1.22.2005

"Chopping onions is an honorable profession and builds character (and plot)."
Ain't it the truth. To wit:

I've always found it dificult to suspend my disbelief in some of the more elaborate and dramatic fight scenes found in fantasy literature. That all changed this week ...

I work for folks that work for the X-Games. My bosses were hired by ESPN, which is owned by Disney. How good of a chef can Disney afford to hire for the X-Games? You do the math.

The first day in they set me to chopping veggies. Easy enough, right? I chop veggies every day for meals at home. I start slicing and dicing, eager to show my work ethic.

Wrong.

Chief Chef steps in and in 30 seconds demonstrates how I _should_ be chopping veggies. Basically, without any wasted motion, he transforms a pile of organic, imprecise shapes into precise squares of the appropriate size.

This happens another dozen times through the day, the various chefs showing me (very quickly) how it ought to be done, and little H doing his best to keep up, or at least imitate.

These guys are masters with knives. They are magicians. They have stories about getting chewed out by old Japanese sushi masters. They bring their own blades, and give you the devil's eyebrow if you touch them. We're talking samurai chefs here.

Now. Strain all that through the mind of someone who spends his nights writing fantasy stories. Suddenly those dramatic fight scenes don't seem quite so improbable. Suddenly it seems VERY probable, that if, a person devoted their days and nights learning to sword fight, and if their life depended on it, they would eventually be able to perform stunts that are literally impossible for folks like you and me.

How do I know?

I saw it happen, while chopping onions, in a tent on a ski slope. :)

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