Popping Off

According to my daughter, we’ve been “popping off” these last four days.

I could not face another weekend in front of the television streaming more best of the BBC, CBC, and Netflix. We needed to escape the rut we’ve been stuck in since mid-January when the pain in my ass began.

My spouse and I turn to food when searching for bonding adventures. His need for quantity took us to a Ahora, a cheap and cheerful basement Mexican joint that boasted an all you can eat salsa bar.

Image result for ahora restaurant

Ahora’s salsa bar

Of course, they didn’t tell you the serve yourself containers were those little fluted paper cups they put your meds in when in the hospital. Copious beans and rice came with his chicken enchilada, the size of a cow kidney, and black beans at the bottom of my deep fried tortilla bowl steak salad demanded salsa, too. By the time we left, our table was littered with at least two dozen soggy wet containers. We stacked them up, making a veritable tower, in a failed effort to disguise our gusto. Afterwards, we staggered around the touristy Byward Market, the aroma of onions, garlic, lime, and cilantro trailing in our wake.

The next day, my desire for cute, trendy, and adventurous brought us to the Whalesbone, a seafood restaurant. The only reservation we could get was for 5:30 – happy hour. Dear husband ordered mussels and French fries, a quantity choice, from the relatively modest happy hour menu. I chose the elegantly named “BC Sablefish roulade/Bercy sauce/pine nuts/wild mushroom stuffing/watercress”. I was raised on “BC sablefish” though in my childhood it was simply called “cod”. Sometimes it’s also referred to as “Black cod”. My mother used to deep fry it and serve it with her homemade fries over which I poured ketchup and vinegar. It has gone up in the world, clearly. At $45 it was heart-stoppingly delicious. But at approximately four forkfuls, my husband’s fries came in handy to slake my postprandial hunger pangs. When we got home, I continued the seafood theme by scarfing handfuls of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish.

Image result for pepperidge farm goldfish

To top the “popping off” weekend, last night we went to a local production of King Lear, Shakespeare’s play about a cranky old head of state slipping into insanity. By Saturday night the beans from Thursday’s Mexican lunch began to announce themselves. Mercifully, we were in the rafters, having bought our tickets at the last minute. It was warm up there with not a lot of air circulation. I think our flatulence added an air of Shakespearean authenticity to the evening since we were sitting in the modern equivalent of “the pit”.

At the end of our row was an odd fellow who had announced himself to us as a Shakespeare devotee. As he stepped around us to get to his seat in the dark corner “for the bad boys”, he paused to tell us about his penchant for Shakespeare’s purple passages. Jeez.

Neither spouse nor I had read the play before watching the production. As someone said at intermission, “I don’t understand it but the writing is solid.”

I noted the frequent use of the word “varlet” in the play and a plethora of memorable insults. Here’s one:

Image result for King Lear insults

And that was our splendid popping off weekend.

How about you? Did you pop off this week?

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43 thoughts on “Popping Off

  1. “Popping off”! Yes that sounds cool. Postprandial breaks and a good smattering of Shakespearean curses in the vocabulary could also be most useful. Dry and witty!
    Am also visiting to say thanks for the comments you left over at Nature … i was in the middle of replying and “pouf” it went up into the ether. It’s good to be back as well as to get encouraging feedback …. more posts are a-brewing in the pot.

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  2. Now I know what popping off means. I think. Would a 4 hour nap count as popping off? Because that is what I am craving, and I don’t see a way to one until AT LEAST next weekend. The food sounds interesting, and I love your description of it. Are you sending stuff out? Are you doing NAPOWRIMO?

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    • If having a 4 hour nap is fun for you then you are popping off.

      Yes, I am sending stuff out but not at the rapid-fire rate of you and Robert Okaji. Mostly personal essays and short stories. I’m not confident in my poetry and mostly write it for fun – more personal popping off!

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  3. Enjoyed this Susanne can’t say I have seen King Lear not sure I would last through it. Popping off never heard that expression before but I do know I don’t do enough of it. Oh and by the way Audrey and I went to the Fish Hook twice now love the 32 oz chowder thanks for the recommendation.

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    • Trust Elli to keep us informed on all the cool expressions. Stop teasing me with Fish Hook! Possibly the best seafood restaurant in Canada and the best bang for your buck. Can’t wait to go again.

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  4. Wonderful post! Have not heard the phrase “popping off”. Will use it now! Lol! Thanks!! I’ve referred to similar popping off events in my life as “running around loose”. Lol! Thanks for sharing…

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  5. “Shakespeare’s play about a cranky old head of state slipping into insanity” is the BEST DESCRIPTION of King Lear I have ever heard in my entire life. (Fun fact – Shakespeare based it on a popular story at the time that everybody knew, but the original story had a happy ending. When Kent asks, “Is this the promised end?” right at the ending, it was a nod to the audience, because it was basically the worst twist ending ever for Shakespeare’s viewers. The play did not get good reviews in its day. People were REALLY mad about the ending.)

    Also, thank you for my vocab word of the day! “Postprandial” is definitely one I’m going to be incorporating into regular usage as soon as possible.

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    • I can’t remember where I first heard the word “postprandial” but it sounds very British to me, something out of a PG Wodehouse novel. Hmm. Maybe that’s where I picked it up.

      Love the fun fact about the ending of Lear and I can see how the audience would have felt robbed. The actors did a great job conveying the story and there was some interesting gender bending happening with Gloucester being played by a woman. Loved the fool in this play. So necessary what with all the violent deaths and madness.

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  6. As usual your writing is sharp and witty … and laugh out loud funny. I can imagine the back of the theatre and your barely-suppressed grins at the Mexican-inspired fragrance 😉

    It is hard to beat Shakespeare when it comes to colourful insults.

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    • There are a couple of doozy monologues with long, long insulting passages in this play. I had to look them up when I got home. I’d love to memorize a few for “popping off” – in a different sense.

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  7. I need a weekend of popping off! My husband had ankle surgery a couple weeks ago and has been housebound so, mostly, I’ve been doing his chores and household jobs plus my own. Boring! We see the doctor later this week and, with any luck, we’ll be popping off soon! You set such a good example . . .

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    • I sympathize with you and your housebound husband. It has been a tough winter and if you’re unsteady on your pins it would be hell to attempt getting outside. I wish him a speedy recovery and hope you maintain your sanity. (Lots of weaving time, though, I bet. )

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      • Thanks, Susanne–he’s doing really well and we see the doc on Thursday. At that point, I think he can lose the knee scooter and start walking again, carefully. And then he can do his own chores!

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  8. King Lear! Not my fave, but some Shakespeare in the theatre would be nice. It’s been a long time.
    That cat, LOL
    Balance is the goal of weekends. Some popping off is required. Friday, we dined out and finished with a brownie sundae, complete with chocolate sauce. Saturday, bad weather came in, so instead of walking the park, we ended up at the gym. Then we shopped at the mall, ate pizza and fries in the food court, and shopped the mall til our feet almost fell off and we all went home to lie around and media. Today, three loads of laundry, a swim, grocery shopping, cooking a big meal now, and when that’s done, I shall chillax encore. We laughed a lot. We laughed and laughed all weekend.
    I’m glad you told me what sablefish is, because I didn’t know. There are a few other fishes Americans and Canadians call different names, but I can’t think of which. The important part is I like all the fish.

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  9. I spent the weekend in a class devoted to screenplay writing. What I learned, above all else, is that I need to stick to novels. BUT, I loved being a student instead of a teacher. Good food would have made the experience even better.

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  10. “popping off”. An interesting phrase. Over here we might say “popping out”. Popping off rather sounds like “popping your clogs” which you most certainly wouldn’t want to do – we’d miss you !
    Sounds like you’ve had some fun. Getting out is better than being a couch potato

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    • Our youngest daughter is 19 and a fount of local youth culture lingo. According to her, it means having a lot of fun. Its been a tough winter here – record cold and snow – which, combined with some uncomfortable hip pain, has meant I’ve spent WAY too much time inside. Thank goodness for your blog to get me outdoors.

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  11. Hilarious adventures! If I’d had the Thursday dinner deal it would have been Friday breakfast and the air would have been redolent – you guys have strong digestive systems! Still I appreciate that you hung on to give Lear a touch of aromatic realism. I have done no popping off at all lately – perhaps that’s what ails me….

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  12. I could pass on King Lear, but I’d be along for all the goodies. Greetings from Rome where the spring is going crazy with beauty and blossoms. Will you be playing along in April for NaPoWriMo? I did it last year for the first time and was quite pleased with the prompts. A poem a day is about a norm for me, and then I’m exhausted.

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    • The old king was darn tough to follow but the acting was excellent so we managed. And as I said to Pauline, since we were in the back row, no one noticed when I fell asleep.

      Lordy. I don’t think I could write a poem a day! But maybe. How do I find the prompts? I’ll follow your posts with interest, as always.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ooo, a first-timer! I was that last year and enjoyed it so much. Here is today’s prompt, the first. Every day there will be a new post with instructions. And when you’re done, you simply add your link in the comments.

        http://www.napowrimo.net/it-begins-2/

        I like it how they say: “All too many poets, regardless of their level of experience, get blocked in their writing because they start editing even before they have written anything at all. Let’s leave the editing, criticizing, and stressing out for May and beyond! This month, the idea is just to get something on the page.”

        Welcome!

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"The river flows both ways." (Margaret Laurence)

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