There was this iron pot that sat in a booth at the end of the market. You have to walk past all the canned goods with flashy labels and cool sounding familiar names to get there. I thought people were returning food that was stale, rotten or otherwise not to their liking. But their faces weren't twisted with disgust and dissatisfaction, they were smiling with gimpish grins as they tossed stuff into the pot, stirred and tasted. "Can you believe this started with a stone?", they said to me. I saw a stack of bowls and someone passing by exclaimed " feel free to help yourself, no need to ask permission or sign a waver, it way surpasses FDA approval." In my head I reviewed what I saw being dumped into the pot, smelled the smells, then cradled the texture over and over with my spoon. I pulled the spoon to my lips and tasted, "I know this recipe!" I exclaimed out loud. The passerbys smiled and nodded in agreement. A gimpish grim came from nowhere, I still can't seem to shake it.
When I go to the market I now notice the signs and placards all telling me to buy the cans. TV ads and radio jingles extolling the virtues of the canned goods. Techno show hosts cautioning about trying what's in the pot at the end of the market. The canned goods companies conduct studies on the effects on users and the potential threats to their own products. They whisper about their secret ingredients locked away from prying eyes. Who knows if they actually use them. But they boast, "see, the cans are still flying off the shelves". Its true. But some still find their way to the pot in the booth at the end of the market. After being hammered by canned goods mania they venture to taste what's in the pot. Yes, the gimpish grin that comes from nowhere and the sudden outburst "I know this recipe!" are legendary reactions noted in the words of the guy who invented the stone (kernel).
Secret ingredients in a can or a stone in a pot you can see, smell and taste. You can cook, bring your best stuff, put it in the pot, stir and season to taste. You can't cook, come sample the culinary delights. Your face will ache, that Joker's grin doesn't go away and people will say there's something different going on with you. Just tell them you tried the stuff in the pot in the booth at the end of the market. Some will say they won't go there, some have no idea about it, some have wondered but have no strong urge. There is a small sign that says "Welcome to Linuxville" and there is a line you cross though faint from wear, but there is no passport checking or baggage scan. And the bowl is yours to keep.