I met a doctor. His name is unimportant, good bloke though he was, so for the sake of cinematic license, Hunter S Thompson theft and novelistic characterization I’ll name him The Good Doctor.
I spent a week stood next to The Good Doctor chopping up animals with knives.
Any Morrissey fans in the room, leave now. I have no idea how you ended up here.
Perhaps your rickety bones chipped off into the desiccated and fibrous muscles barely stringing you together and spun your sunken chested vitamin-starved frame off in this direction? Through your poorly, filmy eyeballs maybe this place looked like a nut-roast or some Quorn* so you shuffled and asthma wheezed yourself over here in a desperate bid for nutrition?
*Quorn is to food what Japanese-porn is to porn; weird, the best bits blocked out, really grim and miserable.
Going off at vegetarians is silly dated. Vegetarians are a bootcut jeans target, a ‘wassup!’ from the Bud advert aim, an Alex Garland book, Franz Ferdinand, Duffer Of St George, balsamic vinegar, Napster and pesto. Mean and nasty abuse of Morrissey however, never tires. Except today. I’m knackered and the pantomime twat is too easy a target now too. So just briefly; he wants vegetarian venues in which to perform his luddite grinding schtick. He wants duck-hunters kicked off talk shows or he will refuse to sweatily flounce about to his Cro-Magnon Britpop desperation songs. He (probably) wants pavements disinfected, a gas mask, hazmat suit, an island patrolled by a highly-trained Linda McCartney militia keeping him safe from our savage filthy mouths. A vegan idyll where he can cuddle up with a cow, read some Oscar Wilde, make some tedious, dated ‘controversial’ comments and compose more Ocean Colour Scene B-sides, in an ill fitting shiny shirt he borrowed of Dale Winton circa 1997.
The Good Doctor did not roll with no Morrissey neither. We stood over a rabbit each. Both with our hands under the pelt and over the spine. Tugging the fur away from the muscles. Both trying to do it in one piece. You only need to loosen a couple of bits with a knife, the rest is caveman brutality. Bare hands and the gamy smell of dead pest. I’m not squeamish, The Good Doctor obviously isn’t. When I picked up the rabbit out of the box though. It was a bit gross. The weight of it, the fur, the little pink tongue lolling out through pinny teeth. The super rich woman on the station across from us got bitten. She had turned up late because the fog had delayed her helicopter. Chopper delay tardy and then bitten by a dead rabbit, a bad day. She was game though. She seemed more confused than angry. She’d turned the skull round trying to pull the leg fur off and the jaw had opened a bit and then she’d impaled herself on the fangs. It was a self-stabbing incident, the rabbit wasn’t a zombie.
The Good Doctor started telling me about ‘blunt-dissection’. Most chest cavity work on humans is done using blunt-dissection, gently teasing apart muscles and fibres by hand. Movie and TV surgeons cutting and slicing with scalpels and saws is a nonsense.
By now, Doc and I had our bunnies nude in Uggs. You pull the fur up to the neck and off the legs, leaving little fur booties. He starts talking about cadavers while we wait at the front bench for a go on the massive cleaver. In front of us is this girl who has hardly said a word all week. She’s the friend of this large lady who has a big face like Miss Piggy. I’m not saying that as an insult. If you look at Miss Piggy’s face it’s not gross. It’s not my thing, pigs, pig-faces but Miss Piggy is ‘pretty’. Not even pretty just for a pig, she’s sort of standardized ‘pretty’ so I’m not insulting this large lady, honestly I’m not. Jesus! I look like Harry Potter, in the first Harry Potter flick. I’m a nine year old wizard, with a red face. Happy now?
