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« Happy Birthday to URL: World Wide Web turns 20 | Page One | Father's advice to son was 'write stuff' »

Local warming comes with a warning: Sun may cause fun

Ah, summer ...

Yes, the official start of summer is a little ways off. But we all know that when the calendar hits June, summer can strike at any moment.

And I think the heat may already be getting to me because I'm supposed to be writing something on deadline, but I can't seem to stop gazing out the window.

The sun is shining. Birds and bees are chirping and buzzing. And we're all wearing, on average, 1.7 pounds less clothing than this time last week.

For the human species, summer signals a return to those warm-weather passions like going to the beach, bobbing around on boats and grilling up heaps of juicy, charred animal flesh.

Yes, hail to the sun. O, benevolent provider of Vitamin D. It nourishes and sustains all life, and just basking in its rays can make you feel sky high.

But, beware, because this evil yellow blob of hydrogen and helium can also put you in the ground.

I'll get back to the good stuff in a minute, but it would be irresponsible to talk about how great the sun is without acknowledging the risk of skin cancer.

So be sure to rub sunscreen onto exposed skin surfaces all summer long — (as George Carlin might say) taking time out for meals, of course. But enough about hideous melanomas and the sun's ever-growing death toll ...;

Let's have some fun.

Let's go to the movies.

Summer, of course, is the season of silver-screen blockbusters.

From "Iron Man 9" and "Hangover 11" to "Superman 35" and "Fast and Furious: Please Make it Stop," Hollywood is primed to regurgitate epic, big-budget remakes.

Coming soon to a climate-controlled theater-plex near you: "Citizen Kane 2: Rosebud's Revenge," "Rebel Without a Job" and "A Fast and Furious Streetcar Named Desire."

Also: "Lawrence of Arabia 2: The Trouble With Syria," "Mr. Smith Gets the Heck Out of Washington" and "Old Frankenstein: Don't Cut My Medicare."

And of course: "Rosemary's Toddler: The Terrible Twos," "Drone Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Ben-Hur 2: Pimp My Chariot."

I actually have a few scripts in the works myself. Seeking to cash in on America's fascination with terrorism, I've got several projects currently in development, including "Sleeping With the Yemeni," "The Anthrax Chainsaw Massacre" and "Al Qaeda on the Western Front."

Studio executives are also clambering to get their hands on several of my older screenplays: "Bullets Over Baghdad," "Allah Doesn't Live Here Anymore" and the sizzlingly erotic "Last Tango in Pakistan."

Visiting the multiplex is one way to stay cool when the mercury hits the mid-90s. But medical professionals agree it is also important to stay well-hydrated throughout the summer.

Though some folks favor homemade lemonade, root beer floats or vodka tonics, old-timers know there's nothing quite like a refreshing Roast Ox Smoothie to take the edge off on a sweltering summer day.


1 600-lb. ox, freshly killed

2 dozen cloves of garlic

3 large sacks of onions, cubed

9 gal. Worcestershire sauce

1½ fistfuls of paprika

8 oz. plain yogurt

Sprig of anchovy

Throw the onions and garlic into a mixing bowl and thrash them viciously with a studded leather belt until they begin to resemble a pile of severely abused chunks of onions and garlic.

Rub some of the garlic and onion mix onto your teeth and gums to ward off evil, then place the rest in an all-weather trash bin. Fling the paprika on top and seal with duct tape.

Next: Decapitate, skin and gut the ox using an ordinary household oxen shiv, medium-sized chainsaw or a crew of illegal Mexican laborers. Lightly brush the grotesque uncooked flesh with Worcestershire marinade and cover with a tarp to protect from flies and maggots and neighborhood dogs.

Dig a hole in your back yard and fill with wood, coal and construction debris. (Environmental enthusiasts may prefer to substitute alternative fuels such as switch grass, Duraflame logs or oxen dung).

Construct a makeshift oxen spit, then muscle the bloody carcass onto the contraption. Douse the bonfire pit with lighter fluid or gasoline (at least 89 octane for best results) and ignite, making sure flames do not exceed 15 feet in height.

Cook for approximately half a day, continually rotating the gigantic slab so it chars evenly while the center remains pink and tender.

Remove from heat and trim into blender-sized slabs.

Shovel ingredients into industrial-sized food processor and puree for 45 minutes.

Dump into a tall glass over ice, garnish with a sprig of anchovy and serve.

* For a Long Island Roast Ox Smoothie, simply add rum, vodka, gin, whiskey, tequila, absinthe, ouzo, cognac and grain alcohol.

* This column appeared in the Sunday, May 26, 2013, Portsmouth Herald. See more.
Twitter: @MrBreneman

Posted on June 3, 2013 9:24 AM | Permalink

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