Food for thought

If you’re fortunate enough, as I am, to enjoy eating sweet and salted popcorn in bed then you’ve probably had to accept one of the unpleasant side effects. Unavoidable food residue between the sheets. Let’s not get hysterical; we’ll call them bits. Any I discover I’ll happily throw into my mouth without a second thought. This is despite the fact that I already know they’ve potentially been stuck at some point, and some place, to my naked husband. But in my opinion it’s the sugar and the salt that’s more problematic. Bad for your blood pressure? Trust me, that’s nothing compared to the havoc a few grains can do in your pyjama bottoms.

“I think I’m going to have to issue an urgent Directive,” I explained to Guido. “My Directive will seek to ban all dangerous food substances from our bed,” I propped up my pillow for added emphasis. “Obviously not all food, just the ones guaranteed to cause serious trouble in the dead of night.”

“Like what?” said Guido. He looked worried. As well he might, as he was holding an opened jar of olive tapenade and a packet of crackers in his hand at the time.

“Well, I’m still working out the detail but off the top of my head I’m considering anything which involves crumbs or hot gravy,” I said.

I noticed there was a moment of noisy and defiant crunching from Guido’s side of the bed.

“You mean you’re probably ruling out, all bread types?” he said whilst liberally spreading a biscuit. “But, but…” he said stuttering.

He said the word but twice as in, incredulous, which I’m guessing was how he must have felt at the time.

“But… you, me, and a stuffed ciabatta, we go way back. We’ve got history together.”

“Okay, okay,” I said. Suddenly saying everything twice was catching. But just because you love a sandwich filling doesn’t mean to say you have to get into bed with it.

“But do you remember what happened right on this spot when we ate French brioche?” I asked.

I can always tell when Guido’s thinking. He stops chewing.

“Well if I cast my mind back,” he said, “I recall it wasn’t the brioche that was the problem, though I will concede that it was an overly runny gruyere on the toasted side that ended up staining our blanket.”

Guido was splitting hairs. I could tell there was the potential for my Directive to be challenged at a later date. It was going to have to be cast iron solid in its drafting. I made a mental note to reluctantly change the wording from hot gravy singular to include hot gravy slash melted cheese plural.

“Well you know what happens to unpopular Directives,” said Guido, “the people protest, they mobilise, they rise up.”

I was momentarily distracted by the thought of Guido rising.

“Then before you know it they’re eating a Hawaiian pizza wherever they damn please and to hell with the consequences.”

Guido was becoming positively Churchillian. Give him an inch and he’d soon be eating a full roast and giving me the V sign.

“You wouldn’t want your Directive to be seen as rash, illogical, or open to criticism would you?” said Guido stuffing his face.

I found myself inexplicably nibbling his cracker. Anything for a quiet life..

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Fake Nachos

Apparently these days it’s hard for people to figure out anymore between what’s real and what’s just journalistic fantasy.

Neil Armstrong Convinced Moon Landing Was A Fake,” I said as quick as a flash to Guido in bed late last night. I was acting like the finger on the pulse on-line news junkie I’d clearly turned into.

I looked out at the twinkling stars through our loft window. Maybe that giant leap into lunar dust wasn’t as big as everyone thought it was at the time.

“Well if anyone should know then Neil would,” said Guido.

I scrolled down to the next factual news item on my iPad. Whatever was breaking I was going to be all over it.

Woman Grows Third Breast,” I said as a matter of urgency. Female readers please take note.

I wondered how that might be possible but then I saw the very convincing photographic evidence. It was undisputable. Wearing a standard bra was certainly going to be challenging for her.

“I think some sad and lonely guys surfing the net might get pretty excited by that,” said Guido barely looking up from the Tex-Mex cookery book he had propped on his hairy knees.

I kept scrolling.

Kim Jong-un Voted Sexiest Man Alive,” I said. I re-read that headline a couple of times just to make sure I’d read it right the first time.

I looked at Kim’s picture. Hmm. You’ve really got to be into leaders who want to rule the world. Personally, I think you’ll have to count me out.

I could tell by the way Guido was fiercely flicking the pages of his cookbook that something far more important was running through his brain than the sexual magnetism of a despot.

“Utterly fake,” he muttered as he stared at a recipe, “you call this cooking?” Never before had I heard so much concentrated tutting in the space of only a minute. “I mean, just look at this,” he said holding the book a thumb print from my face, “Nachos in 5 Minutes, have you ever heard anything so completely ridiculous?”

“Utterly unbelievable,” I said. I even tutted in a display of total solidarity but frankly I was still struggling with the concept of living my life with three breasts. However, despite the fact that it was gone midnight the thought of melted cheese over potato chips in only five minutes was definitely appealing. I didn’t care if it was fake or not. Hey, count me in.

“There’s no chopped tomato, herbs, spices, Scottish Cheddar, or even a fresh mashed avocado.” There was another loud tut. “Anybody who makes food like that must be mad or desperate, or both.”

For some strange reason I found myself thinking about the sex god now known as Kim Jong-un again. I blinked. Throw in some nachos and I still wouldn’t consider it.

By the way. Here’s the recipe. Fake or not.

Nachos In 5 Minutes (Unbelievable But Completely True)

Open one jar of shop bought salsa sauce and one jar of shop bought guacamole. Tip the contents of a large packet of Nachos into a heat resistant bowl and sprinkle with grated cheese, some pickled jalapeño peppers (from a jar), and a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes (from a jar). Melt the cheese under grill for about 4 minutes.

