Friday, October 05, 2007

Turkish Delight

[picture from abdullahnisan at flickr]

Turkish Delight

"Come in and try them our Ottoman Trays."

Now that's not an ad that you hear every week,

from a restaurant typically offering praise

for their local food offerings, all much more meek.

An Ottoman Tray! How exotic it sounded!

An unusual teaser, this ad - quite a stopper.

Is the tray polished silver? the thought just astounded.

Or a star-motif etched in the surface of copper?

Is the waiter who brings it well-dressed for the scripts,

with white-feathered turban and jeweled short-sword,

as he glides in gold shoes that turn up at the tips

and an attitude saying that he is on board

for extravagant mezza of fine roasted eggplant,

hummus and yoghurt and olives and cheese,

with simit and shish kebabs, food to enchant,

all tempting my palate, all hoping to please.

Are there gold-plated sugar bowls? carved wooden doors,

and hand-knotted prayer rugs of silk and of wool?

Kaleidoscope patterns from the ceiling to floors

are the backdrop for cushions all stuffed 'til they're full.

And after some fruit, served with Turkish delight,

Turkish coffee is poured, thick with grounds and with foam.

At the end of the meal that lasts into the night

We leave the tiled fountain and head back toward home.


My mind had run off, like a fast-speeding train,

tasting tempting delights in an Ottoman craze.

Then the end of the ad worked its way through my brain

and I realized too late they'd said "autumn entrees."

Seriously. I was minding my own business, driving to work with the radio on for traffic reports. A commercial came on and I heard "Ottoman trays" and it took more than a minute for me to realize they had said "autumn entrees." And there you have the seeds for this poem.


craziequeen said...


I love it when we mishear - you get the best stuff...

I have quite lazy hearing and often mishear what people say, sometimes with comedic results. :-)

Michele sent me to read about 'Ottoman Trays'....


Shephard said...

Brilliant!! I love it! I so love a good rhyme! Autumn Entrees made me laugh.
Michele almost sent me... and then I decided to pop by anyway. Love the poem. Very clever.

sister AE said...

welcome back, craziequeen. this one caught me by surprise, but it certainly made for a good story/poem.!

Hi, Shephard. Thanks, I'm glad you stopped by. I even went to the restaurant's website to see if they had any pictures of their "autumn entrees" and I came up empty - oh well.

Carmi said...

You've brought back some powerful memories from my years writing scripts for radio. We always had to be on guard for words and phrases that could possibly sound like something else when read on-air.

It wasn't so bad when I wrote my own scripts, because I knew the intent and would read it as such on the air. But when I wrote for others, I ran into a few, um, glitches my first few months. Thankfully they were always funny ones, never massively insulting.

Dropped by from Michele's today. Hope you're having a great weekend so far.

sister AE said...

Hi, Carmi. I'm having an excellently-lazy weekend so far, thanks.

It has to be hard enough to avoid the slip-of-the-tongue moments, even when you know the script!

Maria said...

But the term ottoman trays just sounds so....exotic!

Now, autumn entrees makes me think of pumpkin soup or something...

Not nearly as exciting, huh?

sister AE said...

Hi, Maria. That's it exactly. I even went so far as to look up on the place's website what their new offerings were, and they didn't even sound very autumnal to me! They had scallops with miso, chicken marsala, and filet mignon.