BUSINESS

Thursday, April 8, 4:51 PM PST

Halliburton No Longer Serving Filet Mignon in Iraq

by Brent the Johnson,
NA!P NewsWire

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.

Long 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 Rock, Ark.

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