Sunday

The Dilemma



(1)

I understood perfectly his dilemma. To the left, the carriage was empty apart from me and the jaded looking drunk slumped in the corner attempting to pee discreetly into an empty soft drink can. It would have to be an educated guess, but I imagine it was a diet Coca Cola. Even the great unwashed in Glasgow are health conscious these days it would seem. Stopping only to collect the filter tipped and menthol of discarded cigarette ends from the gutters, they ply their lucrative trade of begging mainly outside of health clubs and tofu bars to ensure the best return for their day's extensive labours. To the right, my eyes never left another fellow traveller as he reached the climax of the intrusive exploratory excavation of his nostril, reached gingerly into his briefcase and extracted the familiar embossed oblong leaflet introducing the sacred word of Jehovah. For it is written, thou shalt not go any longer than one hour without making a thinking persons life a misery with their illustrated piffle. I looked neither left, nor right as he stood to make his first approach with a somewhat nervous tic above his eye. Before he had made it as far as aisle 2 of the quiet carriage, a great exuberance of confidence had manifested itself upon his clean shaven face. Whatever recent substance he had so enthusiastically removed from his beak had not been his religious zeal. The creases dropped out of the clean, but too-short trouser legs, his mismatched tie swung like an enthusiastic American at a Billy Joel concert. For a fleeting moment, whilst making his final approach, he perfected the outstretching of the arm, the clearing of the throat, even the nervous grin fluctuated only slightly before popping into the biggest coprophagous grin this side of the White House. In my lowest of low growls and without the slightest betrayal of annoyance, I uttered the single commanding word of "stop". The moment was fraught for a tense few seconds as the guttural account of my vocal challenge hung in the air before it began to sink in. And then, as if Ghod himself had overseen the protection of his representative and intervened on his behalf, a small, calm, seasoned voice from the opposite corner of the carriage piped up just long enough to say: "I cannae stop now son, I'm already halfway to the top of the can." The mood was broken, the pish continued, I accepted the leaflet, while my fellow biblical traveller used the small break in the tension and resumed his erstwhile position with middle digit once more firmly ensconced up his hooter.


(2)

It was with a certain reluctance that I swept the unsuspecting fellow from his favourite place amongst my elegant ladies. For once, it had taken slightly more than a moment of dutch courage. With a last arrogant squawk he rebuked me vociferously as only the venom of a snoozing male will allow. He fought bravely, but it was to no avail. Once hooded and shackled with my best garden string, I marched him off in the early evening gloom to where my awaiting vehicle sat with its engine purring, lights off, eagerly awaiting my command to ease itself from the gravelled driveway and make its silent escape. We drove for a good ten miles in silence before we reached the previously arranged location in which we would execute our final plan in regard to our impotent friend. Siobhan glanced sideways at me under the stilted glow of the dashboard lights. I felt her hand caress mine to relieve the awful tension that ensued. After ensuring that we were far enough into the woods and away from any possible unwelcome interruptions, we stopped. Taking out a former favourite business tool from its silk lined jacket pocket, I ran the sharp blade against my finger to test its mettle. With a swift upward thrust of the blade I dispatched the terse string that bound our captive to the tether. With the hood fully removed he gave me one last vehement stare and ran into the woods. I looked across at Siobhan, she smiled, 'it had to be done, it's for the best'. We drove back in silence. It wasn't the first time I had taken a former pal out into the woods for a one-way midnight stroll. But this time it had been personal. My fresh egg dependency had come to a head. Mr. Rooster could no longer perform. My ladies were seemingly verging on mutiny. At the poultry market that morning I was unable to raise my head due to the shame of my limp cock. Fare thee well my old rooster friend, enjoy your freedom, the new virile replacement arrives on the morrow. My ladies await.


