Monday, April 25, 2016

Strippers, Cactus, & Other Edibles III

Goat milk caramel and strawberries with whipped cream are common confections in Guanajuato. Yet, I’m introduced to these ordinary sweet things by an extraordinary sweet thing: a brown sugar and exotic dancer named Clementine. This girl doesn’t spend much time in the kitchen, but she could teach your grandmother some luscious ways to serve up desert. Here is how I get myself into an extremely sticky situation.

I meet her in a cantina just across the state line from my Queretaro ranch. The joint is located on a stretch of the Pan-American Highway that specializes in used cars and used women. Auto body parts and female body parts are available for sale here. Both local commodities have generally seen a lot of mileage, so I’m stunned when my fresh-faced, hard-bodied waitress begins dancing hypnotically and shedding clothes systematically.

Didn’t know it was that kind of bar. Still, I can’t honestly say I’d prefer tap or ballet. What beauty is there in this world to compare with the female form in motion? The finest high-performance automobile? Not even close. While this curvy supple woman - as naked and unashamed as Eve - makes love to the music, I further ponder the collocation of cars and hookers. Both cater to folks rushing to a destination rather than savoring an extended romantic journey. Both leave behind some wreckage.

Despite my anti-prostitution sentiments, the hair on my arms rises and the blood in my veins surges when the gorgeous redressed angel approaches. She tells me her name, chats me up about where I’m staying, then asks if I’d like to have the full Clementine experience. With a suggested minimum donation, of course.

The flesh is willing, but the spirit is too philosophical. I tell her, “It’s an honor to touch a woman of your caliber, but I’m addicted to that look in a woman’s eye that says you’re the one she really wants and you can’t put a price on that. No, thanks.”

I finish my food and beer then crash at my nearby hotel. At 3:00 am, there’s a doorknock. I drowsily stagger up in my underwear, only to be pushed back down on the bed by a voracious Clementine licking her lips and laughing knowingly.

Straddling my electrified pelvis, she shushes my mouth with one hand and pulls off her blouse with the other. I can’t believe this is really happening. She spoon feeds me strawberries and cream from the plastic cup the street vendors supply, occasionally biting half a strawberry from my lips with gusto.

Next comes the caramel. Grabbing a squeeze dispenser bottle from her purse, she chews off the conical end then drizzles the tasty nectar over her swollen breasts and nipples in a crisscross pattern worthy of a pastry chef – albeit a desperate, hurried pastry chef. She doesn’t have to beckon me twice to lick it off.

After I spend what seems like an eternity in caramel paradise, she decides that I’ve been to her mountain tops long enough. Now she’ll go to my promised land. She wields the bottle with extreme prejudice as a caramel squiggle winds its way over my chest and abs, back and forth but always lower and lower. Then her tender tongue begins tracing the recently-paved highway to heaven.

People who don’t get the food/sex connection don’t fully appreciate the glory of edibles. In keeping with my plan to compose this narrative for a general readership, I must end the tale here. (Surely, we can all agree that this is a fine tail, a nice piece, and an elegant end.) Whatever I did (or didn’t do) in that hotel room, I did (or didn’t do) solely for the benefit of you the reader. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it – like caramel on a bedspread. Let me close this foodie journey with a heartfelt thanks to Miss Clementine and a heartfelt acknowledgement that whoever said a meal just isn’t complete without desert was a freakin’ genius.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Strippers, Cactus, & Other Edibles II

After dreams of making beautiful music with Lila Downs, I awake under a desert sunrise. Hit the road home to my ranch. Just outside the remote little village called Bravo, I turn off the highway onto a dirt road at the Corregidora Tech University. Here is where I work as a professor. The long and low sand-colored and rock-studded buildings meld into the landscape of desert scrub valley with distant blue mountains. The only sound is the wind. I savor the silence.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Strippers, Cactus, & Other Edibles

While moving this week into a new house in the verdant rainforest that encircles my university above the Oaxacan coast, your author stumbled upon notes scribbled at the desert ranch I inhabited for two years before coming here. I think you'll find them quite interesting. The notes explain how I came to devour scrumptious desert delicacies that include much prickly-skinned cactus and one smooth-skinned stripper. Here we go with what I might call the nonfiction hunger games.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Why America Embraces A Trump/Clinton Circus

This magazine has already provided snapshots of the tiny tip of the huge iceberg that is the lifelong ideological and moral bancruptcy of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. A word to the wise is sufficient. It's now time for wise people to come to grips with why so many Americans have enthusiastically embraced a knuckle-dragging guy with a fascist strong-man aura and a scandal-laden hag with a socialist mother-superior attitude.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Trekking the Birthplace of Food IV

The next morning, I’m driven to the small town of Coxcatlan by a new friend named Lily. She’s not exactly hard on the eyes. Our road traverses agricultural fields with multiple mountain ranges on both sides. The top ridges are stark and knobby. Heat and humidity increase until we reach the town turnoff at a fountain inscribed “Coxcatlan: Cradle of Maize.”

Getting permission to visit the cave of the oldest corn fossils means following the 5-step process required for most authorizations in Mexico: submit to authority, make new friends, wait and wait and wait. Confrontation and demands can get you results but more often get you screwed.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Trekking the Birthplace of Food III

I spend all morning at the Museum of the Tehuacan Valley. This shrine to the history of corn is located in the former Convent of Carmen, where I stroll happily from exhibit to exhibit in a geek’s paradise. Today, the Tehuacan Valley is a dusty nook between the states of Puebla, Veracruz, and Oaxaca. Yet, people have camped here for 12,000 years. When ice-age chill dominated North America, this cave-dotted hot spot was a migrant tribe magnet and seasonal tourist destination. The museum documents a transition of humanity from hunting and gathering to irrigating and farming. Mighty important stuff for those of us unprepared to track, stalk, kill, and skin our dinner every day.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Trekking the Birthplace of Food II

Outside the bus window is a deceitful desert. Hot dry air and dusty bone-colored land totally conceal a vast subterranean river network draining the ice melt from Mount Pico de Orizaba. Bald moonscape mountains surround this Tehuacan Valley. Verdant springs pierce the dead crust in myriad hidden locations known only to odd species of cactus with swollen tree-like bases and weird species of trees with thorny cactus-like trunks. Many such plants exist only here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Trekking the Birthplace of Food

Trudging across the snow by the dim light of a headlamp, I can barely make out the shapely Mexican hips that serve as my guiding stars. An Australian behind me sneezes on my fleece hoodie. No one should be up at this hour, but a long line of climbers zigzags over the face of the frozen volcano under a moonless sky.

Monday, February 8, 2016

How Google Robbed Millions of Authors

Last week publishers, copyright experts and other supporters filed amicus briefs petitioning the Supreme Court to hear the copyright-infringement case against Google brought by the Authors Guild. The court’s decision will determine how and whether the rights and livelihood of writers are protected.