Roti John ~ Saluting the Magpie

Morning, Mr. Magpie…

Sister Madly first learned this of custom from the Professor after listening to his lengthy and completely unsolicited dissertation on superstitions. He was saluting a tree- or so she thought- which is not entirely odd in itself; Sister Madly herself has been known to talk to strange things, such as people.

As it turned out, the Professor was not saluting the tree, but a creature he called a Magpie. Sister Madly had to admit that she didn’t know what a Magpie looked like, but if she were to speculate, she would assume this:

Turns out, they look like this:

The Professor told her that it was unlucky not to salute the first Magpie of the day, which was a bizarre ritual for him to adopt; he was a scientific creature completely without whimsy, living an academic life while selfishly refusing to allow Sister Madly to sell his kidneys on the black market. He seemed to imply that if she were to embrace the Saluting of the Magpie, she could forever live a blissful life in a lovey-dovey, vegan butter-spread commercial.

But this raised a few questions for the most rational Sister Madly; to begin with, how is one to know that this is the first Magpie of the day? There may have been a conga line of 57 birds on her windowsill in the wee hours of the morn. And what if the Magpie she salutes is not a Mister, but a Missus? If the idea is not to anger the old bird, knowing its proper title is an absolute must!

Then again, why would Sister Madly salute a bird whose only purpose in life is to poo hellfire missiles all over poor Itty Bitty whenever parked beneath a tree?

It didn’t take long for her to find out.

At the pub later that night, they encountered the Happy Phlebotomist, whom had recently returned from a trip to Canada and was giddy to show off his souvenirs. He led them to the dark end of the parking lot, where he revealed a trunk full of Ketchup Chips.

“If you’re not going to buy Ketchup Chips, why bother going to Canada? That’s what the country was made for!”

No, Canada was created so that Alaska won’t float off into the Bering Sea, flex its muscles at its newfound freedom, and shack up with Hawaii- everybody knows that, Chipper. It would be most devastating for the caribou.

Since the chips tasted as one might expect, it became clear that the Happy Phlebotomist was fascinated not only by the chips themselves, but the brilliant innovation of this time-saving measure.

You see, much of a Canadian’s life is wasted writing that extra ‘U’ in words that need no extra ‘U’; thus the Ketchup Chip was invented not only to save time, but prevent the excruciating fatigue of dipping said Chip into said Ketchup, hence allowing Canada to continue this curious tradition. Of course, food is so much more flavourful with that superfluous letter, everyone knows that; but nearly 6 years* is squandered in composing that character over a single lifetime. The Ketchup Chip makes that loss much more bearable.

* According to Sister Madly’s estimate, which of course is most excellent.

But that was not his only memento.

But before the Professor could question the logic behind selling non-refrigerated Milk in Bag like a Boss, Sister Madly decided to test the strength of the bag by dropping it to the asphalt.

Bag O’ Milk promptly became Sprinkler O’ Milk.

You know why this happened, don’t you, Sister Madly? This happened because you did not salute the Magpie first thing in the morning after your merry frolic through Sunnyside, which has more Magpies than you can shake a stick at.*

* Not that Sister Madly wanders about town, shaking sticks at things willy-nilly. She’d like to think that she’s still a few years away from that particular mentality.

After the Milk-Sprinkler Dance of Panic, Chipper attempted to correct this by sticking ballpoint pens through the tears. It would seem that the Happy Phlebotomist’s solution to every problem is to stick a pointy object into said problem- which is far from comforting.

Apparently, Canada has yet to learn about the science behind the Pencil-Thru-the-Bag-of-Liquid, because this did not work in the least.

“You should have Saluted the Magpie.”

The Professor clearly has no heart- at least, he isn’t using it.*

* In which case, he shouldn’t mind if Sister Madly sells it on the black market.

On the plus side, Sister Madly did get her recommended daily serving of dairy.

While she can’t say the Magpie was responsible, she did leave him an offering of Ketchup Chips, just in case.


  • oil/ghee for sautéing
  • 1lb beef mince
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1-2 chilies, chopped and seeded to taste
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 TBSP ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • crusty bread, sliced
  • spring onion, cilantro, sriracha aioli, cheese (opt, for garnish)

Sauté onions until translucent; 8-10 min
Add chili, garlic, and ginger; lightly caramelize; 10-15 min
Add spices; sauté until fragrant; 1 min
Remove from heat; set aside

Add beef to skillet; sauté until cooked through
Add onion mixture; stir until combined; 2 min
Remove from heat; cool 5 min

Add beaten eggs to beef; mix well

Heat oiled skillet over medium heat
Spoon egg mixture over sliced bread
Place bread filling-side down in skillet
Fry for 2-5 minutes, or until eggs are cooked
Flip over to toast outside (opt)
Remove from heat; add garnish
Serve open-faced or as a sandwich

THEME SONG: Surfin’ Bird, Ramones


31 responses

  1. Great post 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    September 14, 2018 at 5:28 AM

  2. Roti John is one of my favorite dishes. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    September 14, 2018 at 8:42 AM

    • Ah, yes- it does come from your neck of the woods. ;c)

      Indeed, it is good!

