One of the benefits of living on your own is that nobody is trying to force-feed you home-cooked meals every night. Sure, we don’t live as long as married men do, but that’s a good thing, right? Look around you. Of course it is.
There is a good chance I have been spending too much time on Facebook, because I would like to tell you about my supper. It is a three-course meal. I have lit the candle (a crude wick embedded in a block of Mr Zog’s Sex Wax) and set the table, which conveniently straightens out into a pair of legs once matters of a culinary nature have been concluded.
The starter is a 250g packet of nachos chips. On the front it says beno fido. This could mean it is for dogs. I care less. Any product that has the word “whateva” on its packaging deserves to come home with me. It dovetails nicely with the general state of dispassion in which I currently exist.
It is a starter that makes no demands. Eat me, don’t eat me. If a nacho could shrug and turn its mouth down, it would. I find it far more appealing than a starter that sits up on your plate all perky and pretentious, clamouring to be devoured. There is nothing worse than food that is anxious to please.
To accompany my starter, I have engaged the services of a sweet chilli dip. Since I have sold my books for beer money, I entertain myself by reading the ingredients.
My chips contain sulphur dioxide, silicone dioxide, oleoresins and unstipulated flavour enhancers, which could be anything from powdered donkey hooves to dried yak vomit. Yum yum. My dip contains anthrax, ayahuasca and cat bile. That’s what it looks like, anyway. The print is too small for the human eye.
The packaging on my nachos advised, in no uncertain terms, that I was to use immediately once opened. The instruction jarred with the mellow vibe the chips had going. I felt pressured. Emptying the dip into the packet, I stuffed handfuls into my mouth. It wasn’t a pretty sight, but when a man lives alone he quickly adopts the habits and mannerisms of a spotted hyena.
By the time my starter was finished, I couldn’t have felt any worse had I stuffed 250g of Point Road cocaine up my nose.
My main course is a tin of vegetable curry with chicken – the sort of wholesome meal wealthy white people would give to the staff, along with their enamel plates and tin mugs, on a Thursday afternoon. Ah, those were the days. Now it’s either something from Woolies or a strongly worded letter bomb from Cosatu.
Being an aficionado of heat and eat haute cuisine, I was taken by the photo on the label. This looked like a top of the log curry to me. I emptied it onto my plate and gently inserted it into the microwave. While waiting for radiation to do all the hard work, I perused the ingredients and was pleasantly surprised to find sodium metabisulphite, tocopherol and tumbled chicken breast. They don’t say where it tumbled from. The sky, I imagine, since that is where birds tend to congregate.
The vitamin activity in tocopherols was first identified in 1936 from a dietary fertility factor in rats. If there is anything rats know, it is how to eat well and fornicate like champions. I was in good hands.
They also promise 20% chicken. I don’t know if that means a fifth of the contents is chicken, or if the meaty bits are 20% chicken and 80% we’d-rather-not-say.
The consumer helpline failed to provide the number for an ambulance service. Not that I needed it. But it would have been nice to have just in case.
My main course looked nothing like it did on the label, but that’s probably because I forgot to make rice. It was an unforgivable oversight and one that forced me to pig out on dessert – a very tasty tipsy tart conjured up by a single phone call.