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Culinary Misadventure And The Untimely Ruin Of A Man

Lumpy Talbot

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I have been treated lately to the sight of a man ruining himself in a kitchen. Some Machiavellian relative belonging to this fellow gave him for his birthday a book of useful advice and recipes for 'whole food living' or some similar lifestyle encouragement to do with cooking.

The book was by a fellow called 'Bear Grylls' who is I understand a man who has appeared on satellite television. Whose unique selling point is an ability to live entirely off hedgerows or something. This fellow Grylls has the knowledge of how one might survive the countryside without going near a restaurant or gastropub. He can apparently trap wild berries, shoot succulent grasses with a catapult and is such an engaging fellow that he only has to stand by a riverbank telling jokes and the trout tend to flop out of the river convulsed with laughter and straight into his frying pan.

So he brought out a book on what foods are good for you and what foods are not. And provided recipes. Now this friend of mind got very caught up all of a sudden on this 'eating your way to good health' stuff. He got a funny look in his eye and went off with yer man Grylls's book in his little Japanese car and came back a couple of hours later with an extraordinary load of bags of mysterious ingredients. Stuff I'd never heard of before. Dried and powdered Sumatran dingleberry extract- that class of a thing. Malaysian roots. Acacia treebark. Bags and bags of stuff that I never knew even existed.

Alongside this delivery of many bags of strange alchemic nuts, roots, berries, pastes, treebarks and so on yer man had bought a small plastic weighing scales and a modestly priced handheld blender thingy that you could hold in a bowl of aforementioned ingredients and churn them all up nicely. That was the theory anyway.

Cometh the day the following Saturday after a grand unveiling speech by your man that henceforth he would only be eating whole foods having been converted entirely by this Bear Grylls fellow to the notion of the rapid deforestation of Asia in the search for a healthy lifestyle it was now proposed to offer a demonstration of how easy it is to live well on natural wholefoods (whatever the f*ck they are. I was always under the impression that whatever you could actually eat was a 'food' whether partial or whole or whatever).

Ingredient sacks were lined up along the kitchen counters. The little handheld blender was tested and found to be wholly inadequate when it comes to grinding coconut shells so off he went in the Japanese car to buy a more powerful model. That didn't work either in the testing stage so he went off a third time and bought a proper powerful food mixer that would scare off woodland animals across Berkshire every time it was used.

I was beginning to count up the budget on this enterprise and we were somewhere around £140.00 at this stage including machinery, ingredients and petrol and depreciation on the little Japanese car.

So anyway. Donning the flame retardant suit and the motorcycle helmet the preparation of this wholefood meal began in earnest. Three hours of hammering, sawing, blender-roaring and waves of heat from the kitchen that could only be compared to the lately discovered radiation from black holes in surprising intensity I put down my book and wandered into the kitchen to see what this wholefood meal might look like.

Your man was sitting down to a meal which consisted of a bowl of watery red soup which was more water than anything else and was a bright red colour which reminded me of the melted jelly blocks you added hot water to and then put in the fridge. Alongside this bowl of bright red water was something that looked like a tiny crumbling barm brack. This latter apparently was a wholefood bread. You'd eat it in two goes if you were courageous enough to attempt it at all. Mainly because it looked a Great Dane had shat on a small breadboard three weeks ago and the results had been kept carefully in a fridge for consistency.

The fellow himself look shattered. Announcing he was 'starving' he took a few spoonfuls of the red water and not quite convinced decided he'd try the bread. Same look slowly dawning on his face.

Anyway, when I got back from the chipper he'd managed to get most of the ingredient-scatter off the kitchen worksurfaces with a paint scraper and had somewhat restored the kitchen to a usable state.

About five hours in all from announcement to post-prandial retirement to listen to his stomach growling through the night no doubt. We have three cupboards full of deforested Asia and the blenders are all broken.

I enjoyed my fish and chips though.

Your man the flatmate is a shadow of himself ever since. Bear Grylls me hole.
 
Last edited:


Lumpy Talbot

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I worked out I could have caught a train down to town and had dinner at the Savoy for less than it cost your man to sit down to an uncertain soup and the few slices of GreatDane bread.

Probably had enough left over for a small dry revivifying sherry on the way home as well.

In terms of time and resources spent I had performed weekly maintenance on Stuka my velocipedal bicycular companion, had a chat with the neighbours, read a book, been to the chipper for a fish supper in the same time it taken him to produce his Chinese flag soup and DaneBread. And the cost of all that to me was somewhere around £6.00.