Divine Scottish Omelette's

300g smoked haddock
2 bay leaves
10 peppercorns
fresh full fat milk for poaching
8 tablespoons crème fraîche
2 lemons, zest only
225g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
large bunch of fresh chives, finely chopped
black pepper
9 large free-range eggs
Kerry butter for frying

Place the smoked haddock into a large skillet or wok that has a lid. Pour in some milk. Add the bay leaves and peppercorns. Gently poach, as if your very life depended on it, over a low heat for 10-12 minutes before setting aside to cool. Whilst the fish is poaching, mix the crème fraîche with the lemon zest, grated Parmesan and most of the chives. Season to taste with freshly cracked pepper. No salt for the love of all things smokey, the fish has plenty in it already. Heat the butter in a large ovenproof pan over a low heat, pour in the eggs, stirring lightly as if you were preparing the food in a loved ones dream. Flake the haddock, removing any skin or bones while the eggs are perfecting. When the eggs are still slightly runny on top, but have started to set, spoon over the crème fraîche before scattering the flaked fish on top. Cook for a further 5 minutes until nicely brown. Add lemon slices and the remainder of the chives before serving. Delicious with a single helping of rocket or any peppery salad.

49 comments:

  1. Ok, thats my tea just spat over the keyboard again. You need to get an agent for some of those lines son. Pure dead brilliant.

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  2. Such poor table manners it would seem. Have you tried sipping rather than guzzling?

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  3. No thoughts of releasing your impotent friend into a broiling pan? You're a kind man.

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    1. Aye, we did think of keeping him on as a walking bowl of stock for future meal preparations, however he was always a cantankerous wee soul with an attitude about him. Hence his humane departure.

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    2. Erm, that is of course the Rooster you are talking about, not the little singing fella?

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  4. Just the chuckle I needed my taller brother.:-D

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    1. Is all good at your end Máirtín? Is your Ma doing okay?

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    2. Terrible form about her today, which is understandable. We're hoping to bail her out in the morning all going well, fingers crossed.

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    3. Alas it was not to be. Maybe Friday.

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  5. Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.

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    1. Ah c'mon, you know mutton is not my favourite subject Mr Pew. Gonnae give me a wee break here, eh?

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    2. Mmmm .... I do loves me some roasted lamb covered in lemon and garlic!

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    1. Your impersonations will be the death of you son. I caught you!!!

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    2. Seriously... don't do it. Clear?

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  7. You were kinder than I. We "inherited" some chickens, geese and ducks when we were first married. There was a rooster much taller than the rest and half as tall as me. I spent much of my time trying to collect eggs applying a broom to his cantankerous butt. Hubby put him in a pot to boil one day while I was a work. I assume it's what a real rubber chicken would've tasted like. Guess the chicken got the last laugh.

    Saluting your gracious gift of letting him truly roam the range.

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    1. I could not bring myself to boil an old friend. I had enjoyed his company for some time, he brought me immense pleasure by being a real character. I, perhaps more than most, appreciate freedom. It was the least I could do for him.

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    2. We're still talkin' 'bout the rooster aye?

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    3. Aye, but the significance is uncanny.

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  8. your train experience is a not-so-gentle reminder that my love affair with all forms of public transport might be a bit misplaced...

    quite kind of you to let the ol' fella run free. perhaps he'll find himself a nice wild hen to rekindle his fire!

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    1. Train travel in and around Scotland is a vast unexplored desert containing many, many lush green oasis moments well suited to blogging.

      Alas, if he does find a playmate I doubt he will be asked back on a 2nd date! Think of 'the little singing fella'. but with longer legs and you will understand fully.

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    2. Gotta hold out hope, you know! Maybe there's a teeny, tiny little hen out there, who doesn't mind an unfeaterhed cock? i hear he crows quite nicely...

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    3. Oh he crows, sadly that is where it ends.

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  9. Better off as coq au vin than as food for the fox...

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    1. No foxes left in Glasgow my dear, we passed them all back to the English in 1703 to compensate for their many unpaid rents.

