Next stop… the Ritz

Thursday December 7, 2006

We were on our way over to St Audries in the early morning almost day-light when I was taken by an attack of the hungries.

“Do you know what?” I said. “I really, really fancy a Mega All-Day Brunch when I get to Sainsbury’s on the way home.”

“So? What’s stopping you?”

“Not sure I have the courage to try eating in public yet.”

“That’s daft.”

“S’pose so. But what if something goes wrong?”

“It’s Sainsbury’s, not the tea-room at the Ritz. Just spit it out if you can’t manage it.”

“Well, alright. I’ll give it a go.”

“Quite right, too. Now concentrate on the road, do.”

“I am concentrating on the road. Didn’t you notice the skill and grace with which I avoided that fallen branch just now?”

“What fallen branch?”

“My point exactly.”

So, anyway, twenty minutes or thirty minutes later, after dropping Graham off at the holiday camp, I was sat at a Formica™ table in the Sainsbury’s coffee shop, knife and fork in hand, addressing a Mega All-Day Brunch. Two rashers of bacon. Two sausages. Two fried eggs. Mushrooms. Tomato. Baked beans. Chips. All piping hot and succulent. Yummity-scrummity.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I started with what I reckoned would be the real test. Bacon. To my surprise and delight, I bit through the first piece with no hesitation or difficulty whatsoever, and went on to chew it like it was a mouthful of semolina. Delicious! I regarded that as a considerable victory of the smaller kind.

The rest of the plateful went down the same way, easy and sumptuous, with not a scrap left over. If the bacon had had a rind on it, the way it ought, I do believe I could have tackled that, too, the way a man should.

All in all, a glowing success. There’s only one test left to me now and that’s to sink my teeth into a nice crisp crunchy apple. For years now I’ve had to cut my apples up into small pieces and I’ve missed the crunch. I’ll wait on that one until I find some decent apples, though. No point in wasting that first crunch on an inferior apple.

When I got home I marched into the bathroom to examine my eating gear closely in the mirror, wanting to be assured that they’d not caught and retained any small scraps of food the way dentures sometimes do. Not a bit of it. They smiled back at me, clean and regular, ready for another breakfast if I’d had the appetite for it.

And so my first public eating engagement was accomplished with panache and without embarassment. Happy, heel-clicking day! Next stop… the Ritz.



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