Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Night of Flogging, Glugging and Glogging

Dear Ed,

Hope all is well and you are feeling better.

Greetings from Lizard Lake and the Lodge!

Well, it has been an interesting week up here at the Lodge.  The volunteer fire department had to be called to extinguish a small fire down in the U-35 bar in the basement.

It could have been a lot worse tho!

Sarge was bar tending the Friday night potluck in the upstairs Old Boys Club (technically the Over 35 Club), day dreaming about someday being recognized as a bon vivant - perhaps becoming the next "cuisinart of Lizard Lake Lodge!" 

A few months back, the Seattle Old Boys - to show their appreciation for all of the duck hunts that Sarge had been on as their guide, took him down to the International District where he was amazed at the amount of cooked meats on display.

Geese, chickens, his beloved ducks, bbq pork all glistening with a sheen of grease, were hanging from stainless steel meat hooks in store front windows. 

He was stunned at the variety of dishes listed on menus taped to the entrances: crispy aromatic duck, szechuan spicy pork in birds nest, chicken without sexual life, husband and wife lung - beef and ox tripe in chili sauce, bean cured made by pock marked woman, jelly fish, spicy tendon pigs tripe, pig intestine in hot spicy sauce, deep fried chicken feet!

Deep Fried Chicken Feet?


Somewhere in the deep recesses of his brain, an almost reptilian response happened, a synapse closed, a connection made, a light went on. An idea formed, a quest was started, an adventure begun, an addiction for perfection was formulated - because sitting back in the Lodge's freezer, double bagged and wrapped in aluminum foil, were hundreds of pairs of perfectly matched duck feet.

And he knew what he had to do.

And he would introduce his master recipe at the Old Boys potluck.

To be honored, to be respected, to be thanked by these fellow Canadians for his defense of Saskatchewan.  He would be accepted. A member of the group.

When Sarge arrived back at The Lodge he became a man possessed!  He tested different flours, he tested different cooking oils, different temperatures and times to deep fry those duck feet.

He tried dozens of herbs and spices, different combinations, different ratios all to achieve the perfect combination and process to create the perfect dish.  His creation. After hundreds of trials he finally settled on his two secret spices that would be the basis for his expansion across the globe - cardamon and oregano.  The magic spices, the magic words that would never again be spoken aloud or written down.

Sarge's Deep Fat Fried Duck Feet.

The night of the unveiling Sarge was anxious, nervous.  

The band was playing, well actually not a band, it was really a quintet but a couple of the members were out sick for the evening so that left just the accordianist, the clarinet player, and the tuba player.

After chartering a small bus some of the Seattle Old Boys had come up for the weekend along with their wives and a few of the U-35 set.  Denis, Alex and Ken were hanging out over by the bar slowly sipping on their single malts and trying to avoid the glaring looks from their wives. 

Alex noticed the wives suddenly huddle together and in unison glance over at them. "Oh-oh, this can't be good," he commented.

In short order, the wives had the Old Boys out on the dance floor, wearing new clogs, and attempting a dance that Pam had been wanting to try - a fusion of line dancing and clogging. 

Denis later referred to it as  "flogging." 

Pam commented that they were organizing a winter party with dancing, spiced wine and a new form of computer social networking. 

Denis would later refer to that as a night of "Flogging, Glugging and Glogging."

Part way through the flogging, some of the Old Boys noticed that their feet seemed warm, that they were beginning to sweat.  At first they attributed it to the new shoes, perhaps they were better insulated to ward off the cold of a Lizard Lake winter.

But no, they were definetely getting hotter. It was as if someone suddenly had installed radiant heat and turned the boiler up on high!

Sarge, over at the bar, was just turning on the fryer to warm up the oil for the duck feet introduction when the phone rang.

It was Marge the Mountie dispatcher, calling to tell the Lodge that a phone call had been received about a fire.  Sarge, not able to hear all of what she said, and not wanting to admit that the shotgun blasts had taken a toll on his hearing, yelled back at her "I'll send the boys over in a jiffy."

About the same time a whole bunch of vibrating pagers went off startling the heck out of a few of the Old Boys who could still feel vibrations.  So the few that actually felt the call for help, along with Sarge, rousted up all of the volunteer fire fighting Old Boys who weren't suffering from the effects of too much Guinness or single malts, or too many trips through the potluck line.

The Lizard Lake Lodge Old Boys, along with a few of the Old Boys from Seattle looking for an adventure, piled onto the chartered bus and took off for the station.

A couple of the fellows who needed to pee quickly followed.

At the station Captain Greg had the pumper already running, warmed up, and ready to go by the time the Boys arrived.  They quickly jumped on to any available perch and Captain Greg roared out of the station with horn blaring, lights flashing and siren wailing.  

The Boys hung on, steely eyes tearing up from the cold, lips and cheeks flapping from the speed of the trip, not a word was said.  There was no need!  Adrenaline coursed through veins, time seemed to slow down, thoughts clarified. These were rugby players ready to leap into action, save women and children and score the winning try.  Game won.

Twenty-five minutes after the initial call, the pumper, loaded with hoses, ladders, water and wild eyed Old Boys arrived at the back of the structure.  Followed a few minutes later by the chartered bus bringing 4 or 5 Old Boys who had stopped to pee at the station.

Jim Bob lept from the pumper, fire axe in hand, ran up to the door, swung as hard as he could, and nearly split the door in two. He bashed and yanked at the split,  opening a hole large enough to stick his head through.  What he saw would haunt him the rest of the evening.

He had just burst open the door to the U-35 Club.

And Ed - For now that's all I got from Lizard Lake.



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