Junk Male

Pardon me if this week’s editorial is a little less upbeat and optimistic than usual: it’s bad enough coming back to the office after lunch, never mind following almost two weeks of inactivity and conspicuous consumption, where the most strenuous activity was probably opening another bottle of beer. Or, rather, asking someone else to do it for you. And I discount the three days spent at work (including January 1st), on the grounds there was so little to do that even I’m feeling faintly embarrassed at handing in my overtime claim for the period.

To tide me over the culture shock of my employers asking me to do stuff, I have resorted to comfort eating, aided by the Christmas supplies of junk food conveniently to hand: a brief trawl through the waste-paper basket reveals my entire nutritional intake for the past 48 hours (sorry if this is a bit like the dire Bridget Jones!):

  • Most of a 400g bag of Crunchy M&Ms
  • An entire tub of Spicy Twiglets
  • Two large hot chocolates
  • One bag McCoy’s Flamegrilled Steak crisps
  • A Crunchie
  • A tin of Chocolate Slimfast, consumed in a miserable, failed attempt to stop me ploughing through the above.

I know there was another chocolate bar, but no trace could be found in the bin, and it was eaten so fast I can’t even recall what it was — I may simply have consumed the wrapper as well. But I’ll get over it, providing the vitamin deficiency doesn’t kick in first. Still, I shall live on the pleasant memories of home, and in particular of a week with “the missus”, culminating in a New Year’s Eve when we didn’t even cross the doorstep: she saw 2000 arrive in an evening dress, while I wore just a pair of novelty slippers. Sure beat waiting several hours by the Thames for the ‘River of Fire’ (snigger), before enduring a nightmare journey home, thanks to London Transport’s gross (and entirely predictable) ineptitude. Turning up to such an event counts as a self-inflicted injury, I’m afraid.

Highlights of the post-millennium leisure time included a trip to The Sound of Music. But not just any Sound of Music, this was the karaoke version, at the Prince Charles here in London. Take one battered print of the movie, add projected subtitles to the songs for community singing, provide the customers with a bag of more or less appropriate props (plastic edelweiss, foam nun, throat lozenges), and get drag queen Candy Floss to introduce it all. This could well be the next Rocky Horror show, with the advantage that everyone knows all the tunes already — they’re part of some collective genetic memory. I need say no more than “Doe…”, to get you started.

There was also an excursion to Wimbledon, to introduce Chris to the delights of panto — attempts to explain it to her (she’s an American) usually caused her eyes to glaze over round about when I got to the Principal Boy who’s really a girl. Thus it was off for Peter Pan, with Leslie Grantham as Hook, Bonnie Langford as Pan, and squeaky-voiced gonk Joe Pasquale as Smee. While the last-named would be utterly irritating anywhere else, he was perfect for the role, with jokes that aimed low and still fell short i.e. he comes on wearing antlers — “I put too much mousse on my hair”. Gawd bless the British panto, and Chris bought enough souvenirs to guarantee what I’ll be costumed as, come next Halloween.

How can the delights of office life compete? Simple: they can’t. Which is why I’ve been scarfing down enough sugary, E-numbered goodness to sent an entire battalion of toddlers bouncing of the ceiling. At least it was only a two-day week, but believe me, that’s more than enough for me! Pass the cheese footballs…