Aftermath of lunch, June 1997.

Let me cut to the chase: I don't know shit about cooking. I don't know shit about making meat, I don't know shit about choosing cheese, I don't know shit about baking bread, and I don't know shit about birthin' no babies. I don't know shit about shit. If the good Lord had wanted me to use that mysterious cube called "the oven," then he wouldn't pay Mexican people to make microwavable entrees which come frozen in a rectangular box for my pleasure. I lack the time, patience, skill, and intelligence to properly prepare any meal which requires a more elaborate procedure than "thawing," and I've proven this fact time and time again like in the following actual examples:

CULINARY DISASTER #1
Food I Attempted to Produce: Ravioli
Items Used in Preparation of this Food: Ravioli, water, a pot, salt, more water, fire extinguisher.
Description of Food Preparation Experience: Back during my sophomore year at Vanderbilt University, I was interested in trying different, new, "alternative" lifestyles to satisfy my curiosity of experimentation. This lifestyle I am referring to is naturally one of "a person who can combine items and use heat to transform these individual components into an edible meal which can then be consumed." As you can expect, I failed on many levels, somehow causing the oven to catch fire when I was boiling the water. I'm not joking; as I was boiling the water so I could dump the frozen ravioli into it, something apparently slipped underneath the burner and resulted in the oven being consumed in a wall of flames. Like any good chef, I immediately ran away and pretended to arrive at the oven for the first time, shouting, "oh my god, who was cooking here? The oven is on fire, somebody lit the oven on fire!" and then sprayed everything with a fire extinguisher. My friend John Dalton claimed he previously saw me near the oven, so I sprayed him with the fire extinguisher and threatened, "there's more where that came from if you don't keep quiet." Neither the police nor fire department were called in on this culinary experience, which is undoubtedly a good thing for the 30 football players who lived on my floor and owned roughly 18 tons of marijuana each.
Lesson Learned From This Disaster: Although authorities and games like "Pokemon" may claim water is used to put out fire, sometimes it is additionally used to start fires, although I'm still not exactly sure how.

Aftermath of dinner, January 2000.

CULINARY DISASTER #2
Food I Attempted to Produce: Blueberry pancakes
Items Used in Preparation of this Food: Pancake batter, milk, a pan, blueberries, eggs (maybe?), water, fire extinguisher, Nashville fire department.
Description of Food Preparation Experience: I woke up really hungry one August morning in 1998, so I decided to go the the grocery store and buy pancake mix. I was feeling particularly adventurous and manly that morning because I had sex the night before, or at least masturbated while I thought about having sex, or maybe I was too lazy to masturbate so I instead thought about masturbating shortly before falling asleep on a pillow damp with my own drool. "What's a better way to say, 'hey world, I'm the boss, applesauce!' than by making my own breakfast?" I muttered to myself that morning. "After all, people have been making their own breakfasts since the invention of breakfast in 1793 by Sir Thomas Yorkshire Saint-dianne De La Quette!" Let me tell you, there's a few hundred thousand million billion things in life which could easily be considered "much better ideas" than me making breakfast, and some of those items include drunkenly driving a pickup truck through a crowded church, attempting to murder the President, and professionally running a website. After picking up the "ingredients" from the "store," I looked at the back of the pancake mix box and "kind of" followed the directions on it. See, it is my belief that the instructions on the back of any food product consist of lies and half-truths which try to make us, the ignorant consumer, purchase things we don't really need such as cooking oil and milk so the manufacturer's buddies will get rich while we wallow in our own consumer naivety. When preparing a recipe, you can safely cut out half the ingredients and still essentially end up with the same meal. I mean, who the hell actually uses garlic powder? Garlic powder is one of those things that you buy, never open, and just keep in your spice rack until the holocaust. It's merely a kitchen decoration, like a bell or ornament on a Christmas tree... er, in the kitchen. The only spice you ever really need is salt, and lots of it. I guess "ketchup" is a vital spice as well, but that's only if you're some kind of fancy lad who lives in a solid gold house and drinks liquid platinum for dinner or something.

