Too Many Cooks

Nothing causes more moaning and gnashing of teeth at our house than when the internet goes down. We live in a rural area and are dependent upon a wireless signal from a nearby tower.

These interruptions in service always happen at the most inopportune time. Connie will be in the middle of a Facebook post, or I’ll be at (researching whether sh*t is spelled with one “T” or two) when the system crashes. Our provider says, “You’re not holding your mouth right. The signal is bouncing off the metal fillings in your teeth.”

If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, our 100 word technician who never fails to provide an electrifying story is Reddy Kilowatt (with two “T”s) Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to participate in this weekly exercise in madness, head over to her blog for instructions. To rent a box in the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.



The cooks at the VFW—Chester, Lester, and Moe—spent two days huddled around a fifty-gallon kettle perfecting their version of Chicken Booyah.

Chester insisted on a double portion of oxtail to give the stew a stiffer body. Lester argued that rutabagas must be added first to maintain proper consistency, while Moe’s primary responsibility was to ensure nobody’s glass ran empty.

On this particular occasion, the post commander received two-dozen phone calls demanding the menu be altered. This caused such consternation that Moe spilled Lester’s drink, resulting in a fistfight and an accidental overdose of red pepper in the Booyah.

*based on the photo, guess which one is Moe.

62 Comments on “Too Many Cooks

  1. Ah, so you’ve captured a Memorial Day from home so very well. Thank you. I was sooooo homesick for the after parades/ceremonies picnic. I threw a rabbit into the stew, but dang if it didn’t hop out… LOL! Hey, Moe, need more of that weird cooligaid you’re passing round. I’m not lit enough to forget, yet.


    • What’s a cook out with a little liquid refreshment? Stirring a boiling cauldron of steaming oxtail, a chef could work up a mighty big thirst.


  2. Dear Speedy Alkaseltzer,

    I’m sure your services were needed after this bunch of Booyah. A great reminder that too many cooks do not a decent Booyah make. As for the internet problems…perhaps if you plug the devices in…just sayin’. And always remember to disable autocorrect to avoid and further shirt.

    Booyah and Shalom,

    Reddy Kilowatt.


    • Dear Reddy Kilowatt,

      Thanks for the tip about plugging in the devices. It’s amazing what you can learn on the internet if you know the right people to ask. These cooks remind me of Justin Wilson. He loved to cook with wine. Sometimes he even put it in the food.

      Plop, plop, fizz, fizz. Oh, what a relief it is,
      Speedy Alkaseltzer


  3. I totally failed to understand that. I don’t even know what Booyah is. As Churchill said, two cultures divided by a common language.


    • To be honest, I’d never heard of it either until I started researching regional dishes of Wisconsin for a novella. It’s a stew and the ingredients vary depending upon who’s doing the cooking. Booyah is a variation of the word bullion.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Who let the Three Stooges in the kitchen?
    I’m curious what this novella is that you’re writing that caused you to research regional dishes for Wisconsin. Good to see you’re finding additional uses for your research though.


    • The novella length story is “One Idiot Short of a Village” and will be the title of an upcoming book containing 12 other short stories (due out in September). I also know about the cheese making process, the official Wisconsin state pastry, and Canadian and Wisconsin slang as a result of research for that story. BTW – I found out shi*t only has one “T.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hahaha So much information in this reply.
        Congratulations on the upcoming release of your novella. I can tell it will be quite amusing.


  5. Now stews I understand, my favourite is Scouse, I would like to try Booyah but perhaps without the red peppers. By the way Moe is in the middle.


    • I did a little research and it appears there are a lot of usages of the word Scouse. The lamb and/or beef stew variety sounds good though. Poor Moe. Looks like he had a little too much to drink.


  6. Nicely done, Russell! And thanks for the education – Booyah is such a great word for a stew! Sounds delicious.


  7. I want to tell you how much I laughed here, but …
    Is Moe the one with his name sewn into his unmentionables?
    Have you tried wetting your finger and sticking it in the power socket?
    If you do that after a couple of glasses of wine you are pretty much online already.


    • You’re right about Moe. He looks pretty sh*t-faced in this photo too.

      Thanks for the tip about getting online. Now I know what Reddy Kilowatt meant by “plugging in.” No wonder her hair is so curly.


