some fashion to capture the personalities and desires of their clients, and, in some ways, each cake like each cocktail is developed as a one of a kind creation, isn't it?

    Like that bottle of X Rated Fusion Liqueur on the shelve behind me. The label says that it is a sensuous blend of ultra-premium French vodka and rich blood orange, mingling with mangoes and passion fruit---X Rated has a quiz (under Xperiences/Flirt Fabulous) that people can take to determine the right X-Rated drink recipe based on their “Flirt Personality.”

    Not my kind of a drink, but some people seem to enjoy it, and at 34 proof, it’s light enough to go down easy on its own.

    The Fallen Angel martini is a more popular drink---a lot more uncomplicated than the X Rated stuff. Like Angelfood cake, the basic ingredients are rather simple really:

    1 1/2 oz. gin

    2 dashes creme de menthe

    Dash lemon juice

    Dash bitters

    I suspect patrons order it just because of the name. It sounds dangerous but it is a rather ordinary drink---people know they are safe.

  2. Jean Dubuffet looked at normalcy as a form of psychosis. And at "insanity" as "super sanity."

    There is some truth to that; nobody realizes the tremendous energy some people expend merely to be "normal." But then again, as any marketer or advertiser might tell you, nobody realizes either the amount of energy most people expend merely to be "different": "bad" or "insane" in a "super sane" kind of a way.

    Remember Apple's campaign, "think different?"

    Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

    It's all good, I suppose, depending on how egosynthonic or egodystonic one's though and behavior prove to be in such matters in the long term. And it helps sells goods. It's good for the economy.

    Also, it is "normally" considered best if one can take care of oneself and know how to behave in polite society (one may wonder where such criteria would leave Diogenes of Sinope - but Diogenes was looking for an honest man, wasn't he? Not a "normal" one). It is also "normally" deemed more socially acceptable if one doesn't go around killing one's neighbor---unless such killing is mandated by government, of course, or your neighbor is a witch.

    Being "different" can be a bit challenging at times---this is why marketers and advertisers are there; to tell people what's different this season, and how they, too, can be "different."

    Holding a "normal" job will also help one maintain one's difference and independence. Being different can be costly. And one wants to be careful not to stand out too much. (Marketers will help you, they'll tell you what's "different" this year and what is "outmoded"). I mean, sure, anybody can become a disciple of Antisthenes and live in a tub like Diogenes did, but as Eddie Izzard rightly observed "you won't get the normal perks of a normal job...":

    “ people who work in an office; they have other people there, you can flirt, you know? You go, “Hey! Oh, you’re new here, aren’t you? How are you getting on? Do you want a coffee? I was gonna go get a coffee- I can get you a coffee… You know, I like my coffee like I like my women- in a plastic cup!”

    Beekeepers can’t do that! 2,000 bees… (buzzing sounds)

    - “Hello, there, you in the street! You’re new, aren’t you?”

    - (scared) “Huh?”

    - “Do you want a cup of coffee? It’s no problem! (buzzing continues) No real problem…”

    - “I don’t want a cup of coffee from you! You’re covered in bees!”

    - “I like my women like I like my coffee… covered in bees! " (screams)

  3. Insanity is best defined as "The inability or unwillingness to pretend you are sane." To paraphrase Yoda, "Normal, there is not."

  4. Sinful... oooooh that has a nice ring to it, although I'm sure that whatever you heard is likely jinLore. ;-)

    Me? A barmaid?! Oh, that sounds like FUN! I think I'd manage quite well & the standard uniforms are made for me! It'd be a nice change too. I don't get to mingle much, being chained to the ovens and such.

    Nearly anything infused with blood oranges will pique my jinterest... as did the little quiz. "Your Flirt Personality is The Home Fire Burner. Like the Aretha Franklin song "Doctor Feelgood" you'd rather have the company of your man than a lot of others hanging around. In your case, home is where the passion is."
    Tickled Pink
    1 part X-RATED® Fusion Liqueur®
    2/3 glass of Champagne

    Hmmm... does that suit me?

    Re the normalcy: I like that. Your Jean Dubuffet quip I mean. 'Tis true... most of the *normal* people I know are completely psychotic when they are not desperately trying to *be* normal. Normal people need too many crutches... & opinions... & instruction... etc. They lack jinmagination. [Then again, those in glass houses- isn't that the saying? I'm a tad OCD with my Karma cycle.] I spend too much time jinside my own head. Well, maybe not so much since I discovered blogging.

  5. P.S. I'd so go & have a cup of coffee with a guy covered in bees. That is, assuming he'd let me touch one... or two. Maybe three. Not too many though.

  6. As if brought in my the famous jinn of A Thousand And One Nights, a tray of truly drool-worthy pastries arrives on the bar. Just in time too, as the chips and nuts were going a bit stale in this rainy weather. And this delightful Jewellery (is that misspelled correctly?) Goddess whips up charming memories of how scared we were in the theater during Psycho to go with a creamy eclair. She almost inspires me to find the nearest beehive!