“My band was banned, man,” said ‘Razor’ as he threw the dirty utensils into the sink. His real name was Francis but that was no name for the lead singer of the hottest new local rock band. “Your girlfriend works for the St. Mary’s radio station. It’s a Catholic college. What did you expect?” replied Steve-o. “Unsuitable for minors? Kiss my entire ass! How about my rights?”
Razor shouted as he scrubbed out the large kettles that boiled the sausages. They were both line cooks at the busiest restaurant in town, Porky’s, where they served up a large selection of meat on a bun. It was famous for good food and lines around the block to get a bite of it. The job paid Razor’s bills while he tried to make a real go of it as a musician. Steve-o just needed a way to buy beer.
There had been a party- a lot of leather, trashy underage drunk girls, even a fight in the dirt lot that once was the back yard. They were supposed to hear their band get radio play for the first time. Shelia had promised. She was the student DJ that night- that fucking night when they were having their CD release party and her piece of shit boss scheduled her to work after she had asked for it off. The least he could do was let her provide a little promo.
She was going to play a song. There was supposed to be an announcement about the party so that anyone who was listening at the college could come see them play live that night. It was to be the blow-out party of the year. But that bitch Tipper Gore and the PMRC and the rinky-dink record label that picked up Razor’s band slapped a parental advisory label on their CD. St. Mary’s college had a strict policy that no music with that label would be played on their radio station.
Now as fate would have it, Tipper Gore was scheduled to make a public appearance at Porky’s annual sausage festival in a few days. The Secret Service was due to conduct their sweep prior to her ‘Protective Visit’ to the restaurant. Razor and Steve-o were scheduled to work the line during the event. “I want my revenge,” Razor muttered under his breath as he mopped the floor. Steve-o scoffed and said, “What are you going to do exactly? The Secret Service will be all over this place. They’ll run background checks on us you know.”
Razor was ‘as clean as the Pope’s poop chute’ so he wasn’t worried about that (though Steve-o looked uneasy). He didn’t want to hurt anybody. He just wanted to make her uncomfortable, make her feel the burn that he felt that night when his plans fell apart, and he couldn’t recover from his anger enough to perform well. Sheila had come late and there had been a fight and now she wasn’t returning his calls. That was Tipper Gore’s fault too and she needed to pay. He wanted to mix Ex-lax chocolates in with the candy on her table or make sure the bench she sat on was rickety so she would fall and feel as embarrassed as he was that night.
“I’ve got it!” Razor said as they turned off the lights and locked up the store. “Do you remember that hot as fuck sauce that Sykes brought to the 4th of July picnic last year? That shit he called ‘Blood Curse’ because he washed his hands of anyone who dared to eat it? I did and regretted it. He said he put a voodoo curse on it- can you believe that shit? I want THAT sauce… so I can put some on the tip of Tipper’s sausage!” Steve-o laughed and drew heavily on his cigarette, “Sorry man, but Al isn’t coming. Hey! where are you going?”
Razor made his way to Smitty’s, a corner dive bar near St. Mary’s. It was a favorite of the students because fake IDs didn’t even have to look close and the music was loud and wild. Razor’s band was a favorite of the bar crowd. There was a dude that hung around the place that he had gotten to know from playing there. He was an alright dude that was fast to help carry the amps and always ready help finish a pitcher. He did odds jobs for the place and chatted up the college girls. They paid him in beer and sometimes he got lucky so he was doing alright. Razor found him in the usual spot, passing a joint on the patio.
“Sykes! I need the ‘Blood Curse’ man!” Razor said as he sat down and refused the joint. He was there on business. “Now what the hell do you need that for?” said Sykes. He was secretly delighted. “Never mind that- I need the recipe and I need you to curse the ingredients that I’m gonna make it with. I need it tonight. I’ll pay you.”
Sykes shifted back in his chair and raised his head to the sky with a deep laugh. He was an atheist but used the stories from back home in New Orleans to scare people a little and have some fun. His grandmother’s recipe and his grandmother’s beliefs were worth something but not tonight.
