Commentary > Wastler's Wanderings
Reliving the bull (burp)
Want the good old days of 1990s excess? Try a turducken and revel.
November 24, 2003: 1:16 PM EST

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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - "I was thinking of a six-foot vegetarian sub," said my wife.

If menus were macroeconomics, that would be the equivalent of deflation ... just chewing and chewing in search of protein. You'd eventually fill up, but it'd be a lot of work and you'd never get truly satisfied.

No. I wanted the 1990s again excess and overindulgence. "We're doing a turducken," I declared.

"A what?" said my wife and (later) many of our dinner guests.

Turducken before ....  
Turducken before ....

A chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a turkey. Turducken. Get it?

I read about this meat monster a few years ago. I saw John Madden eat one once after a Thanksgiving football game. Despite my fascination, though, I never ventured forth to actually attempt it myself.

But with a giant meatless sandwich knocking at the door, it was time to unleash the beast. Make a stand, if you will.

For a little more than two years, now, we've had a national obsession. On the dinner table it has manifested itself as veggie burgers, organically grown salad fixings, free-range-chicken and low-cholesterol dressing. And after The Bubble burst In the markets it's been value stocks and bond funds ... good, predictable and boring. Doesn't a volatile tech holding, like a touch of hot pepper paste, add a little excitement to the quarterly 401(k) statement?

Well, OK, I may not risk spicy and caloric in the retirement account. But dang it, I can get a vicarious kick for a couple of hours on my dinner table.

... turducken after.  
... turducken after.

And it's a pretty simple, if expensive, process. Several meat outfits ship turducken. I chose Heberts Meats because its shipping schedule fit my party plans. A couple days and $114.86 later, I had a 10-pound vacuum-packed turducken at the door. An overnight thaw, a snip of the scissors and, boom, the bird was in the pan ready to go. That simple. My wife had more problems with her potato salad.

Four-and-a-half hours later, we and a collection of neighbors and friends were digging in. The meat, which had a Cajun kick, was sumptuous, moist, and tender. And there was lots of it. Gobs of it. In fact, the platter looked like a meat bomb went off. And the indulgence was embarrassing to some. By the end of the evening, there was no turducken left.

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Yeah, we all like to talk a good game of sobriety and clean living. But c'mon, let's admit we like to party. And not with cries of "Oh goody, we're going to have a low-cal tofu turkey!" or "Yippee, I'm going to be in Treasury Inflation Protected Securities that give a steady one-digit return!"

No, if you're going to party, yell "more butter on that slab." And if you look at what markets are doing these days, you'll see investors are saying the same thing. Tech stocks are slathering on some high-valuation dressing and the Nasdaq is oozing some 40-percent gain grease.

Some are raising alarms that there shouldn't be a party. Nuts (and fruit and flakes) to them. They can sit at the vegetarian table and eat a tofu bird.

Okay, there is such a thing as overdoing it, both in parties and rallies. Hopefully, you get wiser about when to stop indulging.

But we can get the 1990s back, if just for one meal. Pass the meat.  Top of page

Allen Wastler is Managing Editor of CNN/Money and a commentator on CNNfn.

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