Sunday, May 25, 2003

Ducks, Drag Polo, Morels and the Wrong Kind of Mindless Crap

As far as I can tell from these photographs in this article in The Sun Whitney Houston seems to be turning into some kind of duck. Look, if I didn't tell you these things, you'd never know.

And if it wasn't for the Daily Telegraph obituaries, I'd never know that Sue Sally Hale had died, or even that she had lived.

Sue Sally Hale, who has died in Coachella Valley, California, aged 65, disguised herself as a man in order to break into the male-dominated world of polo at a time when women were banned from the professional sport.

For some 15 years from the 1950s, she played in tournaments organised by the US Polo Association under the pseudonym "A Jones", disguising her gender by tucking her hair under her helmet, flattening her chest with tape under a baggy shirt and sporting a false moustache. After the game, she would revert to her true identity for the post-match party and mingle unrecognised with the men against whom she had just played.

And (by the way) the quickest way to look at the variety of UK papers at once is via

Without it I would never have known that the British Entry for the Eurovision Song Contest got no votes at all, nor that The dismal performance prompted Terry Wogan, who hosted the show for the BBC, to comment: "I think the UK is suffering from post-Iraq backlash." He added: "I think it�s time to send in the gunboat."

It's possible that all over Europe people turned to each other and said "Oh, the British song was so wonderful, I want so in my heart to vote for it... but we need to send a stern message to Mr Blair -- let's vote for the Turkish song."

"But what if the British send in a gunboat to make sure we vote with our hearts and they win next time?"

"I don't care. This isn't about music. This is about politics."

But in all probability the British song didn't win because the song was mindless crap. Well, the wrong kind of mindless crap, anyway.


'ello Neil!

What's your favorite way of eating morels? I saw my first at Madison's farmer's market yesterday and was a bit daunted...
More importantly, however, I was catching up on your entries and felt a need to issue a warning about the rat song. If you download the screensavers from they include the rat song; however, the rat song will begin to play just as you're falling asleep in a nice patch of sunlight, surrounded by sunshiny cats and it will give you the Ralph Wiggums and scare the bejeepers out of your cats. Then, if you have a particularly vindictive computer, when you click the little box to disable the sound, it will wait until you're once again in The Soft Place and start singing again.
It's deliciously lovely when you're wide awake and expecting it, but screaming meemies-creepy when leaping from shadowy corners...

I'm glad I'm not the only person who's been terrified by the Rat Song starting up unexpectedly.

My favourite simple way of cooking fresh morels -- sliced not-too-thin and fried in butter with a smidge of garlic, and then, when then they're browning, adding eggs into which I've beaten a little sour cream, and just scrambling the whole together.

There's a whole morel website at for anyone who wonders what they look like, or what the fuss is about...

Of course, already the morel recipes are coming in...

Actually this isnt a question-just a comment. Morel mushrooms are also wonderful breaded and deep-fat fried. Clean them, soak them in salt water over night-drain them, dip them in an egg/milk mixture, roll in crushed saltines crumbs, fry, eat, and very definitely enjoy... ;)
You have mushrooms in your yard-I have morel-envy... ;)

... and I bet that Robyn AKA Chantrelle from Foodporn will have recipe suggestions that are much more interesting than mine. (The foodporn interview with me is here, by the way. And I think Robyn should do more interviews with people. It's much more fun being asked about food than about whether you consider yourself a postmodernist.)