Greetings, precious readers! Yes, I still have my cold, and the grading is piling up, but if I don't take a break once in a while, I start to write comments on the papers in Middle English and/or watch reruns of Teen Mom 2, and neither of these is good for my state of mind.
Instead, I thought I would share my current weirdity with you. What is a weirdity? It's something weird that keeps preying on my mind. A weird entity: a weirdity.
My weirdity of the week is the four and twenty blackbirds baked in the pie in "Sing a Song of Sixpence." It seems, beloved readers, that
[pause while I sneeze repeatedly, curse, and find a new box of tissues; without menthol, dammit]
there are actual instructions in a renaissance Italian cookbook for putting live birds inside a cooked pie crust so that when the dinner guest cuts into the crust, he or she is surprised by the birds flying out.
I've been thinking about it, and, aside from the obvious animal abuse, this does not seem like the kind of surprise that would be greeted with delight. In fact, I suspect that should I serve such a dish to my own guests, there would be screaming and cursing and heart palpitations followed, of course, by two cats racing insanely around the house trying to catch two dozen birds all at once.
Also, those birds would poo everywhere.
And then there is the disappointment factor. I mean, when you slice into a pie--now please correct me if I'm wrong here--what you really want is, well, pie. In fact, I would venture to say that almost all of the pleasure of cutting into a pie crust consists in the anticipation that your actions will result in obtaining actual pie. It's not like me opening the litter box and finding it filled with squirt guns instead of cat feces; that would be a lovely surprise, and if anyone would like to break into my house and plan such a surprise, well, I'd like to encourage the hell out of you. Just make sure that you do it right before I'm planning to change the litter box because if the cats find squirt guns where they expect litter they will go and poo in my bed.
Which would not be a pleasant surprise.
[hack, wheeze, sneeze, use inhaler]
What was I talking about? Oh, the weirdity. Obviously, this filling-a-pie-crust-with-live-animals idea (called an entrement, if you really must know), did not survive as a form of entertainment, but I have been wondering for at least the past week or so what, if I could not have pie in my pie crust, would be most fun to find inside of it instead (pie still being, as noted above, the preferred contents of a pie crust). And I have reached a conclusion:
Yes, robots. If you cannot have pie in your pie crust, then it should contain robots, tiny little robots that start walking and beeping and scaring the cats and grading papers and changing the litter box. Four and twenty robots, baked in a pie! Now that is a damned delightful dish to set before a king. Or, better yet, me.
Now you all know what to get me for my birthday next year: robot pie surprise. You're welcome.