Oct 24, 2020

NANOWRIMO IDEA # 8 In the Nick of Thyme - reality was never this funny


In the Nick of Thyme

Host of Detroit's only reality restaurant show

Nick Thyme is the 40-year-old producer and star of a local reality restaurant show in Detroit, Michigan called In the Nick of Thyme. Nick is a Greek American chef born in Detroit. He loves the Tigers, Red Wings, Muscle Cars, Motown, and women. Shorter than average, Nick is wiry and tough and better looking than most men his age.
            Nick is standing in front of an open kitchen in a local Chinese restaurant, Wan Kow’s Bistro. Nick is filming the introduction to a new episode. Normally he would film outside, but it is raining. Behind the camera are the director Rosemary Leaf, script-girl Margie Mack, cameraman Bill Jacobs, and soundman Paul Jackson. 
            Nick is wearing a raincoat and dripping rain hat. He has an umbrella in one hand and a pair of chop sticks in the other. Behind Nick in the open kitchen are three Chinese men cooking at extra-large woks, and a long grill top. They are arguing in a Chinese dialect (Cantonese - Yue). Beyond them is a smoking woodfire for grilling and smoking meat. This is a new feature the owner’s son is hoping will make the restaurant a success.
            Nick shakes his hat off of rain and looks at the camera. Rosemary calls “Action,”
            “It is raining cats and dogs outside,” Nick begins, “but we are safe and warm here at Wan Kow’s Chinese Bistro. Wan Kow’s is the first open kitchen Chinese restaurant in Detroit. The owners are trying to add something new to one of the world’s oldest cuisines. Fire and smoke.”
            In the kitchen a large flame bursts out and over one of the woks and the grill top. The cooks begin screaming in Cantonese and running around. The fire jumps to a second wok, which explodes with flame. This is not part of the show.
            “Nick,” the cameraman shouts, “I hate to interrupt, but Mr. Sands is in the kitchen.”
            “I thought his name was Mister Lee?” Nick half turns from the camera to look in the kitchen. He sees the fire.  “Now that’s something you don’t see every day. Well actually you do. Kitchen fires represent nearly half the fires in American homes. Forty-six per cent.”         
            The kitchen fire continues to spread. One cook leaves the kitchen. The other two cooks continue to search for something to fight the fire.
            “Knowing what to do in a kitchen fire is essential. Follow me, and I’ll show you.”
            Nick walks around the counter and into the kitchen. Bill and Paul follow with the camera and sound equipment still filming Nick. Rosemary and Margie stay in the front of the restaurant.
Nick picks up the top to one of the large woks.
            “Now kids, you don’t want to do this at home. Fires need oxygen and fuel, like cooking oil. This is an oil or grease fire.”  Nick points to the blazing fire coming out of the wok.
            “The one thing you can’t use on a grease fire is water. Watch.”
            Nick wipes rain off his coat onto his fingers and flicks water into the wok. It explodes again in flame.
            “Wow. Never use water on a kitchen fire. The first way to put out a fire is to remove the oxygen. A pot lid can be used if it is bigger than the pot.” Nick covers one of the burning woks with a lid and the wok starts smoking, but the fire is gone.
            “For a larger surface, like a stove top, you might try a cookie sheet or a baking pan. But be careful.”  Nick looks around until he finds a long baking pan. Being careful not to burn himself, he covers the countertop fire with the bake pan. The fire goes out, too.
            “The best thing to do if the fire is out of control is call the fire department and if you have one, use a fire extinguisher.” 
            The cook who ran out comes back in carrying a red fire extinguisher. Nick grabs the extinguisher from the cook.
            “But, be careful. On every extinguisher is a rating A through K. A-C are for wood and electrical fires. B-C for the garage. Only K is for kitchen fires. This is an AC extinguisher from the front of the restaurant. If the cook had used it, the whole place might have burned down and there would be no show.” Nick laughs and hands the extinguisher to the cook and pushes him out of the kitchen.
            “In the absence of a K fire extinguisher or another of those big lids, we need a third way to put out a grease fire. Baking soda or salt, can be used if you have enough. But, again, never water, and never flour, baking powder, or corn starch. These will fuel a fire.”
            Nick looks around the kitchen while the fire in the wok has gone back to smoking. Nick finds a package of salt and pours it into the wok. The fire goes out.
            “I hope you enjoyed today’s lesson in fire safety in the kitchen. Remember, CSK; Cover, Salt, and use a K extinguisher. I’m Nick Thyme and we are at Wan Kow’s Chinese Bistro. The owners are hoping to add a little fire and smoke to their barbecue. Today they got more than they expected. Fortunately, we were here in the Nick of Thyme.”   
            Nick looks for Rosemary.
            “And, cut,” Rosemary says, rushing to Nick as do the crew and the cooks. “Nick that was fantastic. We might win an award for that. Fire departments all over America can use that video. We can put it on YouTube. What a promotion. Nick Thyme saves Chinese restaurant.”
            “Thanks.  I wish I actually knew more about Chinese cooking.”
            Nick gives Rosemary a sheepish grin and turns to Bill. “Say, Bill. What was that business about Mr. Sands. The owner’s name is Lee.”
            “It’s theater slang. It means the house is on fire, head for the exit, but don’t panic the audience.”
            “Good to know.”  said Nick.

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