Young Ian was an enigma and when I say enigma I actually mean ‘wrong in all the wrong places’. If I was to ever write a biography, to accompany my award-winning series of books, people wouldn’t believe it because of just how absurd it would all sound.
“What do you mean you were too lazy to make toast in the kitchen so you used the gas fire next to the TV in the living room so you could do both at the same time? What do you mean you broke into a building site just to start fires with some kids from school? You did a what on the side of the road on the way to pick up a parcel?”
I know, right? Truth is stranger than fiction.
Recently I have been remembering a lot of things Young Ian used to do. I expect this is a side effect to approaching middle age. Next thing you know I’ll come across an old advert for Radio Rentals and start weeping about all the electrical goods my parents used to rent from them. “Oh, the TV with the buttons missing on the front,” I’ll gush, “they would pop off if you pressed them too hard and they’d disappear under the sofa and you’d have to push them out using a ruler.” Nostalgia makes a fool out of everyone.
A strange fact about Young Ian is that he was amazed by the idea of convenience food. Not takeaways but those dinners you could put in the microwave and three minutes later you’d have a Sunday dinner (if your eyesight was impaired and you considered three painfully thin slices of beef and a few soggy potatoes to be a Sunday dinner). He wound marvel at the freezers in Tesco and Jack Fultons at the choice available to those with money to spare. I wasn’t very convincing so my mum would only ever buy one or two because children are fickle and she knew that the pictures on the front of the boxes were tarted up and would never resemble whatever came out of the microwave at the end.
That was the dream. Not to go to through the painstaking process of actually cooking a roast beef dinner but to get someone else to do it, freeze it and then buy it from somewhere down the street. The idea of doing this now makes my insides wince like watching anything on Tik Tok. Young Ian didn’t really know what he wanted but he wanted it all the same and thank baby cheeses he stopped before he turned into the white trash he could have been, sofa on the front lawn and everything.
18 comments on “Younger Schmelves”
Young Chris used to really like Micro Chips. The ones that came in a cardboard box with a greasy plastic lining, and after two minutes at 650 watts you got a handful of soggy chips to peel off the inside.
That’s exactly the kind of thing I’m jabbering about. Why did I want them so much when they would have tasted better being cooked on the floor on a hot summer’s day?
I don’t know. But something about Micro Chips appealed to me. I also liked the other brand of microwavable chips that came in a really elaborate box where every chip had its own compartment. I think it was meant to make them crispy but they just turned soggy separately.
Every chip had its own compartment? That’s some high level micro chips, definitely out of my price range.
Yeah, they’re super fancy. At least a tenner a packet. You should rein in your ambitions.
I used to like those, and I still do.
Be sure to follow them up with a Vienetta for pud.
Food of kings.
That’s quite a meal. Is there an equivalent classy microwaveable starter to make it a three course banquet?
Yes, it’s called the ‘grande mal’. It’s a platitude of carrots in drizzled with sarcasm.
Thats the one…
Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a mal so grande. I’ve thrown up things that were more appetising.
Mr French over here is too fancy for the ‘grande mal’, is he? Doesn’t quite fit the jeu de pompodore that he’s used to? Tish, pashure, nonsense.
Here in Hampshire we serve our carrots with a simple bone marrow consommé. Anything less is deeply bourgeoise and would be laughed out of the room, building, parish and, if possible, county.
I’ve never managed to work out if Bourgeoisie is an insult or a complement. I thought the Bourgeoisie were the poshos? Is Chris now so posh that the poshos are not enough for him, or has he gone full French revolutionary on us?
He’s gone through the looking glass never to be seen again. He’s some kind of posh deity now, looking at all the commoners from then on high.
I thought it was the middle class, so it’s either good or bad depending on whether you aspire to be middle class or whether you look down your snooty Hampshire nose at them.
Get back to Arsecot with your arse flannel, hippy.
Well that’s very nice indeed, isn’t it. I will be looking right down my snooty Hampshire nose at you, and probably tutting as well, as a result of that little outburst. I hope you’re proud of yourself.
I tilt my head and squint with delight. You bet I’m proud.