Eighty-Sixed Scott Draper François Vatel, majordomo to Le Grand Condé, died infamously in 1686 (split on the notched tine of a fish fork) giving cooks and television cockneys the now-popular phrase for complete lack. Across the Kingdom of France cutlers grew broken-hearted, their eyes like whetstones. François Vatel did not die in 1686, but he knew what that thirsty year would drink to accompany suitably molluscs, cephalopoda, white river fish and, on excellent authority, no doubt, Madame de Sévigné claimed that after coming across a long, white stomach, he liked to insert stale cakecrumbs under his foreskin as he sipped warmed Armagnac. When once asked why, he replied (with wrinkled eyes) that he had found no successful way to place them in his scrotum. It is said that he invented whipped cream while employed at the Château de Chantilly, where sometimes the fish orders never arrived, where sometimes they came late.
____________________________Scott Draper is a butcher. He studied Ancient Greek and Latin literature in London before training as a cook in Toronto, where he now counts syllables and ribs. His work has appeared in various magazines, including The Malahat Review, The Antigonish Review, Vallum, Arc Poetry and Prairie Fire.