Your man is eating only microwavable price-reduced meals since from Tesco. Probably realised he can't afford much more after his brief conversion to the wholefood lifestyle.
 

gatsbygirl20

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The little Japanese car was the giveaway. How did you not spot that?

As soon as I got that far in your narrative, I knew that things would not end well...
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Lumpy, it could be worse.

Bear Grylls drinks his own pee.
That surprises me not at all looking at the mushroom cloud effect he is having on society. I suppose next J Sainsbury will be stocking a new line in Bear Pee, pretty much as organic as you could possibly want.

And in a circular move of marketing genius there will also be a line in Grylls Pure Mountain Water and he'll not be seen again on satellite telly without a huge jerrycan of it.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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The little Japanese car was the giveaway. How did you not spot that?

As soon as I got that far in your narrative, I knew that things would not end well...
I had my suspicions alright that all was not well with the fellow when he turned up in that. Turned out to be a good indicator. Which is more than can be said for his actual indicators. Like Marc Almond's ear-ring so they are. You might have some chance of seeing him in a nightclub but certainly not in daylight.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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What is it with this degenerate modern movement away from actual evolution and towards a return to fossicking about across a savannah for things to survive on.

I don't get it. We've spent a hundred thousand years getting to the point where we have shelter, warmth, a way of storing food safely and being in out of the rain and every summer some langer rings up to ask do I want to go around and stand in his garden chewing a half-cooked lump of 'Anatolian Meat' he bought off Laszlo down the pub in a plastic bag for £15.

Jeez yeah. I'd love to do that. Turn my back on the refrigerator and the cooker at home and go and risk my life in someone's carefully arranged miniature suburban Serengeti surrounded by 16,000 screaming children lashing each other repeatedly in and out of a plastic swimming pool and throwing ice-cream at everyone.

Never having anything to do with BBQ's where late on some couple tanked up on cross-Channel beer having a screaming divorce played out in public over the supine and vomit encrusted host who has passed out while we all watch the flames creep nearer to the one mature tree in the neighbourhood.

I bet Bear Grylls' barbeques are something else. Probably makes a small flamethrower out of some twigs and some methane he's sucked from a rock and then kebabs his own lower leg and eats it.
 

Cruimh

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I had a salad, pitta bread, some Geeta's Lime and Chilli pickle (awesome), sausages and a potato, mushroom, salami and cheese omelette - with the egg mixture done in the whizzy thing with some garlic, olive oil, birds eye chilis and scallion. Now for some chocolate, a fag and a snooze. Tall cotton!
 

Lumpy Talbot

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I had a salad, pitta bread, some Geeta's Lime and Chilli pickle (awesome), sausages and a potato, mushroom, salami and cheese omelette - with the egg mixture done in the whizzy thing with some garlic, olive oil, birds eye chilis and scallion. Now for some chocolate, a fag and a snooze. Tall cotton!
Are you foreign? You must be foreign. I don't recognise any of that food at all. Although I think I saw 'sausage' and 'egg' in there somewhere.

You could have saved yourself a load of grief and just had a sausage and egg sarnie if you had a lump of Mother's Pride. And I sincerely hope you are eating that lot indoors.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Nope. 'Salad cream' is just made up and is an effort to avoid using a product with both French revolutionary overtones and the word 'Mayo' in it.

Everyone knows that 'salad cream' is newspeak for what is properly mayonnaise. This argument breaks out at the start of every Munching Season.
 

Windowshopper

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The little Japanese car was the giveaway. How did you not spot that?

As soon as I got that far in your narrative, I knew that things would not end well...
Leave tiny Japanese cars alone. Mine works like a charm.
 

Windowshopper

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If you ask me the rot set in when people abandoned dinner at one and replaced it with something called 'lunch'.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No no. We must now all chase woolly mammoths about with big clubs apparently. It is worse than the 1980s.

There's no more breakfast, brunch, tea, dinner or supper. Just gnawing on bones in a big circle in an effort to blend one's work and lifestyle.

I hear Nigella Lawson has taken to leaping out of trees onto unsuspecting cats with a large carving knife and a wild look in her eye.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Dorina Allen was last seen disappearing naked into the Burren with a goalkeeper's hurley and a laptop.
 

Carlos Danger

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As salad cream is a condiment, it is forbidden to the indigenous Irish ......
A real Irishman needs no complement for his salad. He already knows how good it is.

Lettuce prey.
 

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