Author Archives: Arren Kimbel-Sannit
Good afternoon, readers.
Working on the foreign foods desk at AFC can be exhausting work. We must suffer through long, demanding work days, horrendously dull meetings, endless revisions, and the eating itself, which is quite taxing.
So, sometimes, we begin to feel a little down. We feel that the world and its foods are against us. Productivity plummets. People get fired. Articles don’t get written. We go on hiatus for half a year. Things like that. I’m sure many of you can sympathize. So, in order to actually get back in the swing of things, we need a pick-me-up. Of course, we’ve tried things like energy drinks and shots, but those can be a little overkill, and can cause some gastrointestinal problems in conjunction with the plethora of palatables we go through.
Often, we drink coffee–in fact, its partially responsible for the recent increase in site activity. However, coffee can be cumbersome, and as much as we like multimillion dollar settlements, we don’t like getting burns from hot beverages.
So, we thought that the best solution would be to find something that takes the power and flavor of coffee and distills it into a more manageable form. At first, we did not think such a thing would be possible, but after countless hours of tireless searching, we came across our own caffeine snack Cibola.
The item in question is the CoffeeGo candy. It is no ordinary candy. Instead, it is a Coffee Candy, a Dulces de Café, or even, a Bonbon de Café. The package itself says it is a candy for “When you don’t have time for coffee!” Such a statement could not be more true.
See, when you thank the heavens that our site is back in action, you should not be thanking any deity, but rather, the magical powers of a rather bland tasting ostensibly coffee-related hard candy, for it has fueled and motivated us all, and it should do the same for you.
I enjoy good crispy food. I enjoy good spicy food. I enjoy good food. At some points, I even enjoy good pusit, or squid, especially when it is
crispy and/or spicy. It’s extra good when it is done teriyaki style, and depicted as a delectable looking orange hued crispy thing on an equally orange hued vacuum sealed SeaKid bag, courtesy of the Philippines, land of fried meat snacks.
When I discovered this delectable looking bag of presumed deliciousness, I was thrilled, under the impression that all of my unhealthy snack yearnings would be fulfilled. Just the mere presence of the warm shade of sunburst on the bag gave me hope for a delicious culinary journey. I anxiously awaited my return to the AFC headquarters so I could pop open the enticing package and enter some sort of a culinary Nirvana, complete with a religious reawakening and ensuing revelation. Maybe I was hoping for a spontaneous combustion complete with a reincarnation as some sort of cholesterol filled caloric deity that lorded over all squids, squid products, and short order cooks. Regardless, I was excited.
I finally got home, and immediately moved to open the perfectly proportioned repository of pusit. I did so, and took an immense whiff of the squid space.
I was knocked back by the tremendous scent. But…this scent was not some heavenly experience complete with harp-playing angels and divine experience. No, it was an odor reminiscent of an abandoned but unemptied fish market left to swelter in a thousand suns before being marinated in the East River, dragged through the streets of Cleveland from a 60 year old semi-truck that hadn’t passed emissions, and shipped to the Philippines and back in the mouth of a shark.
But…but….as bad as the smell was, I’m experienced enough in the field of foreign food to know that smell is not necessarily indicative of flavor.
So, I took a closer look at the teriyaki spicy crispy squid. First, it was not a delightful shade of persimmon. Rather, it vaguely resembled an over-ripened acid-soaked tamarind fruit, a sickly dark brown color with the ever-present smell to boot. Still, I’m familiar with false advertising. A fast food burger looks nothing like is advertised but it still has some redeeming flavors. So, I went ahead and had a piece of pusit anyways.
Remember my description of my religious reawakening? Well, it happened. But not because the taste was so good. Rather, it was so awful, I burst into flames, descended into the depths of the sea, quenched the fire, reascended, and landed back at HQ. They were revolting. There was no semblance of teriyaki flavor, nor was it particularly crispy or spicy. It became an odd powder when bitten into, and the taste was very similar to the smell in that it was horrendous. Now, I have to make animal sacrifice to the ocean gods just so I can be spared from any future experiences with SeaKid Crispy Spicy Pusit (Teriyaki Style).
Good afternoon, readers. Missed me?
I’m sure those of you who’ve been around a while have wondered where I’ve been. Well, each time someone asks the story changes so maybe it’s better not to say and just to leave it at that. That being said, if someone in a blues club in Tangiers mentions me or my unpaid tab, just ignore it. They’ve got me confused for someone else.
