Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Who uses it: Whalers
What it means: Stripping the blubber or skin from a whale
How you can use it: When you too need to cut away the fat. "Let's take another look at this budget, and see if we can flense it a little more," or, "If this kundalini yoga class doesn't work on my upper arms, it's time to consult a flenser."

I may be a little farther behind the ball than usual this morning, but why is this news? And why would the editors of my online service classify the story as "Other Entertainment"?

TOKYO (AP) - A public junior high school in Japan's northern port town of Kushiro had a new item on the menu for its students Monday - rice topped with whale curry.

The meat is from minke whales the local whalers had caught just off the coast of Kushiro on Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido, Kyodo News agency reported.

Whale meat returned to public school lunches in Kushiro, the former whaling hub about 560 miles northeast of Tokyo, last year for the first time in 38 years as part of the city-sponsored campaign to promote whale meat.

Whale meat dishes, however, are not on the menu every day.

The whale curry will be served at elementary schools in town on Tuesday, and whale meat croquettes are planned in January, Kyodo said.

Lord knows, I don't want to eat whale meat... but Japanese schoolchildren probably don't want to eat Velveeta, and I seriously doubt that Japanese newspapers run stories about how interesting and quaint it is that Americans eat something called "pasteurized processed cheese food."

Oh, yes, I'm a little cranky this morning... the e-mail at the top of my in-box today was a newsletter from an online diet program, reassuring its subscribers that a minor setback like Katrina doesn't have to disrupt their dieting goals. Silly me! Why didn't I see that being a refugee is actually a golden opportunity for serious weight loss? Next week's issue: "Chemotherapy: Your partner in the struggle against overeating."

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