Anyway, Miss Piggy’s friend in front of us. She only talks to her. She always looks cheerful, she smiles, she just doesn’t speak to anyone else. The Good Doctor says: “She is SO vanilla”. I don’t quite get it but then I think it’s something to do with porn. I don’t know anything about porn. I’m trying to work out how vanilla fits into porn, a topic I know nothing about, while the queue for the cleaver shrinks ahead. There are rabbit heads and furry feet piling up on the bench. The blade keeps coming down and I’m thinking about nude ladies and ice cream. I know that’s not what The Good Doctor meant but I just don’t know enough about porn to be sure. That bloody thwack of ineptly handled cleaver against wooden butcher block and now it’s all peroxide and implants and rabbit blood! This is not right. Dial it down Potter, THINK! “She is SO vanilla”, what does he mean? I wish I knew more about porn, but I don’t know anything about porn. I guess he means she’s boring, like vanilla ice cream is boring. It’s no Tutti-Frutti is it? No Ben And Jerry’s. This is grim. I’m stood here waiting to behead my rabbit corpse and my mind is wheeling through images like a sicko in a ‘Saw’ movie set in a Haagen-Dazs shop. The vanilla girl does her rabbit and walks away. She doesn’t say anything. Miss Piggy left the room after nearly fainting earlier when we boned pigeons. Oi! Boned them out you puerile sickos! Boned THEM OUT, not boned them.
So The Good Doctor is talking about how most medical schools can’t afford to teach med students on real dead bodies. The next generation of surgeons hacking us all up will have watched videos and a tutor cutting up a body but never made a cut themselves. Think about that next time you reckon you need open-heart surgery or a penis-extension. These Doogie Howsers are going to be practicing on you. I’m looking around the room at the botched and mangled rabbits now we’ve started butchering them and all I can think about is delaying my boob job, living with a burst appendix and wheeling myself around on a skateboard Begging-Vietnam-vet-on-a-New York-Subway-Train-Style when my hip bones turn to dust.
Doc had two years of real cadaver work though. He tells me about how once the body is preserved they work on the same one for two years. They called their cadaver* Frank.
*Cadaver is an awesome word. It sounds like the sound a body would make if thrown down a flight of stairs: Cadaver, cadaver, CADAVER!
It goes green. The blood solidifies. After a while he says, they may as well be cutting a dummy such is it’s distance from a real human body. He says that he told his Grandfather not to donate his corpse to medical science. He says that respect for the dead, for the body, is always at the forefront of the process. Nearly always. A female student after a big night out faints hungover, face down, onto the ninety year old penis in front of her. The clay-like heart is removed successfully and celebrated by being mock drop kicked across the room. Also, The Good Doctor tells his Grandfather, you’ve only got one leg, you don’t want to confuse dumb med students by throwing them a one-legged curveball. Remember, don’t get sick. These infant Dr Quinn Medicine Wo(men) are up next, and we are all screwed.
We eat too much meat. I eat loads. I’m super greedy. I’m cutting down though because I like parakeets, poison darts, Indiana Jones, loin cloths, face paint, gorillas. Basically; I’m into jungles. Not to go to them, I hate spiders more than I hate The Smiths. But I don’t want them all getting hacked down so fat cows can graze and awesome tribes people to have to wear hoodies and watch their kids get into Nike and guns and McDonalds like Native Americans did*.
*I am aware that the plight of displaced jungle tribes is very different, with very different causes, than that of Native Americans. I do know that Sir Francis Drake and Napoleon didn’t turn up in Boston and start torching an imaginary rainforest back in the day, sending Native Americans running to build casinos and meth labs. I’m not that dumb.
I’m from Chichester. I’m super privileged, I know no pain, struggle or want even galactically close to what Native Americans have gone through but for some reason every time I see anything about them, I get all weepy donuts about it. It’s something about the elders wearing terrible stonewash jeans and super tightly laced cheap trainers and watching trash blow into their rabbit fences and their kids disdain for the past and the inevitable waste of divorce and booze and jail that’s coming next. I know not a thing about it but it’s still fucking sad. I remember a food programme where an old Indian (feathers not dots- Reverse ‘Good Will Hunting’ quote) woman was chopping up a rabbit for a stew. I see suffering and theft through some awful middle-class prism of food pwohgwams, and it’s so fwasinating isn’t it? and I feel guilty and terrible but also furious with Morrissey. Because what shitty world is it when he can spout and grimace about sausages and burgers but never does he say a word about anything else? It’s just a rabbit, that woman on the TV is just cooking a rabbit, and Morrissey would loathe her for it, wouldn’t he? He’d stand there, on a desolate, God-forsaken dump of a reservation, surrounded by dust and junk and meth-lab waste, and preen his grey quiff while lecturing an aging woman about her food choices. He would definitely do that.
