Arbitrary Story #1: Delicious Nutria Goulash, $12.95 (A savory mixtureof nutria, herbs and broth served with a side of fries. Pairs well withSutter Home Pinot Noir)

***Note:  These Arbitrary Stories have NOTHING to do with my business.  They are just some of my favorite stories****

Shortly after I left Target (TAAR-JAAAAY), I still lived in bum-fuck nowhere, better known as Tyaskin, MD.  Tyaskin was a desolate little town dropped on a spit of swamp where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Nanticoke River.  See map. The closest grocery store was a Food Lion, twenty minutes away.  (How I ever sold that shack I will never know.  It’s probably worth a half million now. And the FLIES.  CHRIST.  You could hang glide on the back of those things…)

And the nutria!  Nutria are brown, hairy, dirty rodents that look exactly like a 10 lb rat.  They stare at you from the banks of the river, hoping you fall off your boat, so they can eat you in under 30 seconds.  Alligators, piranha, electric eels, even sharks have nothing on these little beasts with their beady red eyes.  But, HA on you nutria!  The local Tyaskinites turn the tables on you!  They stew you up and make a savory dish sold at the local restaurant.  And that, dear reader, is the arbitrary story.

While their was no local grocery store, there  was a restaurant!  Well, more of a bar, really, with sticky wooden tables and rickity greasy chairs.  Called Whiskers and Wife, it stood  5 shacks down from my house.  You could hear the music on a summer evening from my porch.  All country, all the time. 
Whiskers and Wife was famous for Friday night country karaoke, not just their nutria goulash.  Stand By Your Man, These Boots Were Made For Walking, and Life is Like A Cherry Pie (Warm in the Middle and Twice as Sweet) were favorites.  And, if the local singers weren’t happy with their performance? They burst into tears at the end of the number.  It was all great fun.  Picture it on a warm August night: a bowl of nutria, a cold Natural Lite, and local talent.  Paradise.
But heaven on earth ended when the owner’s house burned down, with the owner inside.  Well, the “Whiskers” part of the owner, the wife and daughter, Sam, survived — just making it to freedom from the flames, the picture plastered on the front page of the daily newspaper showed a hysterical daughter battling to return to the house to heroically rescue her burning father.
Of course, as it turned out, she set the fire.  Well, actually she paid her boyfriend to set the fire.  He wasn’t a very sneaky arson; he poured gas throughout the house and then threw a match. He was caught with gasoline still on his clothes. 
Why?  Money.  They wanted the insurance money.  $100,000.  Split 3 ways, according to the prosecution.
Shortly after the local tragedy, I moved to civilization.   Sam’s boyfriend went to jail.  The daughter served a little time, I think, for conspiracy to commit murder.  The wife disappeared.  The restaurant is currently listed on Yelp, but with no reviews or phone number.  I think it’s been vacant since the tragedy.  I really hope they reopen, I do have some menu suggestions.
Still, I can’t listen to America on a Saturday Night without thinking of the pub.  I kinda miss it.
No, not really.  Thank fucking God I got out of there.  Bring on the sushi.

This should give you a sense of just where Tyaskin is.  Across the river? Swamp.  That creek? Swamp. “Chesapeake Forest Lands?” Swamp.   “Fishing Bay Wildlife Management Area”?  You guessed it, swamp.  For all I know, with the polar ice caps melting, the place doesn’t exist any more.  How often do they update Google Maps?
And, in case you aren’t up on rodents, THIS is a nutria. The scientist claim they are herbivores, but I know better.  Here is a recipe for nutria goulash if you are planning a party.  
1 person found this recipe helpful, it was noted on the recipe’s web site, they “keep nutria in the freezer at home.” Question? Comment? Please comment below.