Ramen Gruel

Do you remember when every can of Pork & Beans contained one or two tiny cubes of a white, tofu-looking substance? Supposedly, this was “The Pork” responsible for top billing in the product’s name. Even though these morsels appeared to have no flavor of their own, they were as sought after as the prize in a box of Cracker Jacks.

Fights were known to break out at the dinner table. I’ve seen kids come to school with fork marks in the back of their hand because they tried to steal “The Pork” out of their sibling’s plate. What marketing genius. It just wouldn’t have had the same power if they’d called it Beans & Pork.

Speaking of genius, if you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the story chef who sprinkles hidden gems throughout each delightful treat, is Betty Crocker Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright - Dale Rogerson
copyright – Dale Rogerson

With the hiring of Helga Von Kidneystone, the cafeteria food at First Security Underwear and Ironworks went from bad to inedible.

Due to low demand for chastity belts over the last three decades, plant owner, Rip Skinflint, fired Chef Boyardee and slashed the food budget.

“I don’t care what kind of slop you feed ‘em,” Rip told Helga, “as long as they get enough protein and carbohydrates to get their work done.”

Having little to work with, Helga recalled a Martha Stewart simple soup recipe from a prison video.

50 gals. Pond water

1 broken office chair

20lbs. grass clippings.

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45 thoughts on “Ramen Gruel

  1. Very funny, First Security Underwear and Ironworks. I am glad I never had to work there or eat their cafeteria food. What a treat, Pond water, grass clippings and broken office chair. Great take on the prompt. 🙂

  2. Dear Rip,

    Tell Helga she left out the protein–tadpoles and crawdads. Gee whiz, buy ’em book and buy ’em books and all they do is eat the pages. Come to think of it, the pages might be tastier than the soup. The other question is, is where is the office chair from? This matters you know. Is it from an insurance company or an unemployment office? Back to my beans…had to leave out the pork to make them kosher.

    I love to come by for my weekly recipe for humor. 😀

    Shalom,

    Betty CWF

    1. Dear Betty,

      In the summer months, the tadpoles and crawdads come naturally in the pond water. In the winter, Helga picks up a possum or armadillo off the road on her way to work. The office chair comes from someone who survives on a steady diet of your beans. I wouldn’t worry too much about those tiny cubes. There was never enough evidence to convince me they were actually pork.

      Now, get your spoon and dig in,
      Rip

  3. Why, that’s our old family recipe! I didn’t know Aunt Helga got around that much! I mean food-wise, I didn’t know she got around so much; there is a battleship named after her. And I do remember those cubes in the Pork and Beans. Somehow they were tasty. Ahh, wonderful memories of violating Kosher!

  4. Russell, your mind has wondered into strange, but hilarious territory again. You have great eyesight though. I would have never guessed that was a broken chair in that pond. I do remember the “pork” pieces in the pork and beans. With a lot of imagination, they were delicious. Well done yet again. 😀 — Suzanne

  5. Wonderful, Martha would be pleased that her haute cuisine has become so popular. It’s marvelous how time spent at the government’s pleasure will bring out the creative side of people.
    Makes me glad 99% of the places I’ve worked didn’t have a canteen. Betty will love this story as much as we do.

  6. I was nearly fifteen before I ate my first typist’s chair. Everything’s so easy for people these days. Go easy on the grass clippings though… it’s the cow thingy… Good one. We didn’t have pork and beans, we had pork sausage and beans. Same thing, shaped differently.

    1. I know what you mean about the grass clippings. They will definitely give you the scours if you eat too much at one sitting.
      Were your sausages shaped like rabbit droppings? These days I’m suspicious of anything they put in beans.

  7. Ha ha! I love the Rip Skinflint name, but all of them are great. I’m not sure what the protein is in this soup. Maybe a few frog legs will land in the soup and provide a little extra for them. Very funny, Russell!

  8. Grass clippings are good for you, they provide fiber. We don’t have pork and beans where I live, but all kinds of stews in tins where bacon, pork, and sometimes mouse are ingredients… Hilarious as always.

  9. My word a factory with a Michelin star chef. Cos you know people will eat anything if it is expensive and sounds fancy like “Armchair ceviche with vanilla, pink peppercorns and dill creme fraiche”, voilà a dish bursting with colour and flavour, than just your normal regular armchair stew. Some great names in the story too.

  10. Dear Russell, I do try my best. I pull water from the deepest part of the pond where fish tend to spawn, use chairs in which only the most highly paid bosses-butts have languished, and mow only the greenest fields for clippings. I do wish you would not use me for the butt of your jokes. Yours truly, Helga

    Such a fun read, Russell. Made my day. Alicia

    1. Dear Helga,
      Please accept my apologies. Next time, I’ll be more careful and change the name to protect the not-so-innocent. I’m impressed that you used “butt” twice in the comment. Please pass the soup.
      Best Regards,
      Rip

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