Tonight my husband made very peppery Drunk Pork Chops for dinner. You might ask, “What is Drunk Pork Chops?” You might guess they soak in some vermouth or bathe in a deep dark wine before we toss them on a grill, and that would be a good guess.
A few weeks ago I assigned my students the banal, how-to speech. I’ve grown reluctant to assign it in prison because we lack resources or require a mound of paperwork to give the short lesson any kind of pizzazz. But I do it anyway. One class coughs it out like a hairball, another mumbles it out as soft as bubbles, and then this group saunters up to deliver poor speeches with gusto. This group covers up their ineptness with confidence or clownishness.
One student tore up his first speech and rewrote a vague idea of how to cook a steak. Boys and meat. You would think they would have eaten the speech up, but they mocked him at the end: “You just put salt and pepper on you steak? What you eatin’ fool? What about letting it sit in some juices all day and grilling it? What’s wrong with you, Mr. N.?” They all laugh and then one calls out, “You got Drunk Steak. That’s the kind of steak you eat when you’re too drunk to do anything else.” Mr. N. keeps his head bowed around the other three ruffians in my class, but they needle him once in awhile anyway. It takes awhile to calm the class down and reassure my student that he’s just described one of my favorite meals. We’ve come to adopt the recipe title; it’s easier to say than I’m-tired-at-the-end-of-the-day-and-can’t-think steak. This is one classroom joke that has become a household name.