Sweeney and Dash sample some macaroni and cheese. Photo by a salivating Joe the Cat
You think hand puppet journalism is easy?
Not only do we have to meet all the requirements of a "journalist" (writing, accuracy, vowels, penury, professional and corporate ethics(!)) we are first and foremost, hand puppets.
You think typing with these paws is easy?
These are tough times for journalists. Although we are fortunate enough to work in the benevolent and forward-thinking online offices of Mr. Doodle's Dog, not all journalists are so lucky.
If we owned a car, or knew how to drive one, or could reach both the steering wheel and pedals at the same time, we could place political bumper stickers on that car. You would know where we stood, if we could stand, because our bumper stickers would tip you off to our choices. At least, that's true where we work ... many other journalists risk sanction if they use bumper stickers to convey their religious or political leanings, yet they may announce that their children are geniuses. Unaware of that, were you? It's true.
Hand puppets are such a small faction in the worldwide journalism crowd. We're lucky in that we are officially classified as "cute" and "adorable" and yet not lumped in with the talking heads television anchor crowd. Not much is expected of us beyond "Lambchop."
Yes, we can spell and string sentences together with a view to telling a story. It's a job requirement at Mr. Doodle's Dog. We can jump out of backpacks, cameras in hand, and charm newsmakers, hangers-on and pole dancers, and generally conceal our IQs beneath tufts of mohair, but we are still journalists, and that means we work for a troubled industry.
That's what everyone says, so it must be true.
Working on that premise, we wire fox terrier hand puppets decided to make a batch of macaroni and cheese for an untroubled holiday weekend. We're painting and reading about Virginia Woolf, so of course macaroni and cheese came to mind.
The creamy solace of homemade macaroni and cheese ... nothing rivals it but mashed potatoes. We are not talking out-of-the-box, orange or white preserved goo over limp elbow pasta, no. We're talking Macaroni and Cheese for Hand Puppets, with a recipe right out of Martha Hall Foose's "Screen Doors and Sweet Tea."
Please be advised that this recipe calls for garlic, and that can be tricky for some dogs. Hand puppet journalists, on the other hand, can eat all the garlic they want... we'll still be cute and no one will say a thing about our breath.
Also be advised, if you are accustomed to elbow macaroni, that this calls for fusilli pasta. Or should that be "Seinfeld" pasta? Or, more accurately, since we are journalists, maybe it should be called "David" pasta, since Larry David is the genius behind Seinfeld.
Maybe there's a bumper sticker for that.
Time to seek some comfort.