So, with that out of the way, let me tell you something about the food item in question: the Bounty bar. The Bounty bar, most commonly found in two forms, a milk chocolate and dark chocolate variety, is a candy bar consisting of a chocolate coating and what can only be described as coconut flavored…paste.
A keen observer just might find that this very closely matches the description of other coconut-centric candy bars. They would be half right. See, in the most common example of coconut filled chocolate bars, almonds are present as well. This bar has a sister product without almonds. However, the difference here is that neither of the Bounty bars have almonds. Also, they’re German. In other words, these bars are generally inferior, lacking the trademark crunch of other coconut chocolate bars, and containing a filling that I would be even more hesitant to identify as coconut than their American counterparts. So, I would call one who identified these bars as absolutely similar to the American product a tactless fool who has no knowledge of the inferiority of non-American American candy bars. I mean, really, there isn’t that much similarity at all. These Bounty bars don’t even have florapomorphic Os made to look like coconuts. Moreover, the American bars do not say “zartherb” on the side, which, according to the internet, means “delicately tart.” Are American chocolate coconut bars delicately tart? I thought not!
So really, these Bounty bars are not shameless copies of American candy bars. They are distinct in that they are far, far lesser products with even less convincing coconut flavoring that could only ever dream of being authentic knockoffs.
We here at Armenian Fungus Cake don’t like having to choose. We want the best of both worlds, and then some, in one package, whether that means a bunch of different food in the same bag or a unified Mangoustan.
So, after a long day of searching for funny foods and other oddities to bring to you, we decided to stop for lunch at the only place that meshed perfectly with our desires to combine everything we could possible desire under one single roof.
But how could we possibly do this? I mean, sure, there’s Asian fusion and other such combinative cooking, but our interests extend far beyond food, although sometimes we have our doubts. We are more than what we eat. We are car owners and furniture users and clothes wearers, as much as we like all sorts of consumables.
For this reason, we were thrilled when we discovered the true identity of an anonymous (for the sake of being anonymous, and convincing you that we write out of Cleveland) and commonplace looking gas station and car wash, two things common both on their own and together. We looked up something to eat in a wealthy and somewhat chichi suburb called **************, where we ended up after plenty intracity travel. Naturally, we were surprised when we saw the listing for what we thought was just, as I said, a gas station and carwash, under the restaurant category–and rated four stars to boot. We figured it was our duty to try, even if we expected the purported four star food to taste like oil and soap.
The building, which we’d seen before, is big and nondescript, and next to gas pumps and what I later realized was a car wash–I always assumed that the building wasn’t truly a building, but the housing for the wash, and that car wash looking thing on the outside was something else. I was wrong.
We walked into the building, and were slightly taken aback. The floors were made of nice concrete, the place was comfortable lit and well decorated, and even more, gigantic. On one side was a counter surrounded by cigarettes and condoms and other gas station convenience store fare. On the other was a counter with a kitchen behind it and a chalkboard above with, for whatever reason, barbecue items.
The rest? The rest was plain strange. There were pieces of wicker furniture, tables, stools, tchotchkes, sculptures, odd food items, like traditional South American chocolates and artisanal condiments. The whole thing was one weird juxtaposition of gas station and import store, with fine wines next to refrigerators full of cheap beer.
We sat down and ordered several barbecue items, and filled something like 7 cups with all different sorts of sauces. The food was quite good for a gas station, and even for a restaurant.
But honestly, that’s not the point. The food and its quality are not the important part.
What’s important is WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS?????
THE PLACE IS NUTS! DID I LIKE IT? YES? BUT STILL!
DO I WANT MY BRISKET IN VIEW OF STRAWBERRY CONDOMS! APPARENTLY SO.
WHY IS THERE BRISKET PERIOD? BARBECUE AT ALL? THIS ISN’T EVEN A NEW COMPANY–IT’S AN OLD GAS STATION CHAIN, THAT SOMEONE CLEARLY REVAMPED ON A CONFUSINGLY LARGE SCALE! WHY ARE THERE IMPORTED CHOCOLATES! WHY CAN I BUY PEACH RINGS AND A MINI STATUE OF AN ITALIAN CHEF WITHIN 5 FEET OF EACH OTHER?
I’M CONFUSED! IS IT FOOD? IS IT GAS? IS IT CONVENIENCE? IS IT HUMAN? IS IT DANCER?
DOES IT GET BETTER?
AM I GAY?
IS MY FOOD GAY? IS GAS A WOMAN? WHERE IS MY MIND (DON’T SUE ME)? HOW IS THIS SUCCESSFUL? IS THIS SUBURB OSTENTATIOUS TO THE POINT WHERE EVERY FANTASTICALLY BIZARRE IDEA AND ITS MOTHER GETS MONEY? I GUESS!!!
AM I COMPLAINING? I DON’T KNOW! I DOUBT IT, I LIKED IT, WHAT I LIKED, I DON’T DAMN KNOW!
ARE EXISTENTIAL CRISES NORMAL WITH COMING HERE?
AM I CRAZY?
WORD COUNT: 666
I understand quite clearly what it’s like to be lost on a desert island with little to no chance of survival. Well, to be precise, I understand that Tom Hanks knows what it’s like to be lost on a desert island with little to no chance of survival. But that’s irrelevant.
The point is, at some point in our lives, many of us come across some disaster, some impossible circumstance which has pushed us to the brink of death and despair.
Some feel fear–nay, terror. I, and I feel many else like me, when I am put in a desperate and dreadful direction, feel something else. We are not afraid. We look fear in the eyes and spit on its boot and high five our colleagues and walk away into the sunset, kicking conveniently placed dirt in fear’s eyes. Aye, we do not feel fear. We feel a need, a primal need that transcends all changes and limitations. It is a need rooted in the empty bellies of our omnivorous primogenitors. What is this need, you say? It is the need, the desire, the absolute utmost foremost necessity in a stressful situation, passed down through millennia of natural selection–it is the need to barbecue.
But how could we possibly satisfy such a need when in a desperate situation with no means of escape? The answer is simple: the patent pending (not really, don’t sue us!) Armenian Fungus Cake emergency barbecue kit.
To access the kit, all you need is a:
- Something with which to barbecue
- A being intelligent enough to participate in table-top athletics
However, once you have these things, a whole world of possibilities opens up. Before, you were stranded on an island, in a jungle, in a concrete jungle, in a desert, in Asbury Park on the 4th of July, in Atlantic City, in a Broken City, on Bleecker Street, in Beverly Hills (even if “That’s where [you] wanna be!”), in Grimsby, in My Hometown, or even In Dreams. Now, you’re stranded in those places, but you’re able to have an emergency barbecue.
How? Well, in the (not) patent pending Armenian Fungus Cake barbecue kit, everything you need that we
have not told you to provide is there for a good barbecue.
In the kit, there is a:
Smoked Ham Sausage (dried)
Spicy Beef Summer Sausage (dried)
Miniature table table tennis set
That’s right, we’re giving you two whole dried sausages, and a table tennis set that you can use with a regular table. It’s a marvel of modern science!
You can fire up the barbecuing apparatus, heat up those sausages, and eat them alongside your sentient ping pong partner!
Once you’re done, suction cup the net to the table, and start playing intense mini ping pong. You’ll never know that your chances of survival are next to nothing, since you’ll be satisfying your urge to ‘cue with our top quality emergency barbecue set.
Happy grilling! Don’t die!
Hello Readers. I’m back.
I apologize for my absence. To make up for it, I will give to you the account of my hiatus from writing, and how it ties to the story of Mr. Blick.
When we left off, Blick and I were flying towards West Mangoustan to meet a man called Jeeves, who would help us infiltrate East Mangoustan, and destroy the lab that the East Mangoustanis had been using to perform sick experiments on various organisms. That lab was responsible for Mr. Blick’s petroleum based state.
Anyhow, we eventually landed in West Mangoustan, where we met Jeeves at the airport. He took us back to the hotel, where we established our plan.
First, we had to get into East Mangoustan, which meant getting clearance with both East and West Mangoustani authorities. We decided that we should disguise ourselves as Canadian filmmakers making a movie in East Mangoustan, and calling the film Goar, but that somehow seemed like it had been done before, so we decided against it. Instead, Jeeves chimed in and said that he could just get travel permits made.
We agreed, eager to avoid any overcomplicated theatrics. Once we arrived in East Mangoustan, we would travel to the site of the lab, which was hidden underneath an abandoned soda manufacturing plant in the north of the country, count on finding some conveniently placed lab coats and badges, walk in, plant some cleverly disguised bombs, sneak in to the room where Blick was transformed, transform him back, run like hell, and then blow up the place. After that point, Jeeves would come with a helicopter he got from his East Mangoustani contact (who still needed to be asked about using his helicopter), and we would fly a safe distance away before waltzing out of the country the same way we came in using the same fake IDs.
So, we began with our plan. We successfully had fake IDs made, and, disguised as journalists, managed to make our way into East Mangoustan, with some minor bribery and non-lethal combat. Jeeves was able to drive us within a few miles of the lab, before driving back so he could talk to his friend about the helicopter.
Our first hiccup was the lack of conveniently placed lab coats within a few miles of our destination. So, with Mr. Blick in my pocket, covered myself with dust, and crawled, mile by mile, towards the plant. I was hoping that the guards stationed inside the abandoned factory wouldn’t see me, and the sensors placed in the ground would assume I was some sort of animal, and not worth sounding an alarm over. Eventually, I made it inside the abandoned plant. Using the pink whale bubble gun I had filled with a sedative, I was able to incapacitate a guard and put on his uniform and ID.
I walked around the facility until I found an out of place button with a barcode scanner on it. I looked at the ID I took and put it in front of the button. The button turned green, and I pressed it. A space opened up in front of me, with a ladder leading down inside of it. I tucked the guard’s hat far over my face, and climbed down.
Throughout the lab, I balanced putting explosive charges in trash cans and avoiding contact with security cameras or other people. After reading some signs in my broken Mangoustani, I made it to the plastics room.
It was empty, fortunately. I had Blick roll towards the machine used to turn him into a plastic man. He indicated to me what I should do to turn him back. It was at this point an imposing Mangoustani man in a suit and several armed guards arrived, said something along the lines of “we’re taking you to prison, FBFCR pig” and shot me with a tranquilizer dart.
I woke up the next day strapped to a cold bed in a dark, musty room. It was my prison cell. Guards would come in every once in a while to feed me and allow me the opportunity to walk around and use the restroom.
I spent the next couple months in that room. From what I gathered from hearing the guards talk, they hadn’t noticed Mr. Blick in the machine. I quietly hoped that he had figured out a way to transform himself and rescue me. I had to get back to writing after all. I also hoped that the explosives I put in the trashcan didn’t destroy some landfill somewhere.
One of my hopes was answered. I later found out that an entire landfill had been leveled for an unknown reason.
After two months, Blick, who had manage to turn himself into a human and disguise as a worker for two months, living at the lab while hatching a plan to get me out and destroy the lab.
I sat, tied into my chair, when I heard gunfire. After some forced negotiation, a guard opened up my door and untied me. Jeeves and Mr. Blick, now in the shape of a middle aged German man (he hadn’t aged while in plastic form), walked through the door and helped me up. They handed me a gun. I told them that we had to escape, and that their loud entrance didn’t leave any time to sabotage the lab.
Jeeves agreed. We both tried to convince Blick that we had to leave before the rest of the guards showed up. He told us that the generator for the whole facility was powered by some sort of highly explosive fluid, and he knew where the generator was.
There was no convincing him. He directed us towards the room with little resistance from the guards.
Eventually, we saw it. It pulsated a strange blue color. Or at least, what we could see of it did, as the rest of it was behind at least twenty guards. Blick shot first.
I fired a few shots, and then realized what shooting the generator would do. I turned to Jeeves and Blick to tell them that we really had to go. Blick was too enraged to hear me. Jeeves had a bullet in his head.
So, despite being weak and smelling like urine, I ran. Blick didn’t follow me. I managed to make it out in time to find a jeep (I guess some things are conveniently placed for action sequences after all), which I drove as far away as possible. I heard a boom, and then the entire facility blew up behind me. I broke the cardinal rule of action sequences and looked at it go up in flames. Blick, who must have been riddled with bullets, but even fuller of pride, anger, and adrenaline, managed to pierce the generator and ignite the whole facility.
I laid low around the country for a while. Eventually, when news of the generator collapse, which essentially caused the entirety of the small country to blackout and essentially destroyed the economy, hit the rest of the world, various special forces groups swept into the country and overthrew the dictatorship, uniting it with West Mangoustan. I went back with the American soldiers.
I came back to America, saddened at the lost of Jeeves and Blick, but happy to be home. Now, after months in captivity, a few bullet wounds, and some other issues, I write this to you. I guess we’ll need a new enemy to write about now.
So, if you’re a plastic game piece, remember that somewhere, there’s technology for you to become a human and commit massive amounts of manslaughter.