No. 5

119This dinner was held at Inner Mission (formerly Cellspace). It was characterized by banners, astronomy, open flame, and magnitude.

Tonight’s Menu:

AO Equity Exchange
AO equity
Place legal tender into the glass jar. An equity artisan inks a hand-carved stamp/saltshaker with blackberry juice reduction ink, stamps a square of potato starch paper, and gives it a single shake of salt. Receive the receipt. Eat it.


Nest Predator
nest predator
Take a miniature pie-shell magpie nest. Chocolate robin’s eggs and shiny trinkets have been hidden throughout the room. Steal them for your nest, along with whatever portions of food you can snatch from other performer’s dishes.


Tsuki No Usagi

tsuki no usagiRemove your shoes and kneel on the tatami. In front of you lies a rabbit mask, a shaping tool, and a small wooden platform. Your guide sits opposite you. She begins speaking in Japanese. You don’t know Japanese, but you hear her say ‘kitsune’ a few times, which you know means ‘fox.’

Once her story is finished, she places a small mound of mochi on the wooden platform. She points first at the rabbit mask, then at the mochi. You take this to mean you should shape the mochi into a rabbit. When you are finished, she presents you with two small dishes with toppings. You use them to make eyes and ears on your mochi rabbit. She gives you an instruction. Should you eat it? You raise the mochi to your mouth. She gives you a single quick nod. Eat the mochi. The sour plum is unbelievably sour.

tsuki no usagi prepShe gives you more instructions. From her hand gestures, it seems she wants you to hop away (“pyon pyon pyon”) and find more food. Don the mask. Hop. Discover a Japanese rabbit sign underneath a silvery crescent moon. Behind the sign is a bowl of mochi. Take it back to your guide.

Your guide takes the mochi, saying, “Arigato.” She indicates you can remove the mask now. Once it’s off, she serves you kelp tea, then bows deeply. Say goodbye.


Stupid Diaper Poem (Food)

63You are organizing a conceptual dinner. A young man arrives five minutes early. He introduces himself coldly and takes a seat in the corner, staring straight ahead, unblinking. He hardly moves or says a word for the next two hours. “Whatever,” you think. “Maybe he’s just big on meditation.”

Then, in the middle of dinner, linguini and paper trash spill from under his shirt. He collapses on the floor in the center of the room, yelling in anguish. Once everyone in the room is looking, he turns to your co-facilitator and points accusingly.

“You!” he says. “I sent you guys an email and you didn’t even respond!” He never sent you an email. “You can’t say you don’t read your email. Everyone reads their email! I said I wanted to do something. At least say no! And Oakland Nights, you’re here too!” He points at your friend Julie, who runs Oakland Night Live. “I sent you an email too, and nothing! Why didn’t you respond? And now you’re here. Really?” He resumes rolling and howling.

You give him another few seconds of performance time then come up and touch his shoulder gently. “Hey, are you okay?”

He instantly relaxes. “I’m fine,” he says, and gets up. He starts to leave.

“Okay, good. Can you clean up the mess you made? Let’s get you a cloth,” you say. He complies placidly.

As you rummage for a broom, you ask him, “Was that completely a performance? Or was there also a legitimate freak out going on?”

“Why do people always want to know the difference?” He says.

“I want to know because I’m facilitating this event, and I want to make sure everyone feels safe and has a good time.”

He gives you a disappointed look. “I kinda knew you were going to say that.”

He turns to leave. Before he goes, offer him some food for the road. Noone should go home hungry.


Fruit Smash
Fruit SmashA fruit comes rolling towards your team’s end of the table. Smash it with a comically large mallet. Outline the perimeter of the splash. Roll a fruit towards the other team’s end of the table to be smashed. Repeat five times. The team with the most cumulative splash area wins.


 Three Temptations

First Temptation: Lust

Three Temptations 1You hold a single hardboiled egg. A burlesque dancer seductively drizzles herself with agave syrup, murmuring “Glucose. Fructose. Carbohydrates.” in the your ear. She unwraps a lollipop and places the stick end in her mouth, leaning close so the lollipop touches your lips. Remain steadfast. Do not lick the lollipop. Peel the hardboiled egg. Once the egg is peeled, the dancer leaves.

Second Temptation: Greed

three temptations 2Open the flesh of the egg and confronts the yolk. A businessman in a suit and sunglasses presents the diner with a hundred dollar bill slathered in mayonnaise. “The fat of the land is yours for the taking,” he tells you. “Creamy. Saturated. Wealthy.” He leaves the hundred dollar bill on the table and walks away. “Nobody will miss it,” he says. Don’t take it. Remove the yolk from his egg and place it on the hundred dollar bill.


Third Temptation: Envy

three temptations 3An enviable man sits down on a very comfortable couch. He is handsome and cleanly dressed. In one hand he holds a glass of fine wine. In the other, he holds an egg. The burlesque dancer massages his head and neck with sweet scented oils. His egg is seasoned with expensive salt and exotic spices. He turns and addresses you with casual disdain.

“You picked the wrong egg, pal,” he says. “Ever since I got this egg, everything’s gone right for me. Free parking downtown. Free rent. My job is great. For the first time in my life, I feel really, truly relaxed.” He leans toward you. “Are you living your passion? Or just stuck in the grind? Maybe you feel like something is missing. Something deep in your heart, a basic need that’s just not getting filled.” He presents you with his egg. “The need for this.”

He takes a bite of his egg. The burlesque dancer touches his face, not as a seducer but as a woman in love. She tells him how beautiful he is, how happy she is to have finally found him. He bites the egg again. He receives a text from his parents saying how proud they are of him. He bites the egg a third time. The businessman returns to offer him a sheaf of credit cards, membership cards, and insurance cards.

The enviable man locks eyes with you as he accepts these gifts. He wears the sneer of one who has never known hardship or poverty. Watch, but feels no envy. Ignore his egg. Lightly salt your egg white, the last portion of your egg, and eat it. As you swallow, the man’s expression becomes pained. He pulls up his pant leg: his ankle is shackled to the couch. “Godspeed,” he says. “Leave this place. Tell no-one.”


Pheremone Sponge

pheremone sponge
Take a piece of sponge cake from the plate. The cake is rectangular, with one side dyed green to simulate a standard issue kitchen sponge. Press the cake against a partner’s skin, yellow side down, to absorb their unique personal pheremones. Give it a minute to soak, then eat.


Sister Something
Sister 1Approach the nun. Partake of cheese, salami, and rice crackers while engaging in standard nun banter. Confess your sins to the sister. She listens with compassion, then offers you a sip of the blood of Napa and a dark chocolate kiss. Leave absolved.


The Toast
toast 1Set toaster dial to your and your partner’s toast doneness preference. While the toast is cooking, offer up a toast to your friend. Say why you love them, recall your first meeting, or describe a powerful shared experience. When the toast pops, take a shot of whisky. The toastkeeper spreads your toast with a topping matching the sweetness of your toast.


cocoanstellationThrow chocolate chips against a canvas. Connect the dots to form a constellation. Name the constellation, then eat it.


piece of cakeAsk the server for a piece of cake. Realize the server only speaks in cake-based idioms. It seems the only cake-based idioms the server knows are “That’s a piece of cake” and “have your cake and eat it too.” Rely on his inflection and body language to determine if and when you can have a piece of cake.


Blind Sensory Exploitation
15Select a region of the tongue on the oversized tongue region map. Consume hidden foods that stimulate that region of the tongue: e.g. chocolate for bitterness, or caviar for salt.


Food for Art
87Take palette of edible pigments. Combine with fruit on paper for visual effect.

Leopard Memories

Don leopard hat. Describe an emotional memory to the bard-server. Hum leopard-growl melodies while the bard-server improvises a guitar ditty appropriate to the memory. Transfer melody and memory to chickpea mash and consume. Doff leopard hat.


Hometown Dive
hometown dive 2Approach the barkeep. She opens with a question. Choose your response from the index cards presented. Continue through the conversation tree until she says goodbye. Sipping beer, finishing the beer, or touching the crackers will change her response, revealing different facts about your past.


Roman Bird’s Nest
chicken 1Dance the funky chicken while eating chicken Caesar salad.


The Moon is in Love with the Ocean

A pitcher unwraps a Baby Bella mini cheese wheel and pitches it at you from an intimidating distance. Catch the cheese in a glass of red wine. Ingest the cheese and wine in a single drought. As you finish eating and drinking, the pitcher runs up and kisses you on your wine-stained mouth.


Tree of Wisdom

Pluck a leaf from the wisdom tree. Smell it. By the base of the tree are crackers dressed with dried fruit, cheese, and spices. Eat one. Wonder what is causing that astringent sensation. Open the book of wisdom and inscribe a wise sentence.

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