Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve last posted, but my day-to-day life has been focused on being a pizza maker at Paulie Gee’s Logan Square. I’m stunned by how many of you have come to visit and say hi. The support has helped keep my chin up, especially when I’ve been worn out like a little puppy by the end of each night.
Learning how to work on a kitchen line for the first time at the age of 35 has had its challenges. I’m not exactly old (in fact, the only wrinkles I have are on my testicles), but I’m also working with experienced cooks who know their shit. Everyone has been encouraging and think it’s insane I went from food writer to restaurant cook, but, life is short and might as well get some severe burns from a wood-fired oven along the way. Injuries are hilarious.
So anyway, I haven’t incapacitated myself by accident yet. Don’t worry. It’ll probably happen.
Another big part of my life is having a wonderful and beautiful girlfriend, who sadly happens to live very far away. I visited Davida in Las Vegas a few weeks back, and we had a terrific time. But, you know.
I had to do something disgusting too.
Harvey and Mr. Bee were delighted to be reunited with Pepper.
One day a while back, I asked myself a very important question: “Dannis Ree, is it possible to vape ham juice? If it is possible, you should do that. You have already eaten glue sticks. Just die already.”
Death, I prematurely seek your cold embrace.
For those of you who aren’t hip to the cool kid shit (dad), vaping is basically using a robot cigarette. It works by creating vapor, generally from a mixture of propylene glycol, glycerin, water, and flavoring (sometimes nicotine, if that’s your thing). While propylene glycol and glycerin sound like types of explosive chemicals, they’re actually commonly used in food.
Turns out, however, there are some really putrid vape juice flavors out there. And they’re bad. Real bad.
This is Davida’s well-used and very-loved vape pen.
It would be our gateway to hell.
In case you were thinking I was exaggerating, well, here are the flavors: Jagerbomb, Milk, Blue Cheese, Bacon, Pizza Ria (yes, that’s how they spell it), Roast Beef, and Crab Legs.
Davida was kind enough to buy these for us from High Desert Vapes and ECBlend, though I do not think she was doing us any favors. Blue cheese. Crab legs. Jesus Christ. I think I’m going to pass out. Also, for the purpose of our taste test, these were nicotine-free. I’m already addicted to vulgar jokes about your weirdly lumpy mother, I clearly don’t need any more addictions in my life.
Dannis: Ever eat a Good and Plenty? Ever inhale a Good and Plenty? Don’t. I used to avoid black licorice when I kid, and now that I’m ancient, it’s growing on me, but vaping it is a different story. This has a powerfully soapy licorice flavor to it. And absolutely no Red Bull flavor. Gross.
Davida: This tastes like a basement.
Dannis: I sniffed the bottle suspiciously, but didn’t smell much. And when we put the Milk flavor in the vape pen, I mainly tasted licorice from the Jagerbomb, which made it harder to detect anything new. After a while, when the licorice flavor went away, all I tasted was a mild sweet flavor that eventually gave way to a slightly mildewy, old sock taste.
Davida: I ordered this one in tribute to the time that Dennis asked me, in all seriousness, “So do white people just sit around and drink milk all day? That’s something I can see white people doing.” Anyway, I could easily identify the milk flavor, especially in the exhale, but it was mostly reminiscent of warm milk. Needless to say, I gagged.
Dannis: Blue cheese vape juice is an abomination. It is easily one of the worst things I have experienced in a long time. It tastes like sweaty old socks, slightly tangy, with a touch of unwashed taint and toejam. Do not vape blue cheese flavored vape juice. It is wildly offensive.
Davida: The flavor is spot the fuck on! Would I vape it on the regular? No. Would I put it on a salad? Absolutely.
Dannis: It smells like burnt rubber. Ever have artificially bacon-flavored anything? It tastes like cancer. This vape juice tastes like cancer.
Davida: This shit tastes like dog treats. Overwhelming fake bacon flavor. Bad.
Dannis: I never thought I’d be actually inhaling pizza (I prefer Clamato, personally), but if you want to know the truth, it…it tastes pretty good, in that artificially-pizza-flavored sort of way, like Combos. There’s a strong generic Italian seasoning flavor, mainly oregano. Why did I like this? It is because I am a disgusting person.
Davida: This one manages to capture multiple flavors in a good but slightly fake-tasting way. Makes me hungry.
Dannis: I took a little sniff from the bottle. It smelled like chocolate. Roast beef generally does not taste like chocolate, unless you put chocolate on roast beef. But frankly, I didn’t get any flavor aside from a slight sweetness. Really, all I got was a deep sadness.
Davida: Where is the beef?
Dannis: Next to the blue cheese vape juice, this was the other one I was really scared of. Would it taste like rotten seafood? Would it taste like sewer water? Sadly, it only tasted like black pepper. That’s all I could taste. Crab legs are not black pepper. I felt a deep rage within all of my holes.
Davida: This one did not deliver. I maybe got a hint of butter, but damn, that’s it.
If Harvey, Mr. Bee, and Pepper weren’t already worried about me careening towards the void, well.
They bore witness to something extremely gross. Can blue cheese vape juice give someone PTSD?
I’ve never really been a smoker of anything.
Vaping was surprisingly difficult for me. Davida watched me choke and cough the whole time we were taste-testing these vulgar flavors. I’m a big baby.
Davida, on the other hand, is a pro.
I know, vaping is silly, but I’ve never had any problem with it. It’s definitely different than smoking cigarettes, that’s for sure. But you know, doctors used to endorse smoking cigarettes, which is kind of like Paula Deen shilling diabetes medicine to people after teaching them how to make deep-fried butter. So, basically what I’m saying is that life is garbage and nothing makes sense.
Thank you, Davida, for funding this descent into inhalable madness.
In any case — sorry it’s been so long. It’s been a busy month of me getting my ass kicked in a kitchen. But don’t worry. I’m still alive. I think.