8, 4:51 PM PST
Halliburton No Longer Serving Filet Mignon
BAGHDAD -- Soldiers serving in Iraq are a little
more hungry nowadays, as cuts in Halliburton's food budget forces
them to skip the pan-fried scallops with soused new potatoes,
pancetta and basil butter they used to serve, and even threatens
the promise of three meals a day.
gone are the high-flying days when U.S. marines and infantrymen
feasted upon bacon-wrapped filet mignons, smoked trout mouse
and Jerusalem artichoke soup with ceps.
In fact, meals have been quite
scarce since an ungrateful American republic demanded that Halliburton
-- the corporation charged with feeding troops in the country
-- stop charging for meals that soldiers didn't actually get.
"See, the thing is, we were
feeding some troops really, really well," said Halliburton
CEO Dave Lesar, shrugging. "Because they deserve it. Well,
we here at Halliburton think they do, anyway."
Last March, a Pentagon audit
concluded that Halliburton had charged millions for meals that
were never actually made or served. The Defense Department began
withholding payments of about $300 million to the corporation
because of its overcharging.
At the time, Halliburton had
warned it would withhold payments to its own contractors. But
now its seems the company has a different plan in mind.
"You don't pay us our cut,
we can't prepare first-class meals for our first-class troops,
such as Magret of Duck Martiniquaise with caramelized leg confit
and banana tempura -- a personal favorite of mine," Lesar
said. "Heck, we'll be hard pressed to get the troops McDonald's
once a day with the measly amount of millions you're paying us."
Lesar added, "You ordinary
citizens are total cheapskates."
Soldiers -- who up to a couple
weeks ago were entertained with varied, exotic and expensive
dishes -- seemed listless and dispirited when reminded they wouldn't
start meals with Champagne Framboise, followed by a nice feuillete
of Chanterelle Mushrooms and a chiffonade of Boston Lettuce,
bolstered by a hearty serving of prime filet of Beef Wellington
with Mushroom Duxelle and Sauce Perigourdine. Furthermore, Tartuffo
Pamplemousse -- a dessert that features white-chocolate ice cream
covered with a hard shell of white chocolate, served on raspberry
coulis, surrounded with dark-chocolate sauce and garnished with
fresh assorted berries -- will alos no longer be served.
"Not sure how can I hope
to go back to instant mashed potatoes, especially without at
least one aperitif," complained Pfc. Tyrone Billans of Little
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