As you almost certainly know, last year I made the fatal error of joking to Ian that what I wanted for Christmas was a bucket of Tunnock’s Teacakes. For Christmas he got me a bucket of Tunnock’s Teacakes.
Despite eating a lot of Tunnock’s Teacakes – including, on more than one occasion, eating three of them as “breakfast dessert” – there were still some sitting in the bucket at the end of March.
At the end of March, of course, I was forced to abandon my usual residence on top of the exploding mattress emporium, and among the many belongings I left behind, I foolishly failed to cram a bucket of teacakes into my suitcase.
A couple of weeks ago my flatmate Steve “Stevey” Stevingtons was kind enough to fly overhead in a sort of psychedelic biplane and airdrop some of my belongings, including several t-shirts, a few bits of post that I would have been happy never to receive, and a bucket containing precisely five Tunnock’s Teacakes.
I ate one and I won’t be eating any more.
The passage of a further four months has caused them to deflate. Inside, the chocolate is now strange with white bits in it, and the marshmallow has turned sort of hard and chewy. The biscuit is virtually inedible.
The last four teacakes from that epic gift are now, as a result, in the bin. A sad end to a brilliant Christmas gift.
Let us address the elephant in the room. You are so predictable. You are so absolutely boring when it comes to food and you know it; each and every time you wander into a supermarket, a corner shop, a Subway you purchase / order the same thing. They have a full menu of sandwich fillings and all of them are ignored so you can eat the same dull slice of nourishment.
You need to buck your ‘chude up, sunshine. You think your good lady wife is going to stay with you and your sluggish Ham ‘n’ Cheese forever? No way. Both of you are teetering on the edge of a marital precipice and the only way to tip it in the direction of the future is to fill your plate with something different. Grab your raincoat and follow me.
Nestled in the wonderful corner of the world that is somewhere nearby, Random Sandwiches offers a world of culinary perfection unseen in the rest of the country. Their list of fillings would blow your mind if you saw it in person and so everyone who wanders into the shop must wear a blindfold, and have it read to them by a woman with a posh voice.
The most popular flavours at the moment are as follows:
Jagged glass and American irony;
Rubber dingy, yeast and sun-bleached afternoons;
Heron and scotch egg;
Two lemons encased in a pagoda of dreams;
Swordfish eczema on naan bread, smothered in forgotten dances from the 1920’s’;
A fresh pair of stressed socks under a splodge of elk light bulbs and mayonnaise.
I don’t know about you but my mouth is already watering as I finished typing this. I can’t wait for them to re-open after the lockdown so I can grab a patronising handshake on rye and crisps for lunch.
Here’s something I didn’t know was possible until it happened.
Apparently, if you have a can of soup, and some part of the soup had gone off or was rotten when it was canned, it can ferment inside the can and expand. Eventually the pressure will cause the can to open.
When the can opens it will be spectacular, in a horrible sort of way, looking and smelling like someone has projectile-vomited across your kitchen cupboards. It will literally explode.
We emptied the cupboard and cleaned it three times to get rid of the smell, and then found the lid of the can several days later. It had blown off the right side of the can, bounced off the wall of the cupboard, and landed between some other items in the far left corner at the back.
It’s been floated around for some time now and there’s been an awful lot of confusion as to what happens. You know what I’m referring to; that urban myth that has been haunting this website for as long as I or anyone else can remember. Legend says that if Chris Marshall watches a film, any movie whether short, black and white, foreign or animated, he will explode.
You may laugh at such a premise but it is true. A genuine medical condition that only affects one in twenty million, ‘Brewster Explodius’ came to light during the middle of the twentieth century. The first recorded case was a Clarice Mucklesniff, a 26 year old waitress from North Dakota. She was going to the movies with her boyfriend and less than five minutes into the opening credits she exploded. Her bits were catapulted across the theatre, landing mostly in the aisles bar her arms which landed in the lap of an elderly couple towards the front. Since then there have been multiple cases all over the world of this unfortunate illness.
So we move to our current case, Christopher “Christopheles” “Sausage and Cheese Isosceles” Jimmy Jam-Jam Marshall. Poor Chris has been living with this for most of his life. It was lucky that a friend of the family, who is au fait with these kinds of medical conditions, was able to diagnose him before the worst could happen. In order for us to understand more, we need a hypothetical situation:
A HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION:
Chris has had a hard day at work. He’s taken off his feather boa and decides to relax on the sofa before making some food. As he picks up the remote to browse some channels, the TV opens on that bit in ‘Cocoon’ where the old people get in the pool with the aliens and have a pool party.
His eyes witness the film on the screen. The retinal pools record the information and turns it into some weird shapes and colours, possibly resembling cats. This makes it easier to send it up the pipe shaft.
The information travels up the pipe shaft, past the nosal tubes, towards the front part of the brain, more commonly known as the Gluco-chaffinch. Here it is split into several nixtoglands and sent to the seven corners of the human mind.
For a normal person this would be fine; the nixtoglands would reach their destination and everyone would feel great. Several people would do backflips. For Chris though this is the beginning of the end. When the seven corners are activated it causes the multo peak in the glorbo cells to light up.
Now it is only a matter of time. The blood pumps up into his face muscles which only accelerates the process. The glorbo cells chat to the peanuke rittles causing a chain reaction between the two, meaning a complex chemical implosion that reverses around the maypole and turns back into an explosion.
