if i were a ghost, i'd be kind of a prude

I put my pet ghost in the washing machine today, because the bottom of his sheet was all dirty from dragging it around like Linus with a blanket. When the wash was done, I pulled the sheet out, but Marley was not underneath it like usual -- it was all limp, not Pac-man-style round and floating.

I'm not sure which is worse -- the thought that I may have washed Marley down the drain, or the thought of a naked ghost sneaking around my apartment.



i tried to cook an egg on the sidewalk, but some kid stepped in it

Oh lord, it is hot. Seriously, if Al Gore had won that ever-elusive ninja vote in Florida, we'd all be driving our hybrid cars to see Bush's new movie where he explains how to eat a pretzal without dying. And we would need hot chocolates because it would be SO DAMN COLD.

Also, Marley, my pet ghost, has traded his Labor-Day-white for a paisley sheet. He doesn't match anything in the living room anymore. This summer bites.



if you don't eat your vegetables, it will come back to haunt you

Ever since our Hellen-Kelleresque breakthrough with the Ouija board, ghost Marley has been a lot less agitated. Communication is dial-up-modem slow, nay, clay-tablet-cuneiform slow, which is a bummer, but I prefer to focus on the positive -- Oedipus is finally learning to spell. Plus, it turns out Marley is like a monkey with a typewriter -- he's reproducing the works of Shakespeare, in the form of vegan recipes. He named this one himself:

Mock Ham(let)

1/2 lb dried bean milk sheets (aka tofu skins)
3/4 cup water
4 T soy sauce
1 T cider vinegar or wine vinegar
1 t raw cane sugar
1 T sesame oil

1. Break the sheets into small pieces.
2. Combine the water, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar in a large saucepan. Add the bean milk sheets and turn them into the sauce. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until the sauce has been absorbed. Add the sesame oil.
3. Turn out on to a large piece of muslin and roll up the cloth into a sausage shape. Tie it up securely with lots of string. Steam it over hot water for 2 hours.
4. Remove from the heat and leave it to cool then chill it thoroughly before unwrapping and slicing it.

Unfortunately, just like any other vegan recipe, this is closer to tragedy than food.



pass the ketchup, ouija?

When we first discovered Marley, the ghost in our linen closet, things got off to a rough start. He liked to roam the halls while rattling his chains at night, which was almost as annoying as a hamster on a squeaky wheel -- I mean, come on, we're not even scared of you, so why do you keep doing it? Stupid hamster.

Anyway, that wasn't all -- it turned out that Marley was a vegan, and a vegan that can only communicate in moans-of-the-damned is even worse than the regular kind that can only communicate in righteous indignation. It's a good thing I still have my travel Ouija board from the time I was an honorary Ghostbuster (the membership card was printed on a box of Ecto Cooler). We didn't have candles, but I let some crayons melt in a pan on the stove, and we put Daniel Johnston's "Spirit World Rising" on repeat. I held Oedipus' paw and we took the planchette in hand.

"Oh Marley," I said in a passable Miss Cleo accent, "What the hell can we do to shut you up?" Like magic, the planchette began drifting around the board -- I swear, if I had known we were spelling out a damn vegan recipe, I would never have spent that hour hunched on the kitchen floor, smoke filling the room from the burnt sienna on the stove:


2 pieces whole grain bread
1/2 C. soymilk
1 T. tamari
2 C. texturized vegetable protein
2/3 C. fine chopped onion
1 t. salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Break toasted bread into small pieces and put into a large mixing bowl. Pour soymilk over and toss with hands to thoroughly wet all bread.
2. Add remaining ingredients to soaked bread and mix with the hands to incorporate all ingredients completely.
3. Defile that-which-is-Holy.
4. Pack mixture into a lightly oiled 9-inch x 5-inch metal loaf pan. Cover pan with aluminum foil, shiny side down, and bake at 375 F. for 30 minutes. Remove foil, and bake another 12 minutes. Cool 5 to 10 minutes and cut into serving slices. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

I don't know if we'll follow the directions exactly, but if it gets us a full night's sleep, I'll try anything.



chains keep ghosts from floating away

Well, it has been a difficult week living with Marley, the ghost in our linen closet. It isn't the boo-scares, or the heavy iron chains that he drags around (which have scratched up our wood floors worse than lumberjacks promoting Nike's new Axe Jordans) -- it is his constant pro-vegan soapboxing. I mean, come on man -- how can a vengeful spirit be against the killing of the innocent? Not to mention that he doesn't have to eat, so it is a lot easier for him to be vegan. Stop with all the "meat is murder" propaganda and let me eat my Roasted Baby Corn in peace.