The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

I've never been one to have doubts about my masculinity. I've got copious body hair, a good-sized penis (ahem), and a mean streak that does the damage when called upon. Plus all I watch on TV is sports.

But if I ever did reach a crisis of faith as to whether or not I was sufficiently manly, I've got an ace in the hole: I can cook one hell of a steak. I just finished off a steak for dinner tonight, and once again I'm amazed at what a great job I did on it. It wasn't burnt to a crisp, nor was it blood-dripping. I got it just right, charred on the outside and pink-n-tender on the inside. Mighty tasty.

This is actually an achievement for me, because I've only just recently discovered my prowess in cooking up the cowmeat. For something like 2 or 3 years, I pretty much avoided making steak at home, because no matter what I did, I'd manage to screw it up. Usually I'd cook the hell out of it, and it would taste like a piece of old shoe leather. I just couldn't figure it out, and would opt for going to Outback to get my porterhouse fix.

So what's my secret? That's for me to know and you to find out.

All this talk about steak has inspired me... I present here a darn funny comedy piece from the dearly-departed, circa January 2001. This was written by Mike Nelson, best known for his work on the best television show in the history of mankind, Mystery Science Theater 3000:

Socratic Dialogue
....with a Steak

by Michael J. Nelson

Mike Nelson: Steak, why is there you?

Steak: I simply exist. There is no why.

Mike Nelson: Steak? Think back to 20 years ago, why do you think you existed then?

Steak: I can’t remember back to 20 years ago.

Mike Nelson: What do you think that might mean?

Steak: I didn’t exist 20 years ago?

Mike Nelson: Very good, Steak. If you didn’t exist then, and you do exist now, how is it you came to exist?

Steak: You bought me.

Mike Nelson: Could I have bought you if you didn’t exist?

Steak: No.

Mike Nelson: Then who made you?

Steak: The man in the white hat?

Mike Nelson: And how did he make you?

Steak: He formed me from the Mother Steak.

Mike Nelson: What is the Mother Steak?

Steak: The source of all Steak. All my friends in the counter, they came from the Mother Steak, except the pork chops.

Mike Nelson: And who made the Mother Steak?

Steak: I... I don’t know.

Mike Nelson: Think.

Steak: A weed...

Mike Nelson: Are you green like a weed?

Steak: No. I am red.

Mike Nelson: What else is red?

Steak: Other steaks.

Mike Nelson: Think harder, Steak.

Steak: The bricks where the man in the white hat is.

Mike Nelson: Are you hard like a brick?

Steak: No.

Mike Nelson: What else is red, but not hard like a brick?

Steak: A dog?

Mike Nelson: Steak.

Steak: A hat?

Mike Nelson: Steak!

Steak: A shoe...

Mike Nelson: Steak, is the inside of a cow red but not hard like a brick?

Steak: Yes... (pause) The Mother Steak is the inside of a cow?

Mike Nelson: Yes, and...

Steak: And I am the inside of a cow!

Mike Nelson: Yes. And what do I do with the inside of a cow?

Steak: Sprinkle it with salt and pepper, perhaps a little olive oil, then throw it on a very hot fire?

Mike Nelson: No. I let it go, back to the Mother Steak.

Steak: Really?

Mike Nelson: No. Just kidding. Good-bye Steak.

Steak: (screams and sizzles)