  8. Moe, MOE! Where are you MOE… I can see the bottom of my stein again. Hey, wait… where you goin’ with my rabbit?

    (Hubby takes computer and says…. step away from the keyboard, slowly, dear. I think you’ve blown a few capacitors there.)


  9. hehehe takes me back to nearly forgotten days. I was just out of basic training in the Air Force and we had a joint exercise with the Army. No cable, no air conditioning. They didn’t even have ranch dressing for our dinner salads…


  10. If the drink and the red pepper both went into the stew it probably improved the flavor. Someone here told me the city decided to bury the electric cables and now there’s a worse problem because they can’t always be found. Perhaps the same thing is happening with the internet cables. Hilarious, good writing, Russell. 🙂 — Suzanne


    • We have a thing known as “One Call” here. If you want to dig a ditch, they send out a person with a device sort of like a metal detector. The person scans the area where you want to dig and marks any underground cables with orange paint. If you don’t call them, and you cut a line in two, you’re subject to all repair costs and a heavy fine.

      I agree on adding some brew and pepper to the booyah. It’s bound to make it better.


  11. Oh dear, red peppers (presumably of the red hot chili pepper variety and not sweet red peppers) remind me of how even a quarter of one of my home grown ones in a stew is enough to stop me sitting down comfortably for the next week D:
    Re internet troubles …grrrr. All week they’ve been doing carrying out maintenance work on the internet in our town and it has been driving me spare, especially as I had hoped to submit some work to publishers electronically.


    • Having read a small sampling of your work, I’m confident they would be honored to publish it should you be able to get it submitted.

      Connie grew some hot peppers two years ago. We dried them and ground them to a pulp. There so hot we’ve only used a few teaspoons of the stuff in food. She is now mixing it with other stuff and using it as a wildlife repellant as the deer have been devouring her flowers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much for that lovely comment about my writing 🙂 I very much hope that a publisher will want my latest novel, as I feel very worn out with the whole indie publishing thing re my two novels that are for a younger audience. There do seem to be a few traditional publishers emerging who are looking for speculative fiction.

        That’s interesting about the deer. I wonder if ground hot pepper works in deterring crows, slugs, and snails, which are the main culprits both in my garden and in my allotment.


  12. My husband grew up in Michigan’s UP, where booyah wasn’t booyah without rutabagas. It’s just stew, really, but based on sausage ( says my guy) instead of beef. This was hilarious, because from some of the stories he’s told me, that’s about the way some booyahs were created 🙂


    • It’s one of those dishes that involves a high concentration of alcohol, none of which finds it’s way into the stew. But boy, the cooks get stewed.


  13. Entertaining way to learn about Booyah. I’ll also cast a vote for Scouse, you can’t beat a good one. Actually, I can see it now, new reality TV programme, “The battle of the Stews,” I’d make Hot Pot and Scouse favourites to reach the final but, they do a mean one in South Africa which I can’t remember the name of and Hungarian Goulash has to figure.


    • You’d make a good judge for that competition, Mick. Cook-offs are always a lot of fun, especially when they have good brew to clean your palette between samples.


  14. I’m trying to decide what I enjoyed most: the intro, the story or all the comments!
    Booyah! Hot Peppers! Burnt Bums! Electrified Internet!


  15. Moe is me! And look out, I’ve got a crowbar here and I’m looking to clang it over somebody’s head! Pick out two,Russell! See that? C’mon, numbskull!

    That was fun. But you weren’t the best in the Third Stooge role.

    Think I’ll see if I can get me Curly Joe.


    • Sorry, I do better in the Shep role (4th stooge). You do make a good Moe. I think it’s probably because you’ve been wearing that bowl haircut since the 3rd grade. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk . . .


    • Some things are worth the pain.
      It’s nice to hear from you again, Nan. Hope you and Mike are both doing well.


    • Yes, I was familiar with the military usage of the term as well. That’s the funny thing about the American version of the English language, the same word can have multiple meanings.


  16. I can’t work out if there are too many cooks or Moe is just too good at his job. I could see these three like witches over a cauldron. Fun read.


    • I think Moe excels at his job. The glass is never half empty or half full when he’s on the job. Take two sips and he’s there to top it off for you.

      Liked by 1 person

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Mandie Hines Author

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