Re Verse All; Chapter 78, Beam 81

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Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 78:  Beam 81
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Takano 38

The next day Beam tackled teaching his three leaders about the kitchen. This was a much more massive undertaking than he had imagined, and he quickly realized that four days was the minimum time it would take for him to teach them, and they in turn were going to take much longer to teach their charges.  But food had already come, and more food would be coming, and the people had to know what to do with it if he was going to avoid losing the entire empire to a massive outbreak of food poisoning.

That meant starting with food spoilage, and that meant explaining refrigeration, the difference between the refrigerator and the freezer, the fact that all food spoiled eventually but that refrigeration kept it fresh longer, and how to decide what to refrigerate and what to freeze.  This was complicated by the problem that he hadn’t yet taught them about cooking (which he dreaded) but recognized that they were going to have to deal with the differences between raw and cooked foods, that raw vegetables were often fine sitting on the counter for days but raw meats wouldn’t last that long even in the refrigerator, and some cooked vegetables spoiled faster than raw ones.  Complicating it, the world had fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and preserved foods of all types, and identifying them probably took a lot of experience.

One of his favorite relaxing hobbies was becoming a nightmare.  He wished he could get Sophie to take over, but realized that already he was trying to teach a hundred people some very important and difficult facts of life by teaching three reasonably intelligent but entirely uneducated students and sending them out into the world.

Now he knew how Jesus must have felt, and why Christianity was such a mess.

He kept going back over everything.  It mattered.  There were food deliveries every day, and if people stored the food incorrectly and ate it after it had turned, he was going to be ruling over an empire of sick and dying idiots.  Bad enough that they were all idiots; he’d lived with idiots all his life.  If they were sick and dying, well, he’d have to look like he cared when he didn’t, and do something when he couldn’t.

Several times he would stop and ask if there were any questions.  More than once he went back to the beginning.  Finally he fed the trio supper, roasted chicken breasts with potatoes and green beans and cranberry sauce, partly so he could show them some glimpse of where they were all going.  Then he showed them how he put everything away, and told them to use the next two days to teach their people what he had taught them.  Then they should return for the next lesson on kitchens.

Next chapter:  Chapter 79:  Hastings 212
Table of Contents

There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with five other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #381:  World Complications.  Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter.  It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.

As to the old stories that have long been here:

Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel

Old Verses New

For Better or Verse

Spy Verses

Garden of Versers

Versers Versus Versers

Stories from the Verse Main Page

The Original Introduction to Stories from the Verse

Read the Stories

The Online Games

Books by the Author

Go to Other Links

M. J. Young Net

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