Drabblecast 104 - The Food Processor

Discuss episodes and stories from the Drabblecast Main Feed and from Drabbleclassics

:?:

Whimsical
4
29%
Creepy
10
71%
 
Total votes: 14

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Mr. Tweedy
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Drabblecast 104 - The Food Processor

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:37 pm

The Food Processor by Michael Canfield

Image

They lived in a basement, down below the kitchen where Father made soups, casseroles and souffles much demanded by hunger people in the city. Every year Father bought the latest blenders, electric mixers and grinders. He ordered the best ingredients in the world. Father wanted the boys to join him in the kitchen one day, when ready, but they feared that day.

Drabble - To Market by Carson Beker

Michael Canfield

People's Choice Winners:
Drabble: Please Allow the Door to Close by John Medaille
Story: Floating Over Time by Robert Reed

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Post by Mr. Tweedy » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:59 pm

What?! Was?! That?!

That was the most bizarre story ever. That beats out Circe and even Magic in the Harem for pure, brazen weird. It seems like it must mean something. It begs for deep interpretation, but, what?

It has certain parallels with the Greek origin myth. Uranus imprisoned his children underground until their mother gave them a gift which Cronus used to wound and depose him. Thus freed, the Titans emerged from their prison and changed the world. The details are all wrong, but the general sequence is there.

That is how this story strikes me and what it most resembles: An origin myth. All of the characters are very god-like in their abilities, personalities and motivations. The plot flows between those seemingly arbitrary points that typify mythology. And old order is overthrown and a new one is created.

I think that's what this is: I think it's the origin myth of a fictional culture, presented on its own, without any context to clue us in. Interesting idea...
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Post by strawman » Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:56 pm

Right. The first Origin Myth featuring a food processor. The Big Whirr Theory.
Think I'm gonna use the "Meh-word" on this one.

The drabble, on the other hand, was probably the best I can remember. The idea of the market featuring souls that appeal to the best in man and the shady after-hours one that features the worst..., well how all that got put into 100 words is awesome poetry. I am a Carson Beker fan!
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Post by Poppydragon » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:30 am

strawman wrote:...
The drabble, on the other hand, was probably the best I can remember. The idea of the market featuring souls that appeal to the best in man and the shady after-hours one that features the worst..., well how all that got put into 100 words is awesome poetry. I am a Carson Beker fan!
I have to agree, this is one of the best pieces of ultra short fiction I have ever heard. A whole screenplay in one hundred words, and even time for a chill down the spine at the end. Brilliant.

As for the main course, I think Mr Tweedy has said it for me, definitely an origin story but from where, to where, when, how. Definitely weird, certainly brilliant and begging to be made into a short film by Terry Gilliam, but I loved every strange little drop of it.

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Post by zZzacha » Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:51 pm

Wow. What an awesome episode. My eyes went wide and they stayed that way during the whole episode. Wonderful :)



[and I never used that many w's in a few lines. But I'm trying very hard to quit jabbering off topic, so don't pay attention to this]
I'll be there in 5 minutes. If not, read this again.

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check both

Post by StalinSays » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:56 pm

Can I check both options and deem the story 'crimsical?' Mmmm creamsicles...

Points to this story for totally swerving my expectations. Early on it seemed like a fable about families, to meet some kind of simple but charming ending where the kids build a sculpture out of food bits and win father's affection and understanding. Instead it flew off the rails and started plowing through bystanders. I scratch my head raw to find the deeper meaning. My question to you is, does the ending have a sinister feeling to it? Like father had failed to contain monstrous children, soon to do grievous harm to a world they do not understand? Wasn't sure if it was that, the beginning of the end, or just the children setting out to mature in a more natural way, experience corrective freedom from oppressive parenting.

With a similar subject about mutant broods and bad dads, check out the awesome, recent pseudopod episode 129: Bottle Babies:
http://pseudopod.org/2009/02/13/pseudop ... le-babies/

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Post by thebrog » Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:21 pm

When I heard that there was an episode of the Drabblecast called The Food Processor... let's just say I was surprised.
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Sprinkles?

Post by Norma Sherman » Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:02 am

I couldn't help but think of all these interestingly mythological characters as being the size of a small rodent, sort-of "Fievel Goes West" style... pushing around a kitchen aid food processor in their little make-believe furnished mini-home. Imagining that they had furniture and household items to throw into a twisted version of "Stone Soup"... It might have been the pink and purple sprinkle-grinding album-art that Norm picked that sent me there...