To make a long story boring, I kind of threw everything into a bowl, beat the contents with some kind of metal implement which happened to be casually laying around in one of my drawers, dumped all that crap into a pan, and prayed. My prayers fell on deaf ears that particular morning, as my dreams of a pancake-filled breakfast were soon beached upon the rocky shores of reality. I somehow inadvertently created a chemical compound which not only bonded to the pan itself, but was inexplicably able to fuse its molecules to the actual stove and permanently transform into a piece of the surrounding environment. In the process of its mutation into proto-pancake, giant plumes of burnt carbon were sent floating throughout my apartment and set off nearly every smoke alarm within a six-mile radius. I know the fire department actually came by because my fucking alarm wouldn't shut off no matter how hard I hit it with a broken chair leg, and I have strong suspicions that the National Guard was called in to contain my apartment complex and keep an eye on it to ensure the growing mass of titanium-hard faux pancake didn't start overtaking the apartment rental office. Once your breakfast conquers the rental office, it will have absorbed hundreds of names and addresses, thereby giving it an open invitation to infiltrate the surrounding neighborhood and eventually run for a seat in Congress under the promise of lower taxes and more flexible gun control laws.
Lesson Learned From This Disaster: The government should allow me to own a flamethrower so I can combat my own culinary disasters and therefore prevent them from spending million of dollars sending out armed Comanche helicopters every time I drunkenly combine items in a bowl.

A handy governmental guide to my cooking. Whenever I plan on making something in my kitchen, that particular day will be marked with the handy red color.

These are just couple of the many, many spectacular failures which I've engaged in during my brief and bitter affair within the kitchen. Although I've repeatedly admitted my obvious lack of cooking skills, I still occasionally like to enter the kitchen and remind myself what a tremendous idiot I am by attempting to make something which doesn't solely require the microwave. With help of a psychiatrist and strict counseling, I've managed to lower this habit down to once every year or so, and you can probably figure out which day I plan on cooking by asking John Ashcroft how severe the government's Terror Alert rating is for that particular evening.

Unfortunately, my parents both possess the ability to cook and turn things like raw meat into meat which you can eat and not get any worms or flies which breed in your stomach and then burst through your ribcage one night while you're flipping through TV channels and mistakenly stumble upon a repeat of "Sex In the City" starring those three really ugly whores and the one slightly less ugly whore who can't stop talking about penises for one goddamn nanosecond. They blackmailed me into coming over and eating dinner with them a few nights ago, treating me to some really excellent home cooking which featured marinated beef with grilled mushrooms and sweet onions. This was probably the best thing I ate since the previous time I had dinner over at my parents' house, and although it was a great meal, it unfortunately caused the clouds of a bad idea to begin forming on the horizon. "You know Rich 'Lowtax' Kyanka, if your parents can make such great food, why can't you?" the little evil voice in the back of my skull began to chant. "After all, they just essentially lit a bunch of stuff on fire. You can light stuff on fire, I've seen you do it before. You thought you were alone, but I was there, Rich. I was there when you made that prostitute BURN for laughing at you behind your back. She can't laugh at you anymore, can she? I was there." At that point I started fumbling with the medicine bottle and lost my train of thought, but the seed had already been planted: I wanted to try cooking again.

Now you can plead to me, "Rich 'Lowtax' Kyanka, why do you still attempt to cook? You're an incredible failure in the kitchen, as well as in many other rooms throughout the house. Haven't you learned your lesson by now?" You can print out a gigantic spreadsheet listing all my past culinary fuckups and presenting concrete, irrefutable proof that clearly explains how anything I ever try to make will either burn down my home or turn into a homicidal pulsating mass of gelatinous death, and I'll end up ignoring this evidence and continue to break county fire laws. You can spend an infinite amount of time detailing the infinite amount of reasons why I will never, ever, ever have the ability to cook anything more complicated than a bag of potato chips which requires me to both open up the bag AND discover I am in fact not a winner of their "Finding Nemo" promotional giveaway contest. However, I will repeatedly ignore you and your pleas to refrain from entering the kitchen, as my brain is physically incapable of acknowledging just how pathetic I am. You know those Lifetime Network movies where Judith Light plays some blonde dumbass who marries an abusive man that proceeds to beat her and use her face to change his car's oil every month? Do you remember shouting, "you stupid broad, just fucking MOVE OUT OF THE HOUSE AND DIVORCE THAT LOSER'S ASS FOR CHRIST'S SAKE," shortly before realizing that you'd actually pay good money to see somebody abuse the hell out of Judith Light? My urge to cook can be compared to Abused Woman Syndrome (AWS), which may or may not be an actual syndrome, depending on the dictionary definition of the word "syndrome" (I don't know) and if I bothered reading it (I didn't).

