Sunday, August 05, 2007


I told some of this sad story before, but I never talked about what happened after and I may never (I can't remember) have divulged the amazing recipe that lies at the heart of the story. Let me remedy that now.

For those who haven't heard the story before, about this time last year my family and I were invited to dinner by a young Cal Tech Physicist who was researching the parallel universe theory. It turns out that it may be possible to do faster computer calculations in that universe than in our own. You don't have to travel anywhere in a spaceship to do it, the other universe is right beside us. Every atom in our bodies shares matter and energy with that universe. I don't understand it, so don't rely on me for an explanation.

Anyway, the guy was a terrific cook! The main course was terrific but the real highlight was the salad. It was to die for! It was absolutely the very best salad I ever had in my life! Imagine that! A physics guy who could cook!

Unfortunately I was so intimidated at being with someone who knows so much about physics that I could hardly put two words together and I ended up talking nervously about, of all things...Asperger Disorder. I couldn't help it! I was feeling awkward and it was on my mind from something I'd read the previous day. A big mistake!

It turns out that almost all physics students were considered nerds when they were young and had to put up with a lot of grief because of that. My host was anything but a nerd, but he rankled at every mention of it. I should have changed the subject but I was so nervous that I couldn't. I went on and on about Asbergers til my host was screaming inside his skin. Except for the wonderful salad it was a social disaster!

OK, I think I mentioned all that in my previous post. Now here's what happened months later...

My wife explained the problem to her old school friend who was the physicist's mother. They had a good laugh over it and the mother called her son and arranged for another dinner to soothe things over. I was so relieved that I'd finally be able to put it all right again...but...but I was still nervous. I can't help it. For me a physicist is like a rock star. It was like eating dinner with Mick Jagger. This man knows what makes the universe work. If that's not superstardom, then what is? Anyway, I was nervous all over again, and all day long I kept repeating to myself, "Don't mention Aspergers! Don't mention Aspergers!" I think you can imagine what happened.

It was so much on my mind that the first thing I blurted out at the restaurant was "Aspergers." You could see the guy wince. He must have thought I was crazy! It was a terrible night. Now I know how John Cleese felt in "Fawlty Towers" when he couldn't stop talking to his German guests about the war.

Anyway, at the cost of unbearable social awkwardness and ill manners directed at my betters, I managed to extract the recipe for this amazing salad. Here it is:

Preperation: Remove extra virgin olive oil from the refridgerator (it should also be refridgerated) 25 minutes before making the salad and let it sit on the counter.
Have all the ingrediants on hand so you can eat as soon as possible after the dressing is made.

1) Rub garlic into inside of salad bowl then toss the bits away.
2) Add salad leaves (baby greens sold in a bag) and toss with a little olive oil till the leaves are greasy.
3) Into blender:
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Blood orange
Red wine vinegar
Veggie salt
4) Pour blended dressing over leaves.
5) drizzle a little balsamic vinegar on while tossing.
6) Add cut beets from a can and fetta cheese.
Eat immediately before the dressing seperates.


Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for your small blunder Ed. However, what do you first do when you learn to swim? You make mistakes, do you not? And what happens? You make other mistakes, and when you have made all the mistakes you possibly can without drowning - and some of them many times over - what do you find? That you can swim? Well - life is just the same as learning to swim! Do not be afraid of making mistakes, for there is no other way of learning how to live.
Just remember that, k?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and if you have the time, I need some help myself with what had happened to me on 31st of July. If you can, please give some advice. I would greatly appreceate it.

Matty M... said...

Haaa... Eddie, maybe you should examine turrets syndrome. If you can't stop mentioning asbergers syndrome in front of prominent physicists, then you may have mild form of the disorder. If it's any consolation, I'm a "blurter" too. When I get nervous, I blurt-out about whatever is currently on my mind. "Puppies!!! Global Warming!!! Shangrala!!! It's very random when I do it. Thank God... this seems to be a functional disorder and most people find it amusing, but Whoa-Nelly when a group doesn't find it amusing. I get MORE nervous and then the blurting increases exponentially. It's a wild ride, I assure you.
Quick question... do you have any measurements to go with that salad? One cup olive oil? 2 cups nuts? Three parsecs to the food market?

Thanks Eddie... Great post.

Matty M...
Boston, MA

William said...

