|For February 28, 2001 "Why not just make ten a little louder?" - Vol. I No. XXI published every other Wednesday|
Hueytown() NASCAR lost a dear friend at the Daytona 500 two weeks ago when the seemingly invincible Dale Earnhardt crashed the rail at 180 mph, thus prematurely ending his storied life and devastating millions of fans, including those of us on staff at The Birminghamster. While the fast growing sport continues to mourn Earnhardt, the question of who will replace him is already being asked. One man, Curry Jameson of Hueytown, undaunted by the death of his personal hero may have the answer. "Initially I was saddened by the news, but my emotions which are normally attached only to myself, soon hardened into a steely resolve to step in and save NASCAR from this tragedy."
This self described attractive and slim newcomer to the professional driving ranks believes he has the tools necessary to replace Earnhardt both on the racetrack and in the hearts of millions of female fans. "I live my life as I want to live it, both on and off the pavement," says Jameson, in an exclusive interview. "Dale Earnhardt had a similar outlook. He took winning to a new level, higher than the one previously set by Richard Petty. He set the bar high, but he would have set it higher had he stuck around. I intend to move that bar."
Jameson, a World of Outlaws reject, who has stated that his primary motivation for pursuing a career in racing is the potential conquest of all the female fans brought to the sport by pretty boy Jeff Gordon, has been off the track looking for a team for the past six months. He is hoping to find that team and make the jump from amateur sprint car racing in Westover to the Winston Cup circuit sometime this year. "If you've followed the career of that panty wearing Jeff Gordon, you know that the key to his success is sponsorship. Well, I have already produced some sample advertisements designed to entice sponsors like Pepsi and Wheaties."
While Jameson concedes that he may sound arrogant he claims this isn't the case. "You might think I am being unrealistic, but there are no real negatives to my personality that occur in my mind immediately. If you want me to say something negative about my personality, I'll have to think very, very hard. I am a race car driver, but I am also a clean, sexy, and stylish guy. Most people think that car guys always have dirt underneath their nails, and some do, but even nail dirt could look appropriate with a tuxedo, if you wear it the RIGHT way! It's doing it the wrong way that upsets me."
Jameson intends to further Earnhardt's life's work the right way, with his own personal savoir-faire. "The fans want drama, they want betrayal, good and evil, and heroes. Mr. Earnhardt's heroism and aggressive driving style has inspired me to develop and follow my own personal code, so that I may provide the same inspiration without all that perspiration." Jameson has a long road ahead, but it is plain to see that NASCAR has found its next champion.
Bessemer() For the past fifteen years, Arlene Manthey has fried eggs and poured pancake batter as chief fry cook at the Waffle House on Highway 31 in Hoover. But last month, the McAdory High School graduate ventured to Odaiba, Japan (which is near Tokyo Bay) not just as a tourist but also as one of the competing chefs on the popular Food Network television program Iron Chef. Because Iron Chef is becoming very popular outside of Japan, Chairman Kaga Takeshi has begun seeking challengers from other areas of the world. His research department has shown that the southern half of the United States is a vast, as yet untapped market. "So far, we've had three chefs from the United States," Kaga told the Birminghamster, "Wayne Nishi of New York's March, Ron Siegel of San Francisco's Charles Nob Hill and Noda Minoru of Hanabishi in Los Angeles. Now, we have selected the number one chef from the bible belt, Arlene Manthey of Hoover Alabama's Highway 31 Waffle House. We are truly honored by her presence."
Manthey was beside herself in the Potato Battle Royale with Japanese Iron Chef Morimoto Masaharu, who ironically wore the state flag of Alabama on his uniform to psyche Ms. Manthey out. "I didn't even notice that flag. He was so rude and boastful, I couldn't even stand to look at him." Moritmoto replied through a translator, although he speaks perfect English, to add even more insult. "Her griddle technique is no good. I come from the fusion cuisine tribe of the north and I know a certain Mr. Suzuki, from the Kawasaki clan, ahhh! She will not steal my glory with her amateur skills and lazy training." Manthey then replied, "Oh, you be quiet with your stupid Mr. Suzuki, I have the glory of the Lord behind me. I can scatter, smother, cover and chunk the heck out of a spud. That and the Lord are all I need. Win or lose."
Ms. Manthey prepared her potatoes with seven different hash brown dishes, which she described as 'scatteredsmotheredcoveredchunkedtoppeddicedandpeppered,' smiling all the way. Her appetizer, hash browns scattered on the grill, followed by the main course smothered with onions, covered with cheese, chunked with hickory smoked Bryan ham, topped with Bert's Chili, diced with fresh tomatoes and peppered with hot peppers. Served up with sides of double raisin Texas Toast with apple butter, grits and one pecan waffle for dessert. She poured a giant pint glass of Minute Maid orange juice for the judges to wash it all down with.
Kaga and the four judges were truly charmed and relaxed as they listened to her entertaining stories of love lost and recalling the day her eldest daughter had her wisdom teeth extracted. Moto-san, sweating with panic at the sight of Manthey expertly working the griddle (as well as the judges), prepared five traditional dishes: cold potato motsu soup, mashed potatoes with mentaiko roe wrapped in cutlass fish, beef fillet topped with potatoes hakata (a large potato pancake), New York style nikujaga (beef and potato stew) sans beef, and college student potato dessert. The four judges praised Manthey's nice contrast of texture that came from her use of the potato skins. Food critic, Kishi Asako found her use of Bert's blackened red chili giving a nice spicy flavor to the 'topped' dish, which she praised, describing it as "complicated flavor." "The salty flavor of the velveeta cheese brings out the sweetness of the potato in this, the 'covered' course," photographer Kano Tenmei said while devouring the savory dish. Without saying much else, which he usually does, he just repeated between bites "Yeah, it's good!" Akino Yoko, star of the Japanese TV series Stewardess Monogatari remarked on the hickory smoked 'chunked' hash browns, "Oh, it tastes so big in my mouth!" Manthey beamed with pride.
On Morimoto's side, the pressure cooker was not set correctly by the assistant. As a result, the first dish, the motsu soup came out tough and chewy. The original intent was to serve it in a pie, but due to its chewy nature, it was served as a cold soup. The actress Akino Yoko criticized, "This dish is good for couples who don't have much to say to each other as it's very chewy. This is not the Dancing Morimoto I am familiar with." Ouch, Moto-San. Yoko, also known as Cookie-San in some circles, is usually a ringer for Morimoto, due to his sex-symbol status in Japan, but even his sexual prowess couldn't match Manthey's southern hospitality and charm. Crowned champion, Manthey has returned to her familiar post at the Hoover Waffle House, but her memories of Japan and Kitchen Stadium will endure forever, as she joins Bo Jackson in the annals of distinguished McAdory High School alumnae.