Oh come on, tell me you don't want to punch them. Just try it. Judith Light can turn any man into a woman-beater.

Once a woman gets involved in an abusive relationship, her entire world is warped and she begins to think that her situation is "normal" and that she is powerless to leave, despite what friends, family, and trained counselors tell her. This is because she is stupid. I too am stupid and believe that one day, somehow and in some way, I will prepare an assortment of food which is not only edible, but is - nah, let's just stick with the "edible" goal for now and plan on adding more benchmarks in the dark, dark future. I can look back and logically process each and every kitchen disaster that I embarked upon, yet they will never successfully stop me from thinking, "maybe, just maybe, this time will be different." Then I'll beat the hell out of my wife because cooking now reminds me of Judith Light and it fills me with an unquenchable rage which can only be satiated with my bloodlust against members of "Who's the Boss?" This is somewhat difficult for me, as I currently lack a wife or any other female in my house to beat, so if you're a lady in the Kansas City, Missouri area who likes to be hit in the face a lot, feel free to email me and I promise I'll never respond.

I decided to travel into CostCo last night so I may purchase raw ingredients used in the veritable feast I would prepare that evening. For you overseas folks who lack CostCos, let me explain a bit about these wonderful stores. CostCo is the embodiment of the American spirit, one of the only places where average consumers can pay money just for the privilege of entering the store, then buy a 14-pack of 1,500-ounce ketchup bottles for under $50. It's a tribute to the eternal American dream of being able to spend a lot of money on things which you'll ultimately never use and will have to throw out once they expire and begin emitting toxic fumes under your sink. Purchasing any food product at CostCo, particularly stuff like the "freshly baked 48-inch pepperoni pizza" and the fan favorite "500-pound bag of Leprechaun Potatoes" is simply a bad idea unless you have a tractor trailer which can lift it to the garbage dump once it begins rotting. This lack of practicality and usefulness defines the grand ol' US of A: we can buy whatever the fuck we want whenever the fuck we want to buy it and we don't give a shit if we buy too much of it because hell, we can buy a 5,000-pack of Glad trash bags to toss it all out when we eventually get sick of it. I'm a good patriotic American citizen, so I purchased a very large bag of onions and mushrooms because I love eating onions and mushrooms and mistakenly believed that this undying passion would somehow grant me the supernatural abilities to transform them into edible products.

Let's just say I was wrong. Dead wrong. Stay tuned to find out how I managed to completely fuck up the concept of "mushrooms and onions," turning them both into organic heaps of offensive matter so toxic that the stench would be forever burned into my brain like a white-hot cattle prod branding a newborn infant's buttocks. I would've written about this feel-bad experience of the year in today's update, but I seem to have mistakenly spent the entire page rambling on and on about lighting fires and beating the shit out of Judith Light, two topics which are very close to my heart. If you have a problem with this, then email me your home address and I'll bust in with a frying pan covered in some mysterious, chunky, rancid pile of festering waste that used to be alive and, for all intents and purposes, probably still is.

"Keep your lover in the dark..."

Ryan "OMGWTFBBQ" Adams burnt to a crisp here. I went golfing on Sunday and forgot to use any sunscreen. I should be Ryan "OMGWTFLOBSTER" Adams, but that ruins the whole name thing.

The goons are really, really stuck on the Matrix movies (see Pizza Matrix). Which is cool with me, I love them. They and the Lord of the Rings flicks are replacing the Star Wars films as my all-time favorites due to Lucas's "vision." For today's Comedy Goldmine, the goons take a look at all the possible glitches and bugs within the Matrix.

Is that... Neo?

Click here, or someone won't be getting their hot apple pie!.

– Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka (@lowtax)

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