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    2. At last an explanation for the expansion of numbers of the London urban fox.

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    3. I like to clarify the more greyer of political areas in relation to the auld enemy whenever possible dear lady. Next week, the strange case of the mysterious badger cull and Jeremy Thorpe.

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  10. An under-performing cock will be set free? There's something very liberating and Buddhist about that. Imagine no longer being driven mad with desire. I know you didn't intend this to be a metaphor but I've seen men destroy themselves and their families for want of a willing hen. Imagine not needing that ever again.

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  11. By now he'll either be making merry with the pheasants or dodging the foxes.
    And I always show caution in the presence of a man whose trousers are too short; they are obviously not his.
    Sx

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    1. Short trousers and low brows belong solely to those who fall to their knees to think. Me? I'm like you. I'd prefer to remain a free thinker, just like my old pal the rooster.

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  12. Don’t underestimate Mr. Rooster’s survival skills, Chef: he is now free to frolic in the woods out of the demanding ladies’ reach. I figure he prolly has met a group of hot female pheasants by now and is already flirting with them. ;)

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    1. Mr Rooster has little flirtatious skills. I bought him from an Englishman, I'm surprised he pees standing up.

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    2. I feel a sensitive subject here...

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  13. I cannot imagine a time when I cease to wish to fertilise the many eggs laid in my own nest (and many others if you listen to rumour). I see myself as a possible Buddhist in the future. Apart from all the praying, cleaning, bad clothes and poor footwear. I do however enjoy sunshine and boiled rice. Will this count for anything when Pewfodder meets me at the mystical pearly gates perhaps?

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    1. But you'll have to admit...not feeling that relentless, grinding need, need, need to fertilize an egg has a certain appeal. You might say, oh, that's awful. You'd miss out on one of the great joys that life has to offer. But in my supposition, you wouldn't feel the loss. It has a liberating aspect to it.

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    2. I take your point old friend, however, it is precisely that gentlemanly appetite that drives a large percentage of the male species to continually preen ourselves to the point of ludicrous proportions. Me personally, my hunger has never diminished, my body and mind are in perfect synchronicity, I enjoy the challenge of the chase so to speak. Inner confidence and the dynamics and constitution of a racehorse keep me mentally fit and able to function in all aspects of life. The liberation of which you speak would therefore have a deniability to those still in the race.

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    3. [researching the cost of airfare and digging out the good leathers]

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    4. I would be more than happy to pick up the cost of the airfare for you hen. Shall I organise it for you or will you surprise me and just arrive? I usually know immediately when a lady is going to come.

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  14. Good luck for tonight, your gonna need it.

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  15. Alec Guiness used to use the too short trousers trick to denote someone not entirely together.
    Why do people sully public places by picking their noses?
    Watching the sun sink into a Greek sea the mood was shattered by seeing an old man, not only doing that - but then smearing the detritus on the edge of the wooden table. Triple yuck!

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    1. I have a collection of Alec Guinness movies dear lady. 'Kind Hearts and Coronets' being my favourite. I can remember a particular rainy day in 1972, the venue was a small movie theatre in rural Ireland, they featured this film and I was hooked.

      Noes pickers should be hung. Nose pickers and detritus smearers should be hung, drawn and quartered. At last we agree on something!

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    2. I second Lady Patricia and you, Chef. I would add their fate should follow that of genital scratchers. They don't deserve to be mentioned in the same comment as Sir Alec Guinness. (An old fav: Smiley's people TV series.I loved Obi Wan-Kenobi too. I cried my heart out when he disappeared after being hit by Darth Vader's lightsaber. :(

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  16. Sir Alec, a timeless gentleman of an exceedingly fine vintage. He dined regularly with working class people, some of which he portrayed on screen without humiliation. A hero of mine, a hero of many.

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Thank you, the chef is currently preparing an answer for you in the kitchen. Do help yourself to more bread.