Hilarious! Helluva affliction!

Stephen Worth said...

Eddie, the single-minded compulsion to discuss a particular subject, even if the other person doesn't want to discuss it is a symptom of Asperger's Syndrome. Perhaps you've come down with a touch.

See ya

I.D.R.C. said...

If there is a paralell universe, then isn't this a biverse?

Call me when they change the name.

Sean Worsham said...

You probably made the guy wince not because of what aspergers syndrome is all about, it was probably because of the way you prouncounce it, "ASS BURGERS" syndrome!

So he must've thought you called him an "ASS BURGER" or something. Tsk Tsk Eddie ;)

Sean Worsham said...

I'll try that salad too, but it will not be good in my mind because I will keep thinking of Ass Burgers.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Bruce: Advice about what?

Matty, William, Steve: No, I don't have even a mild form of Tourettes or Aspergers. The simpler explanation is that I was just awed by the person I was talking to. I had difficulty talking to Clampett the first time I met him.

Sean: I think I pronounced it right, I'm just always spelling it wrong.

Sean Worsham said...

>Sean: I think I pronounced it right, >I'm just always spelling it wrong.

Hahahah I know Eddie, I know. Just trying to make the situation a little more light-hearted. I tend to do make small blunders like that myself. Maybe it's just a trait amongst cartoonists to cause mischief even though we don't intend to eh?

Anonymous said...

>Eddie, the single-minded compulsion to discuss a particular subject, even if the other person doesn't want to discuss it is a symptom of Asperger's Syndrome. Perhaps you've come down with a touch.

I think they make a cream for that now.

Lester Hunt said...

Eddie, Thanks for the recipe -- I will try it tomorrow. Tonight is too early -- got the menu all lined up already. I'm glad you did this. Whenever I blog about food I get virtually no comments. Whoever visits my blog, they must find food a bore. You are proof that posting about food in a non-food blog is possible. You give me hope!

Steve Schnier said...

Hey Eddie - it sounds like a great recipe. Do you have amounts for the Extra virgin olive oil, Walnuts, Red wine vinegar, etc.?

How much of each should I use? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Oops. I forgot, just click the link to my blog, then read my post. Then you will understand. Sorry I didn't mention it.

Roo said...

You knew Bob Clampett? that awsome, of the two who were you more nervious meeting Clampett or the physisist?

Pete Emslie said...

"You don't have to travel anywhere in a spaceship to do it, the other universe is right beside us."

It is?! Uncle Eddie, you're scaring me!! Actually, I'm beside myself with fear...

Anonymous said...

In that other adjacent universe, they still have affordable gasoline but they all ride streetcars, too, which never went away.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Matty, Steve: I don't know the proportions but I've made this salad with different amounts and never had a problem with any of the results.

Roo: Probably I was more intimidated by Clampett. He showed some of his cartoons the first night I met him and I was so outwardly silent that he concluded that I didn't like the show. What he didn't know was that I liked the cartoons so much that I didn't feel I was worthy to live, let alone talk to him.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Bruce: Interesting experience! Wait til you two years or less he'll claim that he was a Popeye/Warners fan all along and will have disdain for other people who disagree.

Pete Emslie said...

All this theorizing about a "Parallel Universe" - I wonder if there's such a thing as a "Perpendicular Universe". Maybe it's up on one end at a 90 degree angle, precariously balanced somewhere on top of ours, constantly at risk of toppling over and creating another Big Bang...
Boggles the mind, don't it?

applepwnz said...

Eddie, I love the blog and I love the part about when Von Braun was on the show, I actually had a picture of Disney and Von Braun in front of that rocket in your picture hanging in my dorm in college

Anonymous said...

'Wait til you two years or less he'll claim that he was a Popeye/Warners fan all along and will have disdain for other people who disagree.'

Hopefully, I will never see that d+++/ jerk ever again. Thanks though.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Apple: Good for you! A lot of the artists I've known have been interested in science and a lot of the science people I've known have been interested in art.

warren said...

Hey Unc,

This might help give you something else to chitchat on next time:

perimeter institute lectures on physics podcasts.

Justin said...

if there are multiple parallel universes out there, isnt it possible that somewhere there is a perpendicular universe allowing open travel between all parallel universes if you find that perpendicular universe?