Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fly Paper – A Recipe (Satire) by John A. Ward

You wouldn’t expect fly paper to taste good in preserves, and usually it doesn’t. It has to be lemon and kiwi preserves. That’s neither the fruit nor the little wingless bird that looks like a shmoo, but rather Kiwi shoe
polish. Most people think of black, but I recommend oxblood. It isn’t made with the blood of a real ox. That’s just the name of the color, like burnt ochre or olive drab.

If you can’t get fly paper, because it’s hard to find nowadays, you should not substitute Shell No-pest Strips because the pesticides give them a different taste. You may instead use Kodak or Fuji 35mm film, which has the
same appearance as fly paper when unrolled and hung from the ceiling. We all have some of that lying around from before cameras became digital. As with any contemporary cuisine, appearance is everything.

Do not use fresh flypaper. Hang it in an outhouse for a few days so that it is encrusted with flies for protein and to add extra-crunchy texture. No need to worry about disease. Cooking will kill the germs. You do have to
be careful that no fresh flies get into the preserves after cooking and during the cooling, before canning. Why it is called canning is a mystery, because one actually uses glass jars and seals the contents with paraffin.

If you have any paraffin left over, you can make candles for romantic interludes or just put it aside for later projects. Wax has no shelf life.

It is worth checking again, just before sealing, to be sure that no live flies have sneaked in alongside the dead ones, because the live ones can cause disease. They will promote bacterial growth, which in the absence of
oxygen will be anaerobic. Anaerobic growth causes the additional hazard of gas production which may increase pressure in the jar and trigger an explosion that sends glass shrapnel flying every where. Although the shards
are not large enough to decapitate a human, they can put someone’s eye out or dismember small yippy dogs.

Though professional paramedics will be able to distinguish real blood from oxblood shoe polish, lay persons practicing first aid have been known to take drastic emergency measures such as applying tourniquets to the neck for head wounds. Do not bring the preserves into the house until you are ready to open the jars. If an explosion occurs in the kitchen, the décor will be a mess.

Bon appetite.

Author bio:

John A. Ward was born on Staten Island, attended Wagner College in the early 60's, sold his first poem to
Leatherneck magazine, and became a scientist. He is now in San Antonio running, writing and living with his dance partner. Links to his work can be found at Booger Jack.

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