The Paramnesia Contemplations of a Serial Muser
It wasn't the fact that she sat so close in the otherwise empty train carriage that unnerved me. No. It was more to do with the weeping, brim-full bottles of clandestine urine that she had balanced rather precariously at the top of her flimsy array of shopping bags. "It's okay" she said, her blackened fingernails glinting demonically under the flickering of the fluorescent carriage light as they drummed a pizzicato against the glass, "it is my own, I haven't just found it on the platform". I declined her kind offer of a closer inspection of the slightly stained labels, I was quite content to take her at her word. I stood carefully to leave as she enthused once more into yet another quadrumane monologue in which she described the benefits of bottling her own flatulence. It's not that I am a snob when it comes to other peoples urine, far from it. I have often been accused of taking the pish out of a lot of people I come into daily contact with. The little singing fella to name but one. It's just that Harris tweed is a real bugger to dry clean, especially around the leather elbow patches. And then there is that rather awkward moment that occurs when one enters the realm of the dry cleaners and the woman chafferer behind the counter asks your opinion on exactly what kind of fluid may have caused the brownish patch of which she is furiously rubbing with her delicate dactylion probe. My honest reply of "I do believe it may be pish", somehow always manages to turn the corners of her smile neatly upside down. I live in a small Scottish hamlet-like environment, they already talk about me in hushed tones whenever I enter the fishmongers every second Friday.
Earlier today I found myself ensconced in a somewhat rhadamanthe magazine article, thoughtfully arranged on a small but modern coffee table in the dentists waiting room. It detailed perfectly the correct etiquette in which a trans gender gentleman should display himself, possibly an ill turn of phrase all things considered, whilst enjoying cycling a bicycle between France and Switzerland during the month of Lent. My attention was seemingly grasped so much so that the torn faced rixatrix receptionist had to call my name on three occasions before resorting to removing her large posterior from the very small chair and having to physically find me. I have serious doubt that she has ever found herself, legs pumping, clenched buttocks quivering, enjoying a wind in her hair moment, upon a vintage leatherette bicycle saddle in any particular cold climate. A regular visitor and consumer of rhubarb by the look of her complexion, but undoubtedly never a two-wheeled thrill seeker in France. Disappointingly enough, when I returned after my visit with the wapperjawed ultracrepidarian behind the surgical mask, a fellow tooth sufferer, without etiquette of any description I might add, had buggered off with the magazine by all accounts. I doubt now that I shall ever fully understand exactly which side a true gentleman should dress himself during a bicycle blizzard, regardless of missing equipment such as a tool bag and pump.
Tomorrow, I have promised faithfully, that I will go on a scouting party with my good lady in order to select the 'perfect' tree for next months festivities. What, I ask myself, for the love of all things holly, is the point to shopping for an eight foot spruce tree a whole month before the silly season begins? It is not a turkey that we have raised lovingly on organic corn whisky and ripened barley throughout the year. We cannot eat it. It is not a puppy of which we can give back to the shelter on boxing day after it has chewed my slipper and fouled my pulpit. We are not inspecting something that we have invested time and money into in respect of getting a healthy return come the pending visitation of the old gentleman in the red suit. It is a tree. No. Worse than that, it is a tree that stands amidst twenty thousand other trees on the same hillside. They are identical. They do not come with any significant variations. One simply cannot pull up a catalogue on line and say, 'Oh look, that spruce has been nurtured into the shape of a donkey. Let's have that one for the novelty effect and amuse the neighbours.' No. A tree is simply that, a tree. They are tall, green and leave behind a sticky residue that stains the centuries old timber that exists purely to be my sitting room floor. They belong outside on a hillside. They do not travel well. They leave behind pine needles akin to the devils calling cards, that slither between the leather seats of my vehicle and only reappear 6 months later when they are brown and sharp and I am wearing shorts but no underpants. Each year I spend a thousand hours on Christmas eve arranging plastic elfin, sugar striped candy canes, 40 million twinkling lights and many, many, many age old hand painted wooden toys to each prickly, sap-drenched, rash causing, spike filled twig that threatens to poke out my eye at the tug of every tiresome tiny tindrel of twined tacky tinsel. Then I sit back, exhausted, only to discover my wife has rearranged the whole cursed tree when I have retired to my bed.
What do I really want for Christmas Mr Claus? A clear window view of someone else's tree would be an excellent start!
Chef''s Christmas Brekkie Egg
You will need:
Slice the bread, press out a small hole using a teacup (a tin mug if you live in Limerick, a gin glass for the Devon region) Place the bread in a hot buttered pan. Break the egg into the holey bread. Lightly fry. Serve with a whisper of smoked streaky bacon and a glass of warm dark rum.
Created & prepared by Chef Files