Wtf

Yes, this was actually a thing. Coming from McCall’s Great American Recipe Card Collection of 1973, Ham and Bananas Hollandaise was a secret government project introduced to distract an innocent public with something worse than the oil embargo. To create this potassium horror, I sprinkled the helpless bananas with lemon juice, wrapped them in ham, smothered them in mustard, and baked the lot for 10 minutes, pausing only to douse them in viscous hollandaise.

The finished dish smelled liked a banana slaughterhouse, but for the good of culinary archaeology, I dug right in. The end result was OK going down, but two cans of Coke and a mouthful of Listerine did nothing for the lingering aftertaste. Important note: If your face assumes a thousand-yard stare after eating something, there is something wrong with that food.

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What’s the most damage you’ve ever done while drunk? Maybe ruined a party? Or woke up in a ditch three states away? Or got arrested? Or sent shock waves through the worldwide petroleum market that raised the price of fuel for millions if not billions of people?

If you did that last one, your name is probably Steve Perkins.

The 34-year-old Perkins was an oil trader who got to spend a weekend on a fully funded golfing retreat, paid for by his employer, PVM Oil Futures. So there he was, drinking and schmoozing to his heart’s content. But then the weekend ended.

Perkins, however, chose to extend his bender with additional alcohol, starting his binge midday Monday and continuing into the wee hours of Tuesday morning. Oh, he didn’t call in sick to work – he went right back to trading, drunk off his ass.

Although oil brokers are only supposed to make trades on behalf of clients, Perkins wanted to try it out for himself. He bought 7.13 million barrels of Brent oil, with a value of $520 million, over a 19-hour period between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning in a drunken blackout. If those sound like big numbers, try this: Perkins’ drunken trading was responsible for up to 69 percent of the volume of Brent oil being traded globally. After reaching that percentile, he presumably belched for a few minutes and slowed down his trading, satisfied that his mission had been accomplished.

At the peak of his trading/drinking binge, oil prices fluctuated upward by more than $1.50 per barrel in less than 30 minutes, something that typically never happens barring some sort of global catastrophe.

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