Excerpts from "Kentuckiana Roads" censored by the Editors
The editors at Algora Publishing are an impressive bunch, and undertook the Sisyphean task of turning Kentuckiana into a respectable book. These are some excerpts which hit the cutting room floor.
Description of the “Hot Brown”, invented at the Brown Hotel in Louisville:
“In 1926, hotel Chef Fred K. Schmidt introduced the “Hot Brown”, an open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon, ladled with a Mornay sauce with, occasionally, a dash of paprika on top for color and zest. Local legend has it that the Chef created this treat as comfort food for Louisville’s working ladies, who were seeking sustenance after a hard night’s labors in the wee hours between Speakeasy closure and sunrise church service. Today, the “Hot Brown” is nearly as famous as the hotel in which it was born, and one may laud Chef Schmidt for creating something that was creamy and, as a pleasant change, easy for his customers to swallow.”
Musings about the process of fermentation:
“Fermentation is the action of yeast upon sugar. Yeast can consume many different kinds of sugars—sucrose, fructose, glucose, etc.-- whether they occur in grapes, grain, exotic fruits, potatoes, dandelions or old tires. The by-product of fermentation, alcohol (ethanol), is much coveted by humans and other animals. But to the yeast that produces it, alcohol is a waste product. When we drink alcohol, we’re actually drinking yeast pee.
Carbon dioxide is another waste product: yeast farts. Think of that the next time you stick your nose into a glass of sparkling wine, methode champenoise.”
A thought on the relationship of love and wine:
“Bards, buffoons and cunning linguists throughout the ages have attempted to define the relationship between love and wine, but inasmuch as the tongue may be employed to both speak and to taste, I believe this matter best be deferred to experience.”
On alcoholic abominations:
“Whiskey, of course, is frequently blended with cola, juices, tonics and other dreadful things to create an alcoholic abomination known as the “mixed drink”. Louisvillians are particularly fond of one called the “Mint Julep”, which genteel ladies wearing sun hats slurp at the race track while they gossip about their infidelities.
I personally think mixed drinks were invented by old perverts for the purpose of persuading high school girls to take off their bras.”
On the culture of trail riding in Kentuckiana:
“On a typical Saturday afternoon in nice weather, upwards of 200 horses will make the trek to Story from camp, each carrying a thirsty cowboy or cowgirl. They generally arrive about lunchtime, and saddle back up about two hours later after consuming a hamburger and a few shots of “Jack” or “Jim”. Horses can see in the dark quite well, but their riders cannot, and thus, most horsemen prefer to ride by daylight. Besides, there’s a fire to build, and more whiskey to drink, back at camp. The tavern quiets down a little after 4 pm. Sometimes, the cowgirls will flash their breasts before leaving.”
“Some years back, the Queen of England attended the Kentucky Derby, and gave an orgasm to every aristocratic wannabe in Kentuckiana. The Ohio River at the I-65 bridge in Louisville turned a viscous, milky white for days. We tuned into the race on the town’s only television, which happens to be in the tavern. The horsemen visiting Story that day watched the race with interest only because some of them had wagered on it. Not one of them gave a hoot that the Queen was in attendance. “
On the utility of Harley Davidsons:
“Though I am no engineer, there seems to be an inverse relationship between engine noise and engine size. Likewise, though I am no psychologist, there seems to be an inverse relationship between a man’s braggadocio and the size of his organ. If my observations on both points are correct, then this does not paint a flattering picture of male Harley riders.
That may explain why, in every Harley advertisement I have seen, there is a voluptuous woman clad in a seriously abbreviated leather outfit and wearing spike heels straddling one of them. The Harley, obviously, vibrates, a quality which offsets the shortcomings of its male owner. One could buy a cheaper vibrator at a Wal Mart, but not one you could ride in public while indulging in the additional pleasure of torturing everyone within earshot. Maybe it’s an S&M thing.”
On human evolution:
“Evolutionary biologists theorize that the human hand, with its opposing thumb, evolved hand in glove, if you will pardon the expression, with tool-making and the growth of the brain. I believe that this to be only a partial explanation of humans’ remarkable physical and mental dexterity.
Hands that grip come in handy for a lot of things besides shucking corn, launching spears, making fires, and building space ships. They keep adolescent boys occupied until brain development catches up with physical development. Thus, despite the temporary spilling of potentially useful seed, the human hand is an adaptation that enables boys to survive to manhood, and propagate the species.
We are adept, it seems, at handling the reproductive organs of many species, not just corn. Among Kentuckiana horse breeders, “live cover” is a thing of the past, thanks also to the agility of the human hand.”
“The Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky ignores the rather compelling evidence that we share almost 99% of our genes in common with bonobos, which live in Hippie-like troops south of the Congo River. I’ve often wondered if humans could successfully breed with them. At this point in my life, I’m not tempted to reverse my vasectomy and test that proposition. As Jane Ammeson reminds me, I suffer from a fear of rejection.”
On a certain Catholic Bishop who destroyed a priceless historic building:
“I am told that the pompous, porcine prelate reached his decision after considerable “prayer”. Had God really instructed His Excellency to turn down a perfectly good offer, demolish a priceless artifact with no plans to construct anything in its place, and stick the local parish with the bill for its demolition? I think not.
In retrospect, I should have had the purchase offer carried directly to (the Bishop’s) bedchamber by a young boy with a pizza.”
On autumnal sex:
“Sex at this age is a purely a recreational sport, and that takes longer, too. To someone who is not of my advanced age, such imagery is not pleasant, so I’ll stop right there. A dying person seeks comfort more than pleasure anyway.”
On death and afterlife:
“I accept the end as the end, and I do so with equanimity. The alternative is to hitch your wagon to a deity whose existence can neither be proved nor disproved, and swallow an improbable accompanying dogma that prescribes a hedonistic image of an afterlife. For jihadists, it is the image of an eternity spent in the company of 40 virgins. For Catholics, it is the “beatific vision” that serves as our reward for spending a lifetime eschewing masturbation and meat on Fridays. For an atheist like me, what comes to mind is the final absurd dining room scene from the Monty Python film, ‘The Meaning of Life’.”
“I imagine the process of death to be much like falling into a black hole. From the perspective of someone falling into a black hole, life may be likened to roll of toilet paper. Every tissue wipes clean a day of gustatory indulgences, which happens at a constant speed. But the roll spins faster toward the end. Ultimately, everything disappears down the hole.”