Navel-gazing

Naval-gazing:

Dictionary definition. Noun. “Self indulgent or excessive contemplation of oneself or a single issue, at the expense of a wider view.”

Jean-Paul’s definition. Verb. “Self indulgent or excessive examination of my husband’s oddly shaped belly-button, at the expense of any other parts of his anatomy.”

There are very few times when there’s anything worth watching on Saturday morning TV. It’s moments like those, with an opened packet of Oreos in one hand and a cup of hot frothed milk for dunking in the other, that God created our sofa. From my favourite position on it, propped up on a lumpy cushion, I get a really terrific bird’s-eye view of Guido’s body laying on the rug. I particularly like it if he’s only got on his underwear whilst he’s energetically pumping stomach crunches. It’s weirdly hypnotic.

“Fifty-seven, fifty-eight, fifty-nine,” said Guido counting them out this morning.

I was feeling exhausted just watching. As you probably guess I’m not a stomach crunch kind of a guy. I tried it once and I wasn’t able to get my head off the floor.

“What happens if you lose count?” I said peeling back the top of one of my cookies and slowly sucking the white centre off with my lips, “do you have to start all over again?” I asked optimistically.

“Sixty, sixty-one, sixty-two,” said Guido completely ignoring me.

I got myself comfy. I even put my glasses on so I could get to see better. Here’s a little tip for you. Magnified vision is vital if you want to properly examine any part of a guy’s hairy anatomy. And I’ve got to tell you, the view I had was better than a sun set on St Paul’s Cathedral Dome on a mid-Summer evening.

Today, as I was feeling even more bored than usual, I started mentally scoring his bits out of 10. Arms and thighs are exemplary. Big tick. I’d say 9/10 (though I suspect it’s because of all the chopping and squatting he does.) Abs are a tight six pack. Another happy endorsement. Anyone who sails past sixty stomach crunches without requiring an oxygen mask deserves 10/10 in my book. I accept his knees are a bit on the dodgy side, so a 3/10, but hey nobody’s perfect. It is however, when you home in on Guido’s belly-button things begin to go decidedly down hill. And when I say downhill, what I mean is turn odd.

I consider my own belly-button one of my more successful attributes. It’s a perfectly formed aperture which is just big enough to comfortably fit a M&M into it. Guido’s looks like his has just been severed and should still actually be connected to somebody. I got on my knees beside him to get a better look at it. Surely it couldn’t be as bad as I remembered it. However, being totally impartial on the scoreboard front, he was hovering just below zero on account of poor aesthetics.

“Eighty-eight, what the hell are you looking at, eighty-nine?” asked Guido still crunching.

“I’m just scoring your belly-button out of ten and it’s not looking good,” I said. Unfortunately just as I said that a small piece of Oreo cookie crumb landed in it, disappearing inside.

Irate:

Dictionary definition. Adjective. “Feeling or characterised by great anger.” 

Jean-Paul’s definition. Verb. “Feeling or characterised by biscuit or cookie throwing.”

A classic

Earlier this week Guido got super excited. Our local bar is a pub called The Garrison. Let’s just say it’s situated in the better end of Bermondsey (if indeed there is a better end). Lots of city types hang out in it. There’s a tiny cinema downstairs for hire and we’d been invited round to watch a private movie screening.

“What are they showing?” I yelled from the bath tub.

“I’m not sure,” said Guido, “but there will be gastro food options. And, there’s alcohol on tap. Does it really matter?”

Personally I’m not a big fan of cinemas, no matter what their size. My experience is that they’re full of people who can eat hotdogs even faster than I do. Guido loves cinemas. He loves the whole ritual. Queuing for tickets. Queuing for popcorn. Finding the row of our seats. Then listening to me moan for the next two and a half hours because the woman in front of me has enormous hair. He especially loves old fashioned cinemas like the Curzon in the West End. In fact, he asked me out there on our very first date but when we turned up it was full so we went back to his loft and, because we had nothing better to do, we had sex all night just to pass the time. I’m only guessing, but I think that was probably a lot more fun than My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

“I very well may regret asking you this but what’s your worst case scenario movie wise?” asked Guido.

“Well,” I said, “I’d hate anything which involved any kind of a sing along soundtrack or compulsory audience participation.”

“I see,” he said. He stuck his head around the bathroom door. I could tell he looked worried. I think he thought it was probably going to be Mamma Mia.

“Nor am I a fan of those movies where more than 90 percent of the cast end up being hacked to death with a big machete whilst on a remote camping trip, nor anything involving Hugh Grant naked.”

“I see,” Guido said again. He sat down on the edge of the bath. “So what about your best case scenario?”

“Oh anything foreign, as long as I can keep up, I’m a real sucker for subtitles.”

“Hey, maybe it will be my favourite classic,” he said. I knew what was coming. “Jaws.”

“Oh please no more Jaws.” Even sitting in bath water was making me nervous thinking about it. Guido and I must have watched Jaws, ten, eleven times together and every time he says exactly the same things at exactly the same times.

1. That woman running into the sea gets all eaten up.

2. This scene coming up is where a decomposed head pops out of a submerged hull, and;

3. Yeah, they definitely need A BIGGER BOAT!

If you ever make it to The Garrison I can highly recommend the smoked mac n’ cheese with skinny fries but remember to thoroughly brush your teeth before bedtime.

“If you don’t get into our bed right this instant ” said Guido, “you’re going to regret it.” There was a short thoughtful pause. “Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life.”

I flossed as fast as I could. I guess we’ll always have Southwark.