Roast Leg of Lamb with Anchovy, Garlic and Rosemary / The Stump

If your college experience was anything like mine you had the party house.

You know that one house that was full of boys, always at some level of inebriation. All surfaces covered in beer cans and liquor bottles. It smelled of dirty socks, stale beer and weed. Yet, with all this everyone still ended up there at least three times a week. It was where the party started and where it ended. Many a morning I woke up in my parked car, lumbered inside to pee under some offensive poster and cursed myself for once again forgetting that the only thing to wipe with was dirty boxers and beer labels. As I drip dried, I scrubbed off the stamps from my hand and prepared to drag myself to my brunch shift.

Most people had white out for term papers, I had it on hand to hide the stains on my shirt. Since my one drink after work always turned into me sitting on an outside couch drunkenly ingesting some random, who knows how old pizza my work shirt did not survive unscathed. My solution? White Out those nasty spots and hold it out the car window. I had convinced myself that this was a sure fire way de-wrinkle and freshen. I must have been a sight to see stumbling in, red eyed and donning an oddly white spotted button down that smelled of bars and gravel.

This particular house had one special difference. A stump. This strange stump was in the backyard. The boys occasionally would try to remove, usually after the random unlabeled keg was half down. There was of course, chopping at it with the hatchets (usually reserved for the always safe game of drunken hatchet throwing.) Then there was the brilliant idea of trying to light it on fire. Considering drunk college kids have the attention span of a gnat this just led to a lightly charred stump. Fourth of July sparked the plan of loading it with fireworks. How any of us survived as fireworks burst in all directions I will never know. This stump was unscathed and all of us were screaming and running for cover. We also learned that when you try to pull a stump out with a badly tied chain all you lose is the bumper of your truck. Saws, hatchets and fire did slowly dwindle it down to a dangerously low level perfect for us fools rambling around a poorly lit back yard after trying one to many jolly rancher infused Zimas.

It all became clear one Halloween. The last minute party led to last minute costumes. As I sat there in my go-to “white trash lady” costume out comes my friend Eric wrapped in a shower curtain. 

“Dude what are you? Is that a plastic toga? Are you some sort of moldy Greek god?”

“No I am a hurricane” 

“No your not, it isn’t wrapped all the away around you” 

“Shut up Jolie, I am fucking hurricane”

“You look more like a turkey breast that someone half ripped off the cellophane”

He comes storming at me to tell me what a bitch I could be, (rightfully so. I can really push a button if I decide that’s what entertains me today). As he comes toward me with his badly wrapped shower curtain flapping in the wind he hits the stump. It was the most majestic fall you ever did see. As he tries to save himself, he starts spinning and blinding himself with the shower curtain. Now all you can see is  chest hair and plastic spinning around until it lands on a line of chairs sending them flying in all directions (he was not a small man. He was at least a CAT 4 hurricane.)

We rush over to check on him and as he looks up from his shower curtain folds I say,

“Sorry Eric you are right, you are a fucking hurricane” 

All I heard next was a small voice from inside the plastic cocoon

“ I really hate you sometimes Jolie.”

So thank you stubborn stump for allowing me one of most memorable one liners and a story I still tell to this day.

Roast Leg of lamb w_anchovy &rosemary
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