How Do You Mend a Broken Tart?

Today we fired our first teacher. I freaked out, came home and cooked a quiche (because quiche looks like French for quit?) Dismissal never goes as smoothly as it does on Bravo. If only we could get rid of camp employees by saying “Please pack your door decorations and go.” On Top Camp, Padma Lakshmi would have prefaced this episode’s teacher termination with “You played a fishbowl game of racist and sexist stereotyping and then forbade class discussion?

Gives a whole new meaning to the quick-fire challenge.

Somewhere between preheating the oven and watching egg stalactites harden on the rack, I realized I make quiche much in the same way I direct Human Resources. I start out a stickler for detail but end up just eyeballing it. It’s a gut culinary feeling that relies heavily on substitution, improvisation, and cheese.

Is a resume like a recipe? Maybe I shouldn’t make a habit of substituting half-a-cup of Shakespeare Summer Stock for an advanced degree. But people who excel on paper so often turn out to be socially anathematic. (No no, not people who carry inhalers. That’s asthmatic.) I stress the human in Human Resources. See, I have a theory that it’s easy to invent facts—alma matters, internships—but tricky to front an entire personality. A guy who doesn’t work well with others will have a hard time masking that in an interview. I’m less concerned with what’s printed on the resume than how it’s articulated. A resume is like a Freshman English paper anyway, right?

Only now…now I’m in the throws of some serious second guessing because this teacher had me fooled. Firm handshake. Sane smile. Questions answered spot-on and with sincerity. Listened attentively, never interrupted or one-upped. Emphasized her history as a team-player. In short, presented a perfect center-cooked quiche. There was no warning. But that’s the trick with arsenic, right?

Tonight while I crumbled feta and kicked myself for forgetting to buy spinach (it was a fucking spinach quiche!) I re-watched clips of the Larry King-Paris Hilton interview. I tried to imagine whether or not, upon meeting Paris for the first time, I would hire her. I tried to eyeball it.

I suspect she’s lying, but then again, I was shocked today to discover that Juicy Juice is actually 100% Juice. If a box with a straw can surprise me, so can Paris Hilton. (I suspect there’s a dirty joke in there.)

quiche.jpg

That’s my quiche, which soldered itself back together nicely in high heat. Epee Le Peu is coming over later to try it. For a few hours there it looked as if Boss might send me to camp to take over this class, and then it looked as if Epee would have to go—neither scenario sat well with my romantic timeline. So what did I do? Why, hire Epee’s little bother, of course!

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