R’lyeh’s Next Top Chef

Throughout most of the day yesterday I could feel a tickle in my throat and by the time I went to bed a dull ache had settled over my body. Unable now to sleep I may as well regale you all with my experience this past night.

Fuel for the Fire

Partly due to the interest of a mutual friend and partly to the loathsome yet addictively crack-like nature of the medium, my wife and I have ended up watching several “reality TV” competitions over the last few months, the most recent being “America’s Next Top Chef”. In addition Cartoon Network recently replayed the episode of Futurama where Bender wins the Iron Chef competition by unknowingly using an aqueous solution of LSD as his secret seasoning.

In a totally unrelated vein: Last night I’d been pouring over descriptions of monsters and spells in the old Call of Cthulhu horror RPG to help provide background for an artifact I was thinking of submitting to the Delta Green mailing list.

All of these ingredients mixed together in my fever-addled brain, congealing at around 4:00 a.m. this morning into a viscous stew.

Out of the Frying Pan

I recall vague dreams about being in Kitchen Stadium and competing against nameless things. In place of kitchen counters there were dark cyclopian slabs stained with various bodily fluids, mainly blood. Either my opponent or I (identiy was all a but fuzzy here) was busy dicing some dog-sized tentacled thing into fist sized chunks and throwing them into a pot.

At the time I seemed to be some sort of cultist but it was unclear whether my opponent was also, or whether I competed against some less human horror.

As the dream went on I gradually thrashed into wakefulness. My body ached all over and the pint of spicy fried tofu I’d eaten the night before churned in my stomach. It was becoming unclear whether I was actually a competitor, assistant cook, or part of the main course. The teams seemed to be sponsored (or run?) by Haster, Shub, or some other tentacled old ones and outer gods, and at the time it didn’t seem unreasonable that I might be chef and meal all in one.

The more I woke up the more confusing it became. The dull ache and thrashing of my lower appendages convinced me that my legs had multiplied, in the process transforming into thick ropy tentacles. In fact my whole body was feeling vaguely cephalopodic except for my stomach which seemed to have been stuffed, haggis style, with some sort of dubiously bloating filling. I seemed inside a pot, my mass of tentacles churning in the steady boil.

Somehow I could sense that the competing team was cooking something equally lugubrious in the vat next to mine, though even in this delerious state a part of me realized it was just my wife turning over in her sleep on the other side of the bed.

The competition seemed to be culminating in some way but as the physical discomfort of the illness dragged my confused mind into consciousness I couldn’t figure out exactly how. In retrospect I vaguely recall my myriad appendages being arranged in artful profusion on a platter for some sort of dramatic presentation, but what the judges decision was I really can’t tell.

Wrap Up

Oddly throughout this whole thing I don’t recall being afraid or emotionally distressed, even at the prospect of being treated as food. My main feelings were general concern for the success of my team, a vague interest in seeing what the outcome of the competition would produce (alway something that hooks me in with these creative TV competitions), and a sense of serenity coupled with the urge to make the best of an inevitable outcome.

Not sure why being cooked up as dinner didn’t seem to phase me much. Maybe it was just the emotional confusion brought on by a fever dream. Or possibly I’ve just read the description of one too many of mythos spells while thinking, “Hmm… This one doesn’t incur too much sanity loss. And the sacrificial victim doesn’t even have to be sentient. Ethically ambiguous. Score!”

About Peter

This guy lives in Boston MA with his beloved wife and two kids. You can get some idea of his likes and dislikes from posts on this website or elsewhere.

6 thoughts on “R’lyeh’s Next Top Chef

  1. Grue. I thought you were dead or something.

    Apparently you’s just laying low in that non-euclidian apartment o’ yours until the stars were right.

  2. I enjoyed this Pete. Not the fact that you were sick, but the writing.

    It’s also interesting that Wikipedia has so many detailed entries on the Cthulhu mythos.

  3. Thanks. Glad you liked it.

    I suspect all those entries are due to the fact that geeks tend to be the ones who get involved in things like Wikipedia. And if products like Cthulhupunk have taught us one thing it’s that geeks love their Mythos and will parade their knowledge of it out in detail using any venue they can.

    If the great old ones were to rise and walk the earth today they’d find a vast multitude of ready-made cultists behind half the computer terminals in America, chomping at the bit to champion their unknowable causes.

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