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Post by normsherman » Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:36 am

Whoa, I'm still getting used to having a stalker! wasssupp?
But she/he brings up something interesting- for some reason, prior to getting the artwork (which was thrown together by our own Mr Tweedy btw) I also envisioned these characters as super small, and Father normal sized. Not sure why, and not sure it effects the story at all.
I also picked up on the the Creation myth/Kronos parallel but hadn't considered it being a mythology for some unidentified civilization-- that's a really cool idea.
I've just always loved fables and fairytales. As a youngin I had a book of them from around the world and they always had the weirdest and most twisted things happen. DC won't do them too frequently, but they certainly do cleanse the weirdness pallet.

Oh yah- I'm he ONLY one who has voted whimsical so far??? :shock:
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Post by Algore » Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:27 pm

This one brings back fond memories. Years ago, when I was in college, before I invented the internet, I was roommates with Michael Canfield. And when he wrote this story, Charles was based on me.

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Post by tbaker2500 » Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:58 pm

I have a confession to make. The first time I listened to this main feature I fell asleep. I vaguely remember thinking "This doesn't make any sense, I must be falling asleep. Mmm... Warm blanket....". So l listened to it again. With sleep not an excuse, I was forced to try and understand it. Heh. Good luck. (Besides the evident big whirr or coming of age angles.)

But I did figure out how it was written, and why it was so confusing. The story is like an MC Escher woodcut. Any one portion is clear and understandable. Any other portion is clear and understandable. But try to follow point A to point B, and your mind hurts. It's clear trickery, but it's exceptionally well crafted trickery.
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Post by Dr. Sax » Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:22 pm

But I did figure out how it was written, and why it was so confusing. The story is like an MC Escher woodcut. Any one portion is clear and understandable. Any other portion is clear and understandable. But try to follow point A to point B, and your mind hurts. It's clear trickery, but it's exceptionally well crafted trickery.
This is quite accurately my opinion as well, although I don't think this philosophy works well with literature like it does with art. So apart from it being somewhat artistic, I didn't really care for this story nor did I dislike it. I didn't feel gypped, manipulated, exhorted, inspired, interested, or bored; It just was. It's a lot like those 12 tone and minimalist musical compositions some of my colleagues are obsessed with. Obviously reputable, but they do very little when presented to the average consumer. When it comes to literature I am an average consumer, and I think that's the main reason I didn't really like it.
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Post by devora » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:40 pm

I thought it was a Coming of Age Story. The Pilgrim Children in Search of Self meet Gourmet Magazine. I would have preferred some creme brulee, though.

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Post by cammoblammo » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:32 pm

I didn't vote in the poll---it's missing the options 'bizarre,' 'strange' or 'downright weird.' Consider this a write-in.

I really did like this one. It was a great exercise for understanding how we interpret the things we read and hear. Everything in the story seemed like a metaphor, but it didn't make any sense until I forced myself to listen to the story literally. That's a much harder thing to do than we might think.

If you've read Cory Doctorow's 'Someone Leaves Town, Someone Comes to Town' you'll know the vibe I got. In that story the protagonist is reasonably normal, but his mother is a washing machine and his father a mountain. His brothers are also a little, well, different. It isn't until you realise that this guy's mum is an an actual washing machine that you can understand what's going on.

I also thought Norm sounded a little tired this ep. Too much twittering, perhaps?
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Post by strawman » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:45 pm

Thanks, Cammo, for starting out my week with the image of a mountain impregnating a washing machine.
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Post by delfedd » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:27 pm

After my long drabblecast hiatus, in which is studied Andean cultures and the way the bones fit together, I returned to this story. I was thinking about Circe, and wondering if drabblecast would be able to live up to that. So i sat down at my computer, having lost my ipod (twice) and gave it a listen.

Wow.

What a great story to come back to. It kind of reminded me of a Neil Gaiman-esque world where gods and immortals live alongside mortals. Perhaps this was simply the Cronus/titans/zeus cycle being played out again, with each iteration of the king of the gods getting weaker and weaker, until olympus is just the top floor of a house and the king of the gods is an ogre of sorts.


I thought there were even some shades of Ovid in there. People becoming something else because of something that they did.

Yeah, all in all, I really liked this story and will be coming back here quite often.

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Post by tbaker2500 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:32 pm

Delfedd! You're back! Good to see you again. Sounds like an interesting trip. So.. Was this work pro bono, or were you actually supposed to be there? :P
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Post by delfedd » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:33 pm

Hah.

No, i was supposed to be there. It was pretty interesting.

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Post by tbaker2500 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:40 pm

Well, it would have made a good drabble if you weren't supposed to be there. So what were you guys learning?
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Post by delfedd » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:54 pm

It was a bit of a field school and a bit of an archaeology site.

I wrote a kinda nifty story down there about robots and the apocalypse. I thought of you guys and submitted it, but I was writing in a torpor, and venting and such. Maybe I'll do a rewrite (having lost my old computer) and post it on the story sections. Because if anyone appreciates stories about giant robots, its you guys.

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