It goes off. His head catapults to the ceiling. His noses fires off into the kitchen. The eyes don’t make it that far and the ears flop to the floor. The body doesn’t move from the position, it’s still enjoying the film.
I don’t need to tell you that this cannot happen, ever, mainly for my sake because then it’ll mean I’ll be down one friend and will need to hold auditions for a new one to fill the position. Do you know how long that’ll take? Far too long. Please keep my friend safe and never show him any films.
Do you need to cake? If your loved one is celebrating a birthday, wedding, divorce or bar mitzvah, you might need to cake. Nobody – and this, I must remind you, is the law – can celebrate properly without cake.
What I’m saying is that you almost certainly need to cake. But how do you cake? Don’t worry. I will tell you.
As we casually slide into the middle of October, I expect it’s fair to say that everyone is too busy off enjoying ‘Creamtober’ to read this post. I will, however, carry on as it will give them something to read once all the cream-based fun has ceased in the dark and dingy recesses of November.
Whadda ya mean you’ve never heard of ‘Creamtober’? Keep your voice down, you don’t want to alert others to the fact that you are not right on the fashions. Let me run you through the basics.
‘Creamtober’ was started back in 1981 by Baron Von Creamschteiner. He decided that there were not enough occasions where the joy of cream was celebrated so he invented an entire month of it. Everything in and around ‘Creamtober’ was about his unhealthy obsession with the silkiest of dairy products. It had to be clotted, sour, whipped, poured or squirty. There were so many options that people went absolutely crazy for it. The entire milk industry went very quiet for the next few weeks as cream sold out in practically every shop in the surrounding area. At first the word was out around his home land of Bavaria before spreading into the outer reaches of Europe, Australia and eventually the USA. Now each year three billion people spread the word and life the live of the Creamtobians.
How does one join in? That’s easy; grab some cream and you’re halfway there. Grab three hundred more tubs of cream and fill your fridge to the brim. Each and every time you open the fridge pour as much cream down your trash hole as you can. Do it until you feel violently sick and then leave it for an hour before repeating the same process. You need to cram as much cream into your body as you can each day for thirty one days. You will know the others who are taking part because you will see them in the street, clothes struggling to fit around their obese bodies, unusual lines underneath their eyes and little lines of white liquid dribbling from the corners of their mouths.
At the end of Creamtober you add up how much you have managed to consume over the month and send the results to the grand high emperor of Creamtober (see the address on his website, he lives in Blackburn, Lancashire) who will publish his results. If you have managed to top the charts with your cream-based exploits then you win a year’s supply of cream.
It also means that you can then move onto the next festive month: ‘Novemb-cheese’! Whadda ya mean you’ve never heard of ‘Novemb-cheese’? Okay, sit down and let me give you the rundown on the basics…
Once there was a man who lived in his house with his wife and two kids.
It was a happy home, mainly because of the love shared between everyone but also because it had about five thousand rooms and was kept constantly up-to-date because of the man’s obsession with DIY. It had more bathrooms than your average B & Q megastore.
One day the man went to work and when he came home there were some unwanted visitors. It was a flock of bees, wanting to come and stay in the mansion because there were no rooms left in the Travelodge up the road. The man considered their proposal but ultimately had to turn it down as he had heard that bees have a bad reputation and sometimes leave wet towels on the floor rather than putting them over the side of the bath or on a radiator.
The next day the bees were still there, refusing to leave from the garden. Everyone stayed inside the house to keep away from the bees. They built their own bee house in a tree and laughed at anyone who dared come near their keep. The man ran to his car so he could still go to work, putting together dib-dabs in a computer. When he came back in the evening he discovered that the bees had bought a crowbar and forced their way into the house. As he dialled 999 he heard them upstairs, possibly nibbling crackers and spraying the crumbs all over the carpet. He called a bee man, Mr Bee as he is known to his fans, who drilled a hole in the wall and threw BBQ sauce in to drive the bees out. Everyone knows that bees hate barbecues due to their jealously over not being able to use metal prongs.
The bees left the house yet decided to hang around so they formed the shape of a strawberry and hung on the corner of the house. It did look pretty, from a distance. Mr Bee also dropped some crates in the garden with the intention of scooping all the bees up and putting them in ice cream to sell to pensioners down on the South coast of England. One by one, the bees formed an orderly queue and went into the box as the film ‘Cocoon’ was being shown. Popcorn was passed around. A jolly time was had by all. When all the bees were sleeping off their sugar bender the bee man snuck up, took the box and disappeared into the night, and was never seen again. Some believe that he knew so much about bees as he was actually a flock of bees taped together, using some sort of pulley system and intense paper mache skills.
(Picture supplied by the very generous Emily McIver)
We knew, of course, that The Stick had got itself a taste for adventure. We knew also that it had been deposited at the foot of the wrong kind of tree. So perhaps it’s no surprise that it has already started its next adventure. But we are, nonetheless, sad to see it go.
(By “we”, I mean anyone who agrees with me. You may wish to clarify your own position in the comments.)
It is my hope that The Stick has gone on to a new life playing fetch with an enthusiastic collie dog, or perhaps is now propping open a garage door somewhere. We can hope.