“Go Suck An Egg”
by Elaine Acosta
Sucking the amniotic fluid out of the cracked shell of an unborn duck isn’t as bad as one would think. I remember my dad poking a hole in the top of an eggshell with a flimsy silver fork and urging me to drink from it when I was about five years old. It’s a delicacy, he said. The egg was dyed a bright fuchsia color, making it even more appetizing, Easter-like. Pretty, I thought, like a big Cadbury Mini Egg. I sniffed it and it didn’t have a distinct odor. I shook it, causing some of the precious baby duck juice to spray on my Smurfette pajamas. My dad furrowed his bushy black brows and slapped my hand, almost knocking the slippery jewel colored orb to the ground. Not wanting to disappoint him any further, I slurped up every drop of salty, slimy amniotic fluid. As proud and happy as I wanted to make my father, I’ve never been able to bring myself to eat an actual embryo. The baby duck’s beak was already formed. Its vacant, beady eyes pleaded with me to have mercy.
Balut, the egg of a baby duck, is a savory treat in the Philippines and other parts of Asia. Its been highly regarded as one of the world’s most bizarre foods. TV shows like Fear Factor and Survivor have used eating Balut as a way to separate the men from the boys. Muscular men with unnatural tans cried and projectile vomited before they even brought the egg to their quivering lips. I needed to audition for one of these shows so I could earn some extra money.
As the first generation daughter of parents who emigrated from the Philippines, I was trained to eat anything. It was in my nature. The reason was not because my parents grew up as starving children in the jungle or anything like that. Over the years, Filipinos seem to eat and integrate foods from both the Spanish and the Chinese, or whoever else was visiting or conquering them.
I didn’t realize how strange the food my people ate was until my high school graduation. The celebration started with my dad coming home with a huge, real live pig, with huge, pink pig balls that were the size of Dolly Parton’s mammary glands. He and his compadres somehow slaughtered the pig in our garage after the ceremony for a Filipino, luau-style fiesta. There are still bloodstains on the cement floor.
Why can’t we have a BBQ like normal American families? I thought as my sickly pale Caucasian friends gaped at the carcass. Lechon, the dead pig, was crucified on a makeshift spit with a ruby red apple in its mouth. I took a piece of the grisly and crunchy skin of the pig and dipped it in patis, a pungent fish sauce. Stinky fish sauce dripped from my chin while I cursed my dad for making me feel so ostracized, but I couldn’t stay angry. His satisfied, greasy smile showed that this deceased porker was symbolic. Killing and devouring lechon conveyed how proud he was of me. That and he just liked pork.
The one staple many Asian foods that I can’t stand is rice. It tastes like nothing, and fills me up right away. I feel the same way about noodles and pasta. What a waste of calories these grains and starches are. Whenever I am at an Asian restaurant with friends (white or otherwise), eating sushi or sesame chicken, I completely ignore the fluffy rice side.
“I thought you were Asian!” Someone at would inevitably exclaim.
“I hate rice, I’d rather suck an egg,” was usually my response.
“Being My Best Selves”
by Jennifer Hanna
“I’m so tired I could die.” I say this every morning, and it’s always followed by a period of crying and begging, “Please God help me get through the day.” It’s a bit unusual to do it on a Saturday, but it happens.
Nap time makes me feel lazy since a real writer would spend hours at work. Instead, here I sit, an overheated, sobbing, damp ne’er do well who can barely keep her eyes open.
I was comforted to learn there’s a living person in this world that is even worse than me. Alec Baldwin, according to guilty-pleasure Foxnews.com, only shows up to the set when he has lines to deliver. His back-side shots are done with a stand-in, and while I am disgusted, this gives me some ideas.
As a triplet with twice the amount of body-doubles available to me, I know it would be shameful to squander my sisterly bounty. My plan requires that I first get Clever Sister and Social Sister in my debt. On vacation days from their jobs, we three will head to my office, dressed alike and ready to work. I will handle administrative duties while they greet coworkers and volunteer to take on extra projects. It will seem like the hardest working employee in the department now also enjoys the power of tri-location.
Appointment conflicts become networking opportunities. I can eat lunch separately with a coworker and a friend and still make the meeting.
It would probably be best to set Clever Me’s investigative skills to work on research projects, while Social Me climbs the corporate ladder. Confusion can be explained away without too much trouble.
“You look shorter than you did earlier,” people will say after encountering the stiletto-loving Clever. “I changed into flats.”
“Wow, your hair was perfect this morning, but now, what a nest.”
“Thanks for telling me. I’ll go fix it.”
No doubt there are possibilities and exploitations I haven’t even considered. I might develop the building’s first lending library, or launch an international e-marketing campaign. Me x 3 = Infinity.
I’m still in the planning stages, but how can I not pity the spoiled and short-sighted Alec Baldwin? Combine just a little imagination with his income, talent and knowledge of the industry, and he could triple his productivity. The front-sided-real-him would accept the choicest movie roles, while his back and side views covered the non-speaking scenes. Discretionary distribution of body-doubles, triples or quadruples could free up enough time to do a Broadway play, foreign ad campaign, and a goodwill tour to Iraq. Watch out world, here they come!
If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to give my all (or at least 1/3 of it) to this new project. Too bad Hollywood has crippled Mr. Baldwin’s vision.