406. World famous cook
© Bruce Goodman 20 November 2014
Samira was a world-renowned cook. What people wouldn’t do to be trained by her? But she took only one student a year.
But now! Oh! The excitement! Samira was to train twenty! TWENTY! At once! And in front of television cameras! Hundreds of aspiring chefs applied.
The twenty were chosen from a variety of backgrounds. They could already cook well, but nothing like Samira could cook. They were prepared to hang on her every word. As Norman from New Brunswick said, “I’m prepared to skin and gut a rabbit if she asks, and to blanch its testicles.” All felt the same.
The first day dawned. The course was to last a week.
Samira sent each student to stay with a different family. Each family had children aged from six to seventeen. The budding chefs had to cook dinner, and prepare breakfast and school lunches, and bake. They had to do this as well as pick the children up from school, and help with homework, and do the laundry, and clean the house, and go to work each day for eight hours, and…
“I want to learn to cook,” wailed the students. “This is not cooking. We’re being used.”
The teenage boys of the placement families were especially disgruntled. Why weren’t they being fed properly? Nineteen of the twenty student chefs didn’t last the week.
“If you finished the week,” said Samira to the sole surviving student, “you can do anything. You’re my student for the year. Now, let’s begin!”