Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Sandwich

The Chipster created a new sandwich today: one half white bread, the other brown, and wedged between the two a large fried egg wrapped in Bachelor’s super noodles. I call it the ‘Stripper’s Delight’, though it might more accurately be called ‘The Empty Cupboard’.

How I came to create such a stunning culinary treat isn’t as long a story as you might imagine or, indeed, hope. The doorbell rang at eight o’clock this morning and I heard Gabby answer it. She’s always up early to shoot the larks with her air rifle, which perhaps accounted for the laughter that soon followed. I heard some muttered conversation and then Gabby moving around the flat. I heard cupboard doors opening, more chatter, and then the front door close again. Only then did I settle back to sleep, the distant crack of air pellets reassuring me that my slightly sociopathic Romanian was watching over me.

I got up, two hours later, refreshed and feeling good with the world. Gabby was doing her yoga in the middle of the living room and, not watching to disturb her while she was ‘greeting the sun’, I made my way into the kitchen to make my breakfast.

That’s when I discovered that all the cupboards were empty.

‘Where’s my Alpen?’ I cried, staring at the spot where the box use to stand beside the cornflakes. ‘And where are the cornflakes? There was a new box there, last night, and I was looking forward to opening it.’

I walked into the living room. ‘Where’s all the food?’ I repeated, realising that, with her head wedged between her thighs, Gabby might not have heard my previous outburst.

‘Sudan,’ said Gabby as her back gave a crack.

‘Sudan what?’

‘The Sudan,’ she expanded. ‘Man come from charity. He say we give food for Sudan.’

‘And you gave them everything? Couldn’t you have just given them the jar of cheese dip we’re never going to eat?’

‘I only give them good we not open,’ she said. ‘You can buy more.’

‘And what are the Sudanese going to do with my Alpen?’ I asked. ‘Is it even possible to eat it with goat’s milk?’

‘Stop complaining,’ snapped Gabby. ‘Always complaining. Gabby do good. Feed people. Feed the world!’

I muttered something vague Bob Geldof-like as I returned to the kitchen feeling less than charitable. Picking my way through empty cupboards, I eventually improvised the meal I described earlier.

And isn’t this the unseen face of charity? For every well dug in a out-of-the-way village, there are men going hungry elsewhere in the world but usually somewhere in Wales. For every man walking around Angola wearing a hand-me-down golf sweater, there’s a man walking a golf course exposed to the cold. Charity is not always a good thing and neither was my egg and noodle sandwich.

I’m now off out to the local cafe. If you want me, you know where to find me. I’ll be the man you see wearing a thong hanging limply from his shrivelled waist.

2 comments:

Reading the Signs said...

Now Mr. Chips, after a sandwich like that you are surely not wasting or waisting away. And your Gabby sounds like a good egg, if you'll forgive the expression. I like the sound of her, I do. It's spooky though: months and years go by with me not giving a single thought to Batchelor's super noodles - then the other day a packet of light curry-flavoured ones called to me, me of the organic Birkenstock and hand-thrown muesli school. I answered, I bought, I enjoyed, I don't know what came over me. And now I see the super noodles mentioned here. I don't know, it is just spooky. Especially if they were curry-flavoured.

mutterings and meanderings said...

I thought it was Pot Noodles, not super noodles, that were mined in Wales?