Jungles don’t get hacked down for rabbits to graze there. Rabbits are usually as abundant as dumb-asses at a Morrissey concert. Also they are cheap, local, healthy and taste okay. I’m not a huge bunny flavour cheerleader but they take on other flavours nearly as well as Morrissey takes on the persona of a bitter pantomime dame with a terrible Cast/Northern Uproar singles collection addiction.
WASCALLY WABBIT WECIPE:
All rabbits are rascals*. The butcher told me today that the local farmers are super happy because there are hardly any around this year. Usually they are munching through crops like Miss Piggy goes at a buffet. This year though the weather was so wet that the babies drowned in their burrows. Then it dried out so they all started banging again but then the wet weather came back and the second batch, like ‘Gremlins 2’, drowned too. To be honest, this was a super bleak, rural ‘Das Boot’ chat that I wasn’t expecting first thing this morning. I’ll happily eat some bunny and I understand that they are a pest, but drowned babies is all a bit death-metal for me.
Anyway, if you do find a rabbit and you want to eat it, this is pretty nice. Or just do it with chicken. Or Quorn.
*Except for Peter Rabbit who rocks a sweet pullover and is a born playa. Bugs is a bit mouthy. I don’t think we’d get on if we met. He’s a bit up himself.
Wun Wabbit- Jointed, fore legs, back legs, saddle fillets removed.
Chwicken or pwork fwat- Enough to cover your bunny
Confit the bunny. Melt the fat in a heavy saucepan, the smallest that will fit all yr bunny bits in so you don’t need as much fat. Add the legs and cook gently in a 180 oven for probably about forty minutes. Add the saddle fillets and cook em for another ten minutes. Remove the bits from the fat. Keep the fat for other things like throwing at Morrissey or hair removal in place of wax.
Brown the bunny legs on a schmoking hot gwiddle pan. Give the fillets a quick brown too but don’t over cook or you’ll be eating dwhy wabbit.
Meanwhile, (I love me a ‘meanwhile’, it’s silly comic book.) make lush spicy sauce and some mayu and cook some rice. I even mess up rice cooked in a rice cooker, so you will find no rice cooking advice here. However you get to cooked rice, get there. But know this, Uncle Ben is not your friend. He is probably a turncoat character from ‘Django Unchained’ and he reminds me of that proper bastard at the end of ‘Requiem For Dream’. The dude with the ‘party’….gross.
Wakame and Burnt Chilli Sauce:
Wakame dried seaweed- 2T
Szechuan peppercorns- 1t
Red chillies- 2
Spring onions- 2
Sugar- 1/4 cup
Light soy sauce- 1/4 cup
Black vinegar- 1T
Soak the wakame in a half cup of hot water. Toast peppercorns in a dry heavy frying pan until they smell like Szechuan peppercorns. Your kitchen should smell like someone is about to get done at Mahjong. Remove and crush. Burn the chillies and spring onions in the dry heavy frying pan. You want a proper burn on them. The chillies need to get more black than they are red. The spring onions can keep a bit more green but don’t mess about. Hot pan. Super hot pan.
Chop the burnt stuff finely.
Remove the wakame from water. Reserve half the soaking liquid.
Combine everything and add a little black pepper.
Mayu is black garlic oil. It is basically burnt garlic in sesame oil. It usually goes in tonktotsu ramen to add a burnt and bitter note. It is delicious on everything. It is mayu and it is no joke.
Sesame oil- 1/4 cup
Crushed garlic- A paste made from four or five cloves
Put on a medium/low heat and keep stirring. The garlic will go brown, and then get progressively darker. It will be like watching a VH1 documentary on Michael Jackson in reverse. Let it get really dark brown then turn the heat to low. Keep stirring and let it go black. Be brave people. You want jet black garlic. If it’s still brown, you’ve bottled it, keep going. Black as the night. Crow black. Black Heart Procession.
Remove from the heat and let cool. Add a few teaspoons over rice, vegetables, your children, pets. Or if you really want to go there, take Mayu to a wedding and throw in lieu of confetti. The bride will stink but she’ll taste lovely.
Swerve up this Wascally Wabbit with the Wakame sauce for the Wabbit and the Mayu for the Wice. Maybe make a salad or some stir fried vegetables? I have no idea. I cannot fix the world here, just dinner, a bit of dinner at least. I would just steam something, broccoli or bok choy and put Mayu on that green joker.