Recipe 11: Mac Hack a-la Popeye

Have any of you seen that live action Popeye movie starring Robin Williams as the titular spinach-loving sailor with a speech impediment and Shelley Duvall as his shrill, hapless love interest?  I remember very little of the plot, but I remember finding it perfectly adequate at its purpose: Certainly not the best kid-geared (as I assume it was?) musical comedy of all time, but still entertaining.  But I also think the last time I watched it was in my early adolescence (or what people now so irritatingly call the “tween years”), so maybe if I watched it now I would just think it was hokey.  Still, I’d take a hokey 80s movie versus some of the modern incarnations of the comic book/cartoon series film franchises.  If they made a new Popeye movie today (and let’s face it, it’s inevitably going to happen one of these days), I can see it going one of two ways:

a) All computer animated, Popeye is a wacky fish-out-of-water tale of an old fashioned sailor trying to make it in modern times.  Hilarity attempts to ensure, but never really does.

b) A summer release, Popeye stars *insert hunky action hero here* as a merchant fisherman who’s done well enough but has never earned the respect of his father, Pappy.  He’s now on hard luck just trying to make his way after his ship sank in a freak storm, taking one of his eyes – and the life of his overweight but lovable friend, “Wimpy.”  Now he drifts to various fishing towns getting small jobs here and there until he eventually winds up in Sweet Haven.  He’s always suffered from a debilitating speech impediment, but after the accident, people can barely understand him and assume he’s stupid – except for the ditzy but well-intentioned vegetarian Olive, who gives him a chance.  As he gets to know Olive he finds out that Bluto, an entrepreneur rich from a career in boxing, is looking to change the fishing town into an oil town – much to Sweet Haven’s chagrin, as Bluto’s company is responsible for a huge oil spill elsewhere in the country.   This will also hurt Olive and her adopted child who she calls her Swee’ Pea, as her family owns the fish processor in town (ironic given her vegetarian diet, but they gloss over this).  When “Popeye” (not his real name but a cruel nickname as a result of losing his eye) learns of this, he has a personal score to settle: The only reason he was in the treacherous waters that took his ship and his friend is because that oil spill destroyed the fishing waters in which he formerly worked.  He insults Bluto in public, leading Bluto to impetuously bet Popeye to a boxing match.  Olive helps whip Popeye into shape with her all vegetarian diet with an emphasis on spinach.  Although Popeye wins fair and square in a thrilling fight, Bluto thinks he has the last laugh because the town can’t raise the money to buy the property or the rights to the Sweet Haven pier: Popeye thought he was fighting for the town, but Bluto had no such intent.  At the last minute, Pappy enters with the money – he had a fortune as a huge fish distributor (think StarKist tuna or something of the like).  Bluto is thwarted.  Pappy heard about Popeye standing up to the bad guy and had never been so proud of his son.  Olive and Popeye share a kiss, Popeye is suddenly able to speak clearly, and the credits roll.

Whoa.  I think I should send this idea to Hollywood.  I could be sitting on a goldmine.

Well with all that rambling, let’s get on to the mac hack, shall we?  Like my last mac hack, this one comes courtesy of former co-worker and “work mom” Ann.  Make your box of mac and add some spinach.  This would be easiest with thawed pre-frozen spinach, but I think if your mac is hot enough, add some raw baby spinach and let it wilt.  Adds a little bit of healthiness to an otherwise starch-and-cheese meal.

Any ideas for mac hacks or recipes?  E-mail me at weeklymac*AT*yahoo*DOT*com

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