Thursday 08 Dec 2016

Deep Fried Space
Jennifer Flaten

With the launch of the last space shuttle, I lost all hope of becoming an astronaut. As a child, I imagined someday visiting planets with my own trusty Vulcan, cranky doctor and lazy Scottish engineer. Didn’t everyone?

Why, yes, I did spend my childhood hunched in front of a 13” black-and-white television watching “Star Trek” reruns. Come on, at least astronaut is in the realm of possibility. If I would have said, my childhood goal was to be a rocket scientist, you would still be laughing.

Besides, I couldn’t be a rocket scientist. Aside from my lack of mathematical skills, I have a very bad luck with rockets-model rockets. Model rockets, of course; would you trust me with a real rocket.

So far, I’ve wrecked at least two model rockets. One rocket disappeared into the great unknown or onto the roof of my kids’ school; I really don’t know. One minute, I had the rocket in my line of sight, the next minute it was gone. Maybe my rocket had a close encounter of the third kind?

The other rocket, well, presently it is dangling from a tree at the local park. At least I know where it is, tangled in a branch that is just ever so slightly out of my reach, unless I employ a trained chimp to get it down. Don’t think I haven’t seriously thought of that, but where does one go to buy a trained chimp these days? E-bay?

Come to think of perhaps this information would prevent me from being an astronaut. I can imagine upon learning this tidbit about me NASA would fear I’d have a “Dude Where’s my Space Shuttle” moment. Look, just because one time, only once, I swear, I lost my car in the zoo parking lot and it took me over an hour to find it, doesn’t mean I would lose the shuttle.

Furthermore, I promise I won’t leave the shuttle in gear when I hop out at the international space station. I learned from prior experience that the vehicle would float away. It might hit the space station mailbox. 

Speaking of astronauts, did you ever wonder why Wisconsin doesn’t produce more astronauts? Three words, deep fried butter, provide the best clue. Yes, our obsession with all things fried and on a stick followed by a beer chaser most likely contributes to our there is no way to say this nicely, chunkiness.

Let’s face it; it is hard enough to get that space shuttle up in the air, as it is imagine if all the astronauts were carrying extra cheese curd weight? I know you are wondering if I made up the deep fried butter. I did not. It is available at this year’s state fair.

Why would anyone deep fry butter? I think a better question is why anyone would eat deep fried butter. I like butter. Who doesn‘t butter, it’s an all-American treat. Still, I like my butter on a nice piece of bread or in a homemade cookie, not bubbling hot on stick.

Not to mention the whole question of how the heck do you deep fry butter in the first place. I know this state isn’t the only state that puts crazy on a stick at the fair. In fact, I think it is something of a competition to see who can come up with the strangest deep fried thing on a stick. It’s the Frankenstein monster, but with deep friend snacks.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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