How to Cook a Conductor


  • One large Conductor, or two small assistant conductors

  • Ketchup

  • 26 large garlic cloves

  • Crisco or other solid vegetable shortening

  • 1 cask cheap wine

  • 1 lb. alfalfa sprouts

  • 2 lbs. assorted yuppie food, such as tofu or yoghurt

  • One abused Orchestra

    First, catch a Conductor. Remove the tail and horns. Carefully separate the large ego and reserve for sauce. Remove any batons, pencils (on permanent loan from the Principal Second Violin) and long articulations and discard. Remove the hearing aid and discard (it never worked anyway).

    Examine your conductor carefully - many of them are mostly large intestine. If you have such a Conductor, you will have to discard it and catch another.

    Clean the Conductor as you would a squid, but do not separate the tentacles from the body.

    If you have an older Conductor, such as one from a Major Symphony Orchestra or Summer Music Festival, you may wish to tenderize by pounding the Conductor on a rock with timpani mallets or by smashing the Conductor between two large cymbals.

    Next, pour 1/2 of the cask of wine into a bath tub and soak the Conductor in the wine for at least 12 hours. When the Conductor is sufficiently marinated, remove any clothes the Conductor may be wearing and rub it all over with the garlic. Then cover your Conductor with the Crisco.

    Next, take your orchestra and put out as much music as the stands will hold without falling over, and make sure that there are lots of really loud passages for everyone, big loud chords for the winds and brass, and lots and lots of tremolos for the strings. (Bruckner might be appropriate.)

    Rehearse these passages several times, making certain that the brass and winds are always playing as loud as they can and the strings are tremolo-ing at their highest speed. This should ensure adequate flames for cooking your Conductor. If not, insist on taking every repeat and be sure to add the second repeats in really large symphonies.

    Ideally, you should choose your repertoire to have as many repeats as possible, but if you have a piece with no repeats in it at all, just add some, claiming that you have seen the original, and there was an ink blot there that "looked like a repeat" to you and had obviously been missed by every other fool who had looked at this score. If taking all the repeats does not generate sufficient flames, burn the complete set of scores and parts to all of the Bruckner symphonies.

    When the flames have died down to a medium inferno, place your Conductor on top of your orchestra (they won't mind as they are used to it) until it is well tanned, the hair turns back to its natural color and all of the fat has dripped out. Be careful not to overcook or your Conductor could end up tasting like stuffed ham.

    Make a sauce by combining the ego, sprouts and ketchup to taste, placing it all in the blender and pureeing until smooth. If the ego is bitter, sweeten with honey to taste. Slice your Conductor as you would any turkey.

    Serve accompanied by the assorted yuppie food and the remaining wine with the sauce on the side.

    WARNING: Due to environmental toxins present in conductor feeding areas, such as heavy metals, oily residue from intensive PR machinery manufacture, and extraordinarily high concentrations of E.coli, cryptosporidium, and other hazardous organisms associated with animal wastes, the Department for Conductor Decimation (DCD) recommends that the consumption of conductors be limited to one per season.

    Over-consumption of conductors has been implicated in the epidemiology of a virulent condition known as "Baton Fever." Symptoms of this disorder include swelling of the brain, spasms in the extremities, delusions of competence, auditory hallucinations and excessive longevity.

    [Taken from the Amusements Pages
    of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra]
    (edited by David Van Alstyne)

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