“Man, I’m drunk. Can’t I just give you the damn recipe and we call it even?” Razor wasn’t taking any chances. “No man, I need this to be right. How much will you do it for?” Sykes sighed heavily. He was tired but needed the cash- “Fifty bucks.” Razor cringed and said, “How about a twenty, two packs of cigarettes, and a six pack of beer? They don’t pay me shit at Porky’s!”
The two men stopped by Sykes’s house so he could copy the recipe (with some minor omissions) and pick up some props. They made their way to Razor’s house so he could steal two packs of cigarettes and a six pack from his mom. He also took her liquid makeup foundation out of the medicine cabinet and a chicken out of the freezer. Sykes had forgotten his makeup and insisted that he needed a cock in an attempt to get out of having to perform the fake ritual. He wanted to go home to bed but Razor refused to give him the money until he was finished. Razor had no access to a live chicken so he provided a frozen one.
That night, just after midnight in Porky’s kitchen, Razor concocted the ‘Blood Curse’ hot sauce while Sykes performed a drunken neurotic display, wiggling the limp body of the now unfrozen chicken in one hand and the staff from his Halloween costume in the other, speaking gibberish, painted up in Avon. It was enough to appease Razor. The hot sauce was placed in the refrigerator in an unmarked bottle next to the regular condiments. “It will gain some strength over the next few days,” Razor said with pleasure. Skyes was exhausted and said, “That was not worth it. You need to come up with some more money and take me home, man.” Razor slapped him on the back and handed him a package of kielbasa out of the refrigerator.
The day came that Tipper Gore was to make her scheduled publicity stop at Porky’s. Razor and Steve-o had been asked a lot of questions by the Secret Service but they checked out and were allowed to work the sausage festival. The owner, ‘Big Jim’, made a big show as always by inviting the press and providing free entertainment and a fleet of beer trucks. It was all hands on deck. Every employee of Porky’s and some of the owner’s family worked the line. During prep that morning, Razor placed the ‘Blood Curse’ hot sauce among all the other condiments at his station.
Tipper Gore arrived early in the afternoon and made her way down the line smiling. A picture was taken of every employee as she shook their hand. The customers behind her shifted uneasily as her presence was a nuisance to what was normally one of the best events of the year. Finally she made her way to Razor and he shook her hand without expression or comment. He listened closely as she placed her order at the counter and the cashier called it out. He quickly called back, “one sausage, everything”.
It was to be the single most perfect sausage on a bun that Razor had ever created. He concentrated, took his time, and arranged all the ingredients in a way that made it look like it belonged on a magazine cover. He drizzled the ‘Blood Curse’ hot sauce delicately, lovingly on the grilled meat, and gently handed it to the waitress who popped her gum impatiently at him. “Do you see the line of people out here, Francis? Get the lead out of your ass!” He looked at her indignant and said “Bite me.” The line was backed up and the workers were frantic, trying to catch up. Razor looked over to see Tipper Gore take the first bite but some local businessmen vied for her attention and kept her engaged in conversation.
The orders came fast and steady as the rest of the customers were allowed to make their way through. Somewhere between the elderly man whose hearing was so bad that he had to be yelled at three times to confirm his order and the family with six hyper-active boys, he saw it happen. Tipper Gore lifted the blood cursed sausage to her lips and took a bite. Razor held his breath as the seconds ticked by and all she did was chew. Finally, she put the sausage down, waved her hand in front of her mouth momentarily, and took a large slug of beer. Then she kept eating.
“I don’t get it!” Razor exclaimed and took the bottle of the ‘Blood Curse’ and squirted some in his mouth. Instantly, his tongue was on fire to such a degree that it shot pain up through his nostrils, across his forehead, and back along his scalp. His eyes watered and he began to cough uncontrollably. He ran off the line to the bathroom and gulped water out of the sink which made the burn worse. He moaned and coughed for ten minutes until it subsided.
Steve-o knocked on the door and said “Are you alright man?” Razor opened the door and said “Ya! I don’t fucking get it! Was she given the wrong sausage?” Steve-o smiled wide and slapped Razor on the back as he handed him a crisp ten dollar bill. “No man, she left you this with compliments to the chef. Turns out Tipper Gore is a hot sauce aficionado!”
-Copyright C.M. Mounts, November 2014