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Published January 12, 2012

                                            The Travelling Daredevil Gourmet
                                                                 an excerpt from
                                         That's Why Vampires Suck by Mars Cronin

A man dressed in red, white and blue leather tights is addressing an audience from stage.


“Welcome to the first episode ever of The Travelling Daredevil Gourmet. I’m your host Evel Knish, and I’ll be taking you all around the world as we taste local dishes and jump motorcycles over local land-marks. Not at the same time of course. I learned that lesson the hard way during the filming of the pilot. I’m still picking pieces of Peking Duck out of my (bleep) from trying to--What’s that? I can’t say (bleep) on TV? Well (bleep). Sorry about that, folks. I’m new to the television game. Well, (bleep), let’s get started, shall we?"


Cut to a view of a large monitor on which the audience can see Evel holding a microphone and talking with a well-dressed Eskimo gentleman. And by well-dressed, we mean caribou hat, caribou parka, caribou pants and caribou tighty whities (we assume). Evel is wearing the traditional L.L. Bean travelling Yuppie ensemble, which consists of a nylon parka the size of Maine and fur lined fishing waders. The two men are standing at the edge of a frozen sea. The camera zooms in.


Hi,” Evel begins. “I’m here today with village elder Muk Muk McMuk on the shore of the Bering Sea. Mr. McMuk is--“


“Please listen, downlander. We go through this already. Name is Muk Muk Mukmuk, not McMuk.”


“Sorry, Muk Muk. I’m here with Muk to...can I call you just Muk?”


“First name? Or middle name? Not proper to use first name. Middle name Okee Dokee for strangers.”


“OK, so I can call you Muk.”


“If you mean middle name. Bad medicine for outsider to use first name to address tribal elders.”


“Got it. Ladies and gentlemen, Muk is here to serve me one of the traditional Eskimo dishes. Then I’m going out a little farther on the ice (camera focuses onto some activity behind Evel) a jump my motor-cycle over the carcass of the dead whale those villagers are cutting up as we speak.”


Camera follows them as they approach a picnic setting on the ice. A large fur (caribou) is laid out with covered dishes. They sit Indian style on the fut.”


“Now, Muk, why don’t you tell our viewers what delicious Eskimo meal I’m about to sample.”
“Stinkheads.”


“Stinkheads? Ha ha, is that a joke name?”


“What is joke?”


“Uh, well, you mean you don’t laugh?”


“What is laugh?”

“You know, when something is funny. Like when Moe pokes Curly in the eye. Ho, ho, ho. You know, laugh.”


“We live in ice house, eat blubber, freeze butt off. Nothing funny up here.”


“OK. You learn something new every day, don’t you.”


“Not us. We live in ice house, eat blubber, freeze butts off. Same thing day after day, after day. Last thing we learned was how to make stinkheads many, many snows ago. Since then, same ol same ol”


“So stinkheads it is then. I’m dying to try them. And of course after that I get to jump a dead whale. Who says no fun up here?”


“We do.”

                                                              
“That was just a figure of speech, Muk. So why don’t you tell us something about this traditional dish. First of all, the name. What’s that all about? Sounds like a joke to me. Why do you call it stinkheads?”


“Made from salmon heads and it stinks. Do the math.”


“Ha, ha. Now that’s funny. You had me going there with that no fun thing. But seriously, what is it and how do you prepare it?”


“Recipe simple. Take pile of salmon heads left over from fishing season. Bury in sand for summer. Dig up in winter. Hold nose. Eat.”


“Wait a minute. You’re not pulling my leg? Stinkheads is really stinky fish heads? This is something you people eat? As in bite, chew, swallow? Is that what you’re saying?”
“More like throw into back of mouth and gulp. Less fish breath that way. But yes, we eat.”


“”Why would anyone eat rotten salmon heads? And more importantly, why didn’t my producer tell me about this?”


“Not know what producer is. But when every day is live in ice house, eat blubber, freeze butt off, mind tends to wander. One day--last day we learned something new--Tuk Tuk Tuktuk say to self, ‘Self if me eat one more piece of blubber, me will go tik tik. Me--“


“What’s that? Tik tik?”


“One of thousand words Eskimo have for crazy. Tik tik mean go off deep end like breaching whale. Tok tok mean talk nonsense like grandpa just before we send him on endless journey across ice. “Tam tam mean--“


“OK, I get it. You go crazy in lots of different ways. Why is that?”


“Already said. Live in ice house, eat blubber, freeze butts off till cows come home. But we have no cows. So unless you tit tit you can see...you not tit tit are you?”


“I think I’m getting there. I know something’s wrong because I’m about to eat dug up fish heads. How long were they buried?”


“Whole summer.”


“Oh God. How long is that?”


“”Global warming make summer last longer each year. This year almost six days.”


“”So these things have been buried only six days?”


“Yes. Whole summer.”


“Well they don’t call me The Daredevil Gourmet for nothing. This is why I’m getting the big bucks, even though it’s only scale.”


“You get big buck? You make good Eskimo. Could use good hunter.”


“I’m talking about money. Cash.”


“”Oh, you mean seal teeth. How many seal teeth they pay?”


“Let’s get back to the stink heads, shall we? I still have a whale carcass to jump and I can see your villagers are peeling off the blubber now.”


“We eat blubber.”


“So I’ve heard. I see you’re uncovering one of the dishes now, and, oh my, those are actually salmon heads staring at me.”


“”Eyes best part. Taste like not blubber.”


“You really don’t like blubber, do you?”


“You try eating it every day till cows not come home. Stink heads look very tasty then.”


“”Oh my, the wind just shifted. What an awful smell.”


“Sorry.”


“For what?”


“Blubber fart. Make stink heads smell like perfume. So me told.; we not exactly sure what perfume is.”


“OK, time to bite the bullet and do what I came here to do.”


Evel puts a stink head onto his plate, stab it with a mini-harpoon, holds his nose and takes a bite. He chews. He swallows.


“Huh. Tastes like chicken.”


“What is chicken?”


And that’s why so many Eskimos go meshuga.

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