Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cooking, cocaine and 419 scam baiters.

Butternut squash bread a success! Ryan made it, so I do not know the recipe but I do know that there are two loaves of bread sitting on my oven, one is a braided loaf with cinnamon, sugar and butter (3 of my favourite things!) inside it and the other is a delicious crusty normal loaf. It was a great way to save my pathetic gnocchi dough - I -think- he just added yeast to my floury eggy squashy mixture. Yum.


I really love cooking. It satisfies the creative leanings I have as well as accommodates my tendency to ignore instructions. I would love to go to cooking school, but I have no inclination to be a chef. Shitty hours for shitty pay plus it's a high stress job. Most of the people in that sort of business that I've known have had real problems with cocaine and other stimulants. I knew one cook who would keep lines of the stuff ready in the big freezer. He and his friend would sneak back and do lines between orders. They thought that one of the busboys was stealing from them so they (in a typical coke head move - vindictive and poorly thought out) laid out a line of bleach or something else similar in consistency and colour. The busboy reappeared after a few minutes with his eyes red as tomatoes and streaming tears. Some fucked up retribution, that.


This reminds me of an episode of This American Life I was listening to yesterday about the 419 scam baiters. I have to say that I admired Ira Glass even more after listening to it. Previously, I had thought the 419 baiters to be funny and great examples of vigilante justice. One scambaiter got 2 West Africans to do the entire Monty Python Dead Parrot sketch. But as I listened to these people talk about what they did - getting a guy to go all the way to Darfur without food or money and then lying to him about his mother dying, all for the promise of $200,000 - made me feel a little sick. I thought that they were being a little childish. $200,000 may be pittance to us, but it's a lifetime of wealth for someone in his position. I realise that they are scamming scammers and the point of what they do is to drag out the scam as long as possible, tieing up the scammers time so that they are unable to scam unwitting, lonely, (stupid) people out of money. (Take a shot for every time I used the word "scam" in that sentence). But it's one thing to lead someone (who, yes, is trying to steal from you and yes, is probably a very nasty, unpleasent person) on for days and days and days, making him do humiliating things, it's quite another to send him to possible death, arguing, well, he was an idiot for getting suckered in the first place (which he could then turn around and say about the morons who do send him their life savings in an effort to free King Charles Xavier N'Dogo Felepwe). But anyway. Ira told them that he didn't think it was very funny to send a man into such a dangerous situation. I agreed (maybe I'm getting old??). Even watching the Monty Python sketch - fairly innocuous stuff - was hard, whether or not I think they are getting what they deserve. However, nobody deserves endangerment.

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