White Slash’s Guide to Eating (or Not) at Bumbershoot

What? No peppermint-infused oyster-fennel reductions?

Urban legend has it that while Nada Surf was recording its latest, sickest album, Lucky, in Seattle, I cooked complex grain-based feasts for a month straight on a single butane-powered grill—in an alley, and even when it rained. Urban legends usually aren't true, but this one sure is.In looking at the list of food vendors who will be hawking chow at Bumbershoot, well, I'd rather starve and surf. Espi's Sausage and Tocino? I crap better tocino than Espi could ever hope to make. And who would want tocino anyhow, when I can easily make an alpaca cheese and farm-raised walnut omelet with both hands tied behind my feet? Ballard Brothers? From another mother. Original Crepe Company? What's so original about crepes? China Delight? Only if she knows sign language and Moby. Shishkaberry's? Shitska. Very.But there is one vendor that I can safely say will be on the DL (again, those happen to be my initials) on Labor Day Weekend, and that vendor is Ray's Elephant Ears. The year was '96, smack in the middle of what I like to call my Toots & the Maytals phase. I thought I was turning Japanese. I really thought so. And so I journeyed to North Korea with a special visa that only special people can obtain—to surf. But bro, my board wouldn't fit into my carry-on. So I knew I'd have to improvise once I got there, which for a guy like me, is a wholly surmountable bump in the road.When I got to Changjin Airport, I was greeted by Kim Jong-il, but I didn't shake his hand. Nonetheless, Chairman Kim arranged for me to be escorted to the beach by a harem of seven of his daughters, which was ill. I was thinking limo, but then I was previously unacquainted with North Korean traditions (Myanmar, however, I know like the back of my hand). Instead, our ferry to Shredstown was a wheeled chariot, encased in burgundy velvet with "Surf's Turf" embroidered on the side in honor of me.Powering the chariot was an elephant named Ted. Unlike most elephants, Ted was white, which made me think of the time I gave Sofia Coppola a custom-made set of tongs at a white-elephant party at the SoHo Grand. Kim's daughters kept remarking how righteous the swells were going to be, and I got super-hard. But in the middle of nowhere we got a flat. A famine beckoned.Fortunately in my satchel I had a collapsible Coleman stove. But I didn't have any grub, save for a pair of Luna bars. So I contemplated the elephant. Of course I could have sautéed his tusk, but that would have been totally unoriginal. But then I remembered a recipe that Kofi Annan had told my dad back when he was an ambassador to Ghana: pan-seared elephant ears.All that was missing was the pan and some sage. But I knew I'd have to make do without the sage, so I focused on crafting a pan. Fortunately, dirt is a resource, and there was plenty of it where we were. I had Kim's daughters gather as much dirt as possible in their tiny hands and hold it over my burner. Here the movement of the burner was crucial; I had to swirl it in intricately-timed figure-eights in order to sculpt the dirt into a frying pan.A half-hour later, mission accomplished. Next challenge: sedating the elephant. Well, not actually a challenge, because when I was in junior high this bro from Finland swept into town and taught me how to put a sleeper hold on massive beasts—so I did that. Then I singed off one of his ears with my stove, cooked it, served that shit up, and walked to the shore, where I grabbed a piece of sturdy driftwood and conquered swell after swell. I'd like to say such occurrences are unusual in the life of Lorca, but then I'd be lying.[Vendors are located throughout Seattle Center. No campstoves allowed, brah?]

 
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