Denise had already become a vegetarian at this point (I’m guessing) but even if she hadn’t this was a gluttonous sandwich. There is no question about that. It was the kind of sandwich that greasy spoons serve, or that a place called Maggie’s Café in town used to serve. I had had such a sandwich at some point previously and I craved another. But it is far cheaper to buy the ingredients and to make them in the comfort of your own home, watching a Doctor Who DVD. And there is a butchers shop in town which would allow me to buy the individual ingredients with no wastage whatsoever and, possibly importantly, no evidence that I had had a disgustingly bad for me sandwich for lunch.
This is what being ashamed of eating does to you. What a ridiculous bloody state of affairs. Why be ashamed of eating? Because you know you are being a glutton and there is no other gloss that can be put upon the situation.
So I went and bought the ingredients for my cholesterol sandwich and prepared them carefully. 2 sausages in the oven. As they were cooking I fried 3 bacon slices and when they had shrunk down a little with the cooking I cracked 2 eggs into the frying pan. And went and took the batteries out of the smoke alarm and opened the window in a half hearted attempt to conceal the cooked bacon smell. And the fried egg smell. I find they both linger and I’m sure Denise always knew when I had had a little fry up for lunch.
But this wasn’t a little fry up. That would be a reasonable lunch. This was gigantosandwich. I was looking forward to it so much. Toast the bread so that it has a bit of structure and doesn’t collapse around the juices of the bacon, sausage and egg. Butter the toast. Slice the sausages lengthwise so that they have flat surfaces and don’t roll out of the sandwich. Layer the sandwich up – bacon, sausage slices, egg, bacon, sausage slices, egg, bacon, tomato ketchup.
Onto a plate…
And