I wanted duck breasts. I wanted to render the fat out and fry potatoes in it. I wanted to finish the breast with an orange/Dijon mustard sauce. I know it sounds like lust. It was close. I hadn’t done duck in about ten years and then only because the chef found a bunch in the freezer and wanted to get rid of them. Before that I cooked quartered ducklings in school. I liked it.

I began my search at Stop and Shop. The meat cutter told me that he’s ordered them but they never came. On Wednesday I had to run to Wal Mart and a Stop and Shop was just down the highway. They didn’t have it. Not even frozen. I am stupidly brand loyal and it occur to me to try another chain. I tried the White Pages and was disappointed. On line I found a meat market in Newington. I got the guy to save them and I got instructions on how to get there which I promptly forgot a nanosecond after I hung the phone up. Newington proper isn’t that big, I’d find the place. He said something about the center of town. I drove into town on the end of the main street so I could cruise down and check for my store. I pulled into the parking area in front of the main cluster of stores. Couldn’t find it. Against male genetics I asked directions. From a shorts-wearing, Birkenstock clad bicycle owner. When I asked for the location of the meat market she looked at me as if I were dripping blood from my fangs. She told me in a disapproving tone she didn’t know and I left before she could extol the virtues of a vegan diet. There was a semi-shopping mall/cluster of specialty shops. I hailed a postman. He gave me detailed instructions, all wrong. It’s a male thing. I thought about the police department but was so turned around I couldn’t find them. I usually check with the local fire department and have always got great results. This slipped my mind. Turned down Cedar Street and searched, hoping against hope it would jump out and attack my car. Nothing. Drove too far and made a turn that took me to the VA hospital. I turned around and headed back. I saw a sign for Newington Town Hall. Right signal, ready to turn. No driveway, a run-off for rain water from the parking lot. So near, yet so far. A drive around the block, following signs. I find town hall. I’m inside two seconds and I’m lost. The directory they’ve posted on almost every wall with a “You are here” dot. I wander around hoping for someone to find me. I pass conference rooms elevators, I’m not getting lost on another level, until I find the only office on that level, the Tax Collector. Great luck. They know where everybody is. I interrupt a coffee klatch and draw a cheerful woman who listens to what I need and with some input from her fellow klatchers and the computer find my location. I get written instructions. Written by a woman who’s had to do this often. She didn’t pat me on the head as I left, but I expected it. Walking back to my car, an older gentleman asked me where to go because he had to sell his car. I apologized and told him to check with the Tax Collector. They knew everything. I found the shop. It was a hundred miles away from the sanitized meat departments in supermarkets. He cut meat. You could smell the blood. We talked about custom cuts and he said he could do them. When I came to paying, he didn’t have a credit card machine, cash only. I counted twenty six singles out for four frozen duck breasts. It took me a half hour to get everything from my car to the apartment. The Murph had “repaired” the vacuum cleaner. The one that sucks because it doesn’t. I tossed a bagful of iffy foods in the freezer to make room for the duck and the frozen vegetables. The freezer is less crowded and I have an idea where the burgers I made are so I can have one for supper on Saturday.

The computer guy came today. He fiddled with the computer and set it on scanning which should repair the problems.

If you think the chicken you took out of the freezer on Tuesday to thaw is iffy. It is, beyond iffy. The dumpster diving vermin will avoid this.

See you on Monday.