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Spoofs & Satire

Gastroeconomic Indicators

On special today we have a sampling of menus and social strata. But before you order, remember: Who you are depends on what you eat.


Madame, Monsieur, good evening. In addition to our customary menu selections, for tonight’s guests the chef has also prepared three very special entrees, which, if you like, I can go over for you now.

First, we’re offering an herb-infused game sinus sampler. In this dish, the sinus glands of undomesticated deer, wild boar, pheasant, turkey, and duck are harvested, diagonally scored, and scrupulously dressed with a diversity of herbes frais, including several previously thought extinct or mythical, such as sassafrasasquatch and Atlantis chervil. The infused glands are subsequently baked in a clay pot over imported Hawaiian volcanic magma harvested from deep inside Kilauea. If you’re unfamiliar with game sinuses, these glands are easily the most prized culinary treasures of American fauna; I would describe their flavor as diffident and wise, with pancreatic notes. The sampler is served with a succotash of baby corn, baby carrots, and fetal potatoes.

We are also delighted to feature once again our renowned filet de coelacanth en glaçage de tableau périodique. Our very own Chef Jean-Jean was the first in the world to bring the subtle and distinct flavors of various mineral elements into haute cuisine and tonight he proudly prepares his most celebrated dish, one that recently appeared in both Saveur and Metallurgy Today. He starts with fresh, line-caught coelacanth, dusts the filets with freshly ground bismuth and selenium ions, then flash-sears the fish in a small thermonuclear reactor, creating a flavorful, crispy metalloid glaze. It is lightly salted with the chef’s tears of triumph. Served with a brochette of grilled and seasoned parsnips, turnips, jicama, and other seasonal vegetables that are increasingly served but infrequently eaten.

Finally, for continental tastes, I recommend our Beluga dinner omelet with truffles. We start with the finest Beluga caviar, approximately six million individual fish eggs. Each is hand-cracked and the yolk retained. Into the yolks we whisk equal parts extra-brut Cristal Champagne and the expressed breast milk of Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow. This mixture is cooked in butter over a low flame until, finally, truffles sautéed in fluids captured from more exotic regions of Ms. Paltrow are added and the omelet folded. The garnish is a single sprig of Italian parsley cultivated in the dirt collected from under the fingernails of 34 former presidents.

And for dessert, we feature a Baked Alaskan Natural Wild Animal Reserve, made of candied juniper berries beneath a Mount McKinley of whipped cream, drizzled with yarrow-infused sweet light crude and set aflame, a spectacular presentation surpassed only by its powerful subtext.


Hello, everyone, welcome to Señor T.G. O’Tumbleweed’s Macaroni Garden and Steakhouse. My name is Tiffy and I’ll be your server. We have a few specials tonight so let me just go over them.

First, there’s a Fettuccini Alfredo Chimichanga. This is a generous serving of our fettuccini, which is a broad, flat pasta, double-battered in a rich, flavorless cream sauce then folded in a flour tortilla the size of a toilet seat lid and deep-fried in our award winning beef tallow, all topped with a mix of genuine imitation Chihuahua and ricotta cheeses and a side of mango-less mango salsa for dipping. It comes with Spanish rice, fava beans parmesan, your choice of sour cream—stuffed French fries or a crock of sour cream stuffed with a baked potato, and, of course our bottomless Onslaught of Slaw and boundless Barrage of Breadsticks. That’s $11.99. Add bacon for just a dollar more.

Next, we have Smothered Cajun Flank Steak, a tender-like 14-ounce steak marinated in a peppery, deep-heating cayenne and camphor balm, grilled over Spanish moss, then smothered under a thick 16-ounce blanket of double-marbled near-prime rib. That’s served with a side medley of Dirty, Filthy, and Squalid Rice topped with Sea Monkey Étouffée. $18.99. Add bacon for just a dollar more.

Also, for anyone whose appetite isn’t quite American, there’s our seafood entree, which is six ounces of tallow-broiled salmon for $14.99. It comes with your choice of an equally effeminate vegetable: broccoli florets, summer squash, or lentils. And if you’d like you can substitute bacon for the salmon for just a dollar more.

Lastly, our drink special. It’s called an AngioBlasty, and what it is is a shot of vodka, a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream, and a shot of clarified butter warmed and served in a sourdough snifter. $8.99. Add bacon for just a dollar more.


Hi, hon, have some coffee. Soup today is chicken-fried chicken noodle. Special is the BLTM—Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Meth—plain or on toast. The boss says we have some country ham with red-eye gravy, too, but I’m not really pushing that till I find out just what it is that’s making our grillman’s eyes so dang red and seepy in the first place. For dessert, there’s homemade apple pie with a couple of Marlboros or coconut cream with Camels. Have some more coffee, hon.


That’s a double cheeseburger, a large fries, and a Diet Coke. Would you like us to not loogie on that for just 29 cents more?

Bob Woodiwiss is a humor columnist for Cincinnati Magazine and Principal/Director of Undirected Thinking at Bob, the Agency. His second book, The Serfitt & Cloye Gift Catalog: Just Enough of Too Much, is a sendup of upscale catalogs. More by Bob Woodiwiss