Monthly Archives: May 2014

Ow! My liver!

No thanks

No thanks

If anything in the above picture looks the least bit appetizing to you, this might not be the post for you.

I am not a picky eater, but I draw the line at internal organs.  The casing on sausage or some choice shellfish is as far as I go down that road.

Don’t even try.  I am not a fan of, nor will I entertain the likes of chit’lins, brains, sweetbreads, liver, stomach, tripe, tongue, heart gizzards, kidney or anything having to do with any of that.  Maybe, just maybe, if I was in a survival situation and then it would be under protest.

And really, in this day and age, why the fark should we be eating that crap?  Keep in mind that the internal organs do a lot of fitering and collection of organic and inorganic trash that a given animal eats.  It is known that certain big game animal’s livers are contaminated with lead and cadmium and unsafe for human consumption.  Hey, no worries there, as far as I’m concerned.

Cadmium for crying out loud.  Who the hell needs more of that?  And as long as we’re on the subject, anything ending in ‘ium is not good for humans – uranium, plutonium, osmium, oppossium, bacterium, et al.

It’s not called ‘offal’ for nothing, you know.  The very word ‘offal’ is derived from the term ‘awful meat’.

Awful.  Meat.  Indeed.

But I digest (well, no, actually, I don’t).

I’m sure some of my vegan friends are thrusting their stalks of celery high in the air and shouting out, ‘You go, Birdwell!  But it’s not like I have anything against people eating whatever they want, it’s just that I think organs and such are repulsive, reprehensible, regurg-itory, purge-itory and downright hurl-worthy.

How in the world could you ever compare the delectable, mouth-watering smell of a grilled steak to that of a liver, onion and eggplant casserole?  Or tripe and tomatoes?  Or kidney pie and okra?  Or friggin’ baked tongue on rye?

Sheesh, I don’t know about you, but I’ve about lost my appetite.

So the other day I dropped into a eating/drinking establishment that I don’t frequent very often.  But I had some time on my hands and I was in the area and I was somewhat parched, as it were.

It is populated by folks much older than myself and I grabbed a bar stool next to a couple of guys that were about my ol’ man’s age.  I listened with disinterest as they ordered their meals, disinterest right up until the point where one of them said,
“I’ll have the sweetbreads, lightly braised, with extra sweetbreads” (no, really, he asked for extra).

I looked up from my glass for no good reason…

“Oh, a fan of the sweetbreads are ye, young feller?” He said, meeting my gaze.
“No.” I answered flatly.
“Ye don’t know what yer missing.” He returned, jovially.
“Nor do I care to find out”, I replied as I shot my whiskey to wash the taste out of my mouth.


Joe Perry is the coolest guy in rock and roll

Joe Perry

I don’t know Joe personally, but I have seen enough of him to postulate a theorem.  And until I am proven otherwise, I will stand by my statement.

Joe Perry is one of those guys who is just naturally cool.  He is not overt in his actions or words, dress or style.  Even when he is up on stage, he appears relaxed, almost stand-offish, sleeves cuffed up, sure of himself, cool.

Not Jazz cool; Rock cool.  He usually dresses in black, which is, and always will be, cool.  Sure, the riffs are red hot (Train kept a rollin’), but he can also belt out something equally intriguing on a more subtle scale (Janie’s got a gun) and with little effort.

Like most people, I would only be making a statement based on what I have seen on MTV, VH1 or heard on the radio, if not for the critical fact, FACT, that I stood not more than 20 feet from Joe Perry at an intimate venue near the NJ shore.

I will elaborate.  It was 1985, I think.  Aerosmith had just regrouped after a long hiatus that almost caused the unfortunate demise of one of the greatest rock bands to ever have spawned in this country.  The band hit the road and began playing some smaller clubs around the area.  Somehow I found myself at the Fountain Casino (Rt. 35, Aberdeen, NJ) fighting the crowd for an overpriced Jack and coke in a plastic Dixie cup and a place near the stage.

Although I will be the first to admit my memory from those times might be somewhat obscured by the bluish-gray haze of smoke, I have imprinted on my mind the opening number.

I was pressed against the people in front of me and hoping it was the blonde chick in the tight miniskirt pressed up behind me.  It was hot, humid, smelled like cheap booze and stale cigarette smoke  (because you could smoke inside the clubs back then.  No, no one cared about your lungs).

Then the house went dark and the crowd hushed up, a little.  I could see movement on stage as the band took their places.  There was a brief pause and then someone counted off. The opening notes were struck simultaneously by bass, guitar and drummer, the lights flared on and there, in all their farking glory was Aerosmith, within spitting distance, belting out the most appropriate tune from their repertoire for their triumphant return.

“I’m BAAAAAAACK…!!!

Tyler’s rip-saw voice tore through the house as we loyal, adoring fans, threw our arms in the air and reveled in the onslaught of sight and sound.

Tyler and Perry wore long, white aviator scarfs around their necks that were blown back from the force of the floor fans.  The stage may have been smaller than they were used to, but that didn’t seem to bother them.  They belted out tune after glorious hard rock tune.  They were indeed baaaack and we were all feeling damn good about it.

I don’t want to take anything away from any of the other members.  In a band, no one is an island.  You don’t get to be the greatest American Rock and Roll band without a kick ass drummer – Joey Kramer; a rock solid bass player – Tom Hamilton; and a tight wing man on the guitar – Brad Whitford.

Steven Tyler, true to any legendary Rock front man, is a blog item unto himself.

I’m sure there are other people in Rock that are cool, but I’d bet not as cool as Joe Perry.  If you watch Perry, on stage or in interviews, he just exudes that laid back, who-gives-a-fark, light-me-another-smoke-and-let-me-play-my-farking-ax attitude.

I hear he’s a damn good short order cook, too.


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