Tom Brokaw calls them members of the Greatest Generation, these people who survived the Dust Bowl and the Depression, whipped the Nazis and the Japanese, and then came home in their millions to wheedle and whine for every social program imaginable—free college education, low-interest home loans, medical care, everything—until they were too old to take advantage of the programs, and then it was Proposition 13, No New Taxes and, basically, fuck the young. It was socialism for them and the bracing chill of global free markets for us. Because, basically, where were we when they were fighting the Japs?
Brokaw has made a small fortune selling them back their own self-mythologizing (now out: The Greatest Generation Speaks, a follow-up to the large-print edition of his best-seller, The Greatest Generation), but now we see how they really are: they won't eat a goddammed rabbit.
Surrounded by food—really fast food—residents of the Leisure World community in Seal Beach have asked their city's police chief to issue a shoot-to-kill permit to exterminate the vermin. He has wisely refused.
But his refusal does nothing to answer our many questions about the request. "Vermin"? "Exterminate"? Where's the plucky spirit of the Okie migration? The can-do enthusiasm of Marines storming Omaha Beach in the face of the worst the Hun could throw against them? The don't-throw-out-that-possum-I'll-stew-it-or-sew-it-or-make-it-into-a-lean-to mode of existence about which Brokaw is so damnably giddy?
It's gone. Roadkill. OC Weekly DataLab researchers surveyed 17 residents of the gated Seal Beach community early this week and determined that excuses for not eating the rabbits now inundating the place fell into two categories: "Don't know how to cook a rabbit" and "Can't eat a rabbit because I'm on a special diet." And a third: "Where the hell were you when I was fighting the Japs?"
The "special diet" claim is a crank's excuse for holding up the line at McDonald's; we weren't alive when you were fighting the Japs; and cooking a rabbit is a snap. We selected, chased and killed two rabbits from Leisure World; we won't bother you with the details of that hunt, except to say that chasing across turd-slick grass is like running across oiled glass. We skinned the rabbits; fed their bowels to the Weekly mastiff; chopped the breasts into eight serving sizes and mixed them together with one-third cup of Dijon mustard and a tablespoon of thyme. Then we added salt and pepper and poured the mix into a large skillet with a lid over medium heat. We lightly browned the rabbit in a few tablespoons of olive oil. We removed the rabbit chunks and added to the same rabbity pan two tablespoons of chopped shallots, two cups of chicken broth—we recommend rabbit broth if you've done this before—a cup of sherry and half a cup of heavy cream. It's the heavy cream that does it. After simmering the sauce for five minutes, we dumped the rabbit chunks into the sauce. Then we added some chopped fresh parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil and a squirt of lemon. We ate the rabbit on a bed of noodles because we were repulsed by the idea of eating sautéed cabbage.