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More Effective Hush Puppies

Hush Puppies, long one of the favorite beige staples in a standard seafood meal, take their unusual name from their original function: keeping dogs quiet. This is the same method of naming food that is responsible for the unusual name of the "Shut your stupid mouth, you little bastard, before I shut it for you" cakes that are so popular in Southern Maine.

The brutal truth is that conventional hush puppies are unable to perform their task of silencing hungry dogs. In fact, their wonderful, greasy flavor, loved by humans and dogs alike, only serves to cause the dogs to make more noise, in hopes of gaining even more hush puppies. Obviously, a new approach is needed.

After much careful study, I have developed a new, more modern hush puppy recipe that, while perhaps marginally less tasty, is guaranteed to quiet hungry dogs for 6-12 hours, depending on preparation.

Ingredients: 1/4 lb. ground beef, 3-11oz (depending on dog's size, and the amount of "quiet time" desired) of Seconal or an over-the-counter antihistamine, and a lemon.

Take the ground beef and place it within a clean bowl. Then, using a mortar and pestle, grind up the mild sedative of your choice; for price and effectiveness reasons, I reccommend a standard, over-the-counter antihistamine like Tylenol PM. Dosage wise, a good rule of thumb is to use a bit less than you'd use on yourself; for, while the dog is likely to weigh less, you want a more potent drowsiness side effect, so the result comes out about even. Don't use too much- you just want the dog to hush for a bit, not go to that big kennel in the sky.

After you grind the sedative, pour the powder into the bowl with the ground beef. Stir with an electric mixer, remembering to call the kids in to lick the raw beef paste off the mixer when you're through. Kids love that! Then, take the resulting paste and form it into little, moist balls. Place on a plate, garnish with a slice of lemon, and serve!

Within 30 minutes even the most yappy dog will be satisfied and hushed for the remainder of the evening.

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