In a world where many blogs and websites are shutting down comment threads, I think we all need the occasional reminder of why we permit comments. Sure, you often learn something new from other people’s inputs, and sometimes get corrected when you step beyond the limits of your actual knowledge-base too far. But sometimes you read a comment that’s so brilliant, you just have to look up the commenter’s email, and beg them for permission to repost their work of art. This was one of those times.
In case you want the backstory, it all started with a discussion about cooking turkeys in the Venusian atmosphere on Rand’s blog, when George Turner penned this brilliant rant about how Real Men™ cook their turkeys (I would strongly suggest putting away any beverages before reading further…):
You guys have obviously never had a properly prepared inert-gas high-pressure acid-cooked turkey, probably because you let your mother-in-law be in charge of cooking the bird. It took men 200 years to convince wives that dunking the turkey in propane-fueled boiling oil was not only fine, it was wonderful, because all women folks know is their Betty-Crocker Easy-Bake ovens.
Well let me tell you, acid is good for meat, and breaks down connective tissue, fats, and tenderizes it. Run the pH the other way and it turns into soap and you might as well bite into a urinal cake.
Venus is not for the timid, or people too afraid to shove a fat bird out the airlock and let the harsh laws of thermodynamics do the work. Venus is for men. Men who like to eat meat – cooked in fire and acid and seasoned with the Devil’s own mix of volatiles boiled up from the pits of hell.
If the thought of Thanksgiving Dinner on Venus gives you the heebie jeebies, you don’t even need to think about plunging into the roiling atmosphere with nothing but a cheap plastic heat shield and a thin balloon to save you from the crematorium that yawns down below. So man up, dangle the bird into the depths of the Stygian hell, feast as someone who walks between worlds and lives on an airship that rides the hell born winds 30 miles above a surface so hot it glows visibly red.
Ride that Venus airship, live on it. Drink the harshest ale till you he see double, then hold your breath and walk outside in the acid rain to pee over the side, knowing that lesser men bow their heads in shame, sitting in Portland stirring the mashed potatoes as their wife frets over the anonymous Butterball in the Oster Roaster, waving her arms and telling you to check the yams. One man is living, however brief and harsh that life may be, and one has never truly lived, never tasted a naturally acid-cooked Venusian bird, never ridden the microbursts and whirlwinds of an alien planet, never done anything to merit remembrance, like putting down roots on a new world and cooking a bird so tasty that people are still trying to recreate the meal centuries later.
You have to put away your fears of one bad meal, a miscooked bird, and embrace the future, mankind’s future, and realize that there’s more than one way to pluck a chicken.
That was just plain beautiful. Thank you, George.