“I guess people load their fears in their shopping carts,” Professor Plum said as he entered the mail room.

He read the mail. (More)

Professor Plum then left with Ms. Scarlet to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, where they’ll spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

In the staff poker game, a run of bad hands and ill-timed bluffs left the Professor of Astrology Janitor loading his fears atop his shrinking stack of chips. So he was relieved, if not exactly thrilled, to peek down at a pair of red Nines. He called the big blind and then called Chef’s raise.

The flop brought the Ace and Nine of Spades along with the Seven of Hearts. The Professor of Astrology Janitor checked and then raised Chef’s half-pot-sized bet. Chef pondered for a moment and then called the Professor of Astrology Janitor’s raise.

The Seven of Clubs fell on the turn. Once again the Professor of Astrology Janitor checked, and this time Chef checked behind. The Jack of Diamonds on the river seemed harmless and the Professor of Astrology Janitor wanted to get paid on his full house, so he put in another half-pot-sized bet. Chef looked at the Professor of Astrology Janitor’s remaining chips and counted out her chips.

“This will put you all-in to call,” Chef said as she pushed her chips in.

Did she have a pair of Sevens for four-of-a-kind? A pair of Aces for Aces-full-over-Sevens? A pair of Jacks for Jacks-full-over-Sevens? If Chef had Ace-Seven, the Professor of Astrology Janitor’s Nines-full-over-Sevens could beat her Sevens-full-over-Aces. He counted the possibilities, weighed them against the pot odds, and decided he had to call.

“Here goes nothing,” he said as he pushed his remaining chips in. “Nines full.”

Chef smiled and patted the table as she turned over her Ace-Seven of Diamonds. “I was afraid of that. Sevens full here.”

The Professor of Astrology Janitor had doubled his chips, which would require a bit of re-stacking. He began his signature mewling and Chef went to the kitchen to make Breakfast Eggs for One with Sejouk and Fresh Herbs, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

I was at my local Target yesterday, and saw a disturbing thing. The store was busy and all of the checkout lines seemed full. A friend who works there saw me, and walked me down toward the middle of the checkout area.

“Here’s an open line, just for you,” she said.

I thanked her and turned into the line, and then I saw the checkout clerk. She was a young woman wearing a hijab.

It seemed odd that, with the store so busy, her line would be empty. The lines on both sides had four shoppers waiting.

We chatted a bit as she was checking and bagging my things, and I thanked her for being so helpful.

“I have family too,” she said. “I have parents and grandparents, and I hope they would be treated with respect and courtesy.”

“I certainly hope so too,” I replied. “Everyone should be treated with respect and courtesy.”

I thanked her again as she handed me my receipt, and she wished me a nice day. As I was leaving, I saw that one other woman had come into that line … but the rest of the lines were still jammed.

Of course I can’t be certain that other shoppers were avoiding her line because she wore a hijab, but it sure felt that way. Will this become the new normal now that Trump has won the election?

WinterB in South Blogistan

Dear WinterB,

Thank you for your heartfelt letter, and even more for the attentiveness and empathy you showed at the store. We hope such treatment will not become the new normal. Despite President-elect Trump’s narrow victory, we still believe that Jon Stewart put his finger on what truly makes this nation exceptional:

Unlike most nations, the U.S. was not founded on tribal identity. We are and have always been a nation of immigrants, many peoples from all over the world, coming together to embody our motto of E pluribus Unum: “From many, One.”

If that One does not include all of us, then our motto is meaningless.

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

Is Breakfast Eggs for One with Sejouk and Fresh Herbs a halal recipe? I’m not sure what it is, but I’d like to try it. How do I make it?

Curiously Hungry in Blogistan

Dear Curiously Hungry,

Yes, Breakfast Eggs for One with Sejouk and Fresh Herbs is a recipe from Yvonne Maffei’s site My Halal Kitchen. Sejouk is a halal sausage much like chorizo, and Chef used chorizo as a substitute as she couldn’t find sejouk at our local groceries. Otherwise, Chef followed the Ms. Maffei’s recipe at the link below. Bon appétit!

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Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Breakfast Eggs for One with Sejouk and Fresh Herbs.

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Happy Sunday!