      Liked by 1 person

      September 14, 2018 at 10:19 AM

      • Haha! We have the plain egg and onion or with beef or with chicken. It costs SGD3.50 for half a baguette length.😀

        Liked by 1 person

        September 15, 2018 at 4:05 AM

  3. Okay, I am strange but you still have to talk to me…. 🙂 Speaking of strange this whole Ketchup Chip thing you spoke of got me mad…and not for the reason you think. Why the hell don’t they just call it “The Ketchip” to be more efficient ! Marketing Dept get on that!… btw I want a finders fee for the ad campaign launch in Canada on this!….

    ah you had me at the “strange” with this one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    September 14, 2018 at 9:10 AM

    • Canada really missed out on a brilliant opportunity there.

      But what about the weirdos of the world who spell it ‘catsup?’

      Liked by 1 person

      September 14, 2018 at 10:22 AM

      • The Catsup Clan has long ago been lost with out hope sadly….

        Liked by 1 person

        September 14, 2018 at 10:28 AM

      • elmediat

        Canadians busy working on Maple Fudge Cannabis Chips – you won’t eat just one.

        Liked by 1 person

        October 25, 2018 at 8:43 PM

        • A chip that will both create and satisfy the munchies.

          That is genius!

          Liked by 1 person

          October 26, 2018 at 1:51 PM

  4. I’m not a cook, but I love this piece!

    Liked by 2 people

    October 3, 2018 at 4:21 AM

  5. whenmarsmetsaturn

    Ave Sister Madly! *Salutes with pointy stick hidden behind back*

    Liked by 1 person

    October 4, 2018 at 2:05 PM

    • Hello, my friend! *Salutes with a bag full of marshmallows in need of a pointy stick in her hand… she likes s’mores, after all.*

      Liked by 1 person

      October 4, 2018 at 7:49 PM

      • whenmarsmetsaturn

        Sister Madly is indeed omniscient. I doff my pointy hat *Extremely impressed with Sister Madly’s pointy stick observational skills but would rather have a few more IPAs than s’mores*

        Liked by 1 person

        October 5, 2018 at 12:23 PM

        • Fair enough- IPA’s for you, hard cider for me. ;c)

          Liked by 1 person

          October 5, 2018 at 2:48 PM

        • whenmarsmetsaturn

          Phew… My plan worked. My exquisitely whittled, rune carved, super duper magic wand is safe once more. Wait a minute… Best clarify! Sister Madly’s too canny for the likes of me. Cedar or Cider?

          Liked by 1 person

          October 5, 2018 at 3:20 PM

        • Well, cider of course! That’s right, just believe she said cider…

          Liked by 1 person

          October 5, 2018 at 4:54 PM

        • whenmarsmetsaturn

          😀 One can never be too careful these days. Strange things have been known to happen to vowels and consonants.

          Liked by 1 person

          October 5, 2018 at 11:46 PM

  6. locksley2010

    Dearest Moppet! It seems the Magpie was having a laugh at your expense….. at least The Professor never told you about bowing to the Blackbird. Oops……

    Liked by 1 person

    October 6, 2018 at 7:09 AM

    • Oh dear- and with all those crows living in the tree next door…

      Why can’t the Blackbird bow to us?!?


      October 6, 2018 at 2:30 PM

      • locksley2010

        Never mind the crows, blackbirds plot murder and mass warfare in their spare time…… they sing to tell the tales of their ancestors….. as dinosaurs!

        Liked by 1 person

        October 7, 2018 at 1:07 AM

        • I wish I was a blackbird.

          Liked by 1 person

          October 7, 2018 at 1:18 PM

        • locksley2010

          Alas….. you’ll have to do like me and walk around in a hand made papier mache velociraptor outfit. Just make sure you remember to use the toilet before completing the costume!

          Liked by 1 person

          October 8, 2018 at 11:05 AM

        • Can I be a T-Rex instead?

          Liked by 1 person

          October 9, 2018 at 12:58 PM

        • locksley2010


          Liked by 1 person

          October 9, 2018 at 1:02 PM

  7. Sister Madly, your posts are showing up in my trader or notifications, WP , grrr. I’m going to refollow. That sometimes helps!

    Liked by 1 person

    October 6, 2018 at 11:45 AM

    • It’s a conspiracy! I’ve been finding myself mysteriously unfollowing blogs lately. I’ve since decided to bookmark the blogs and try re-following in a few weeks.

      Let’s hope our plans work.

      Liked by 1 person

      October 6, 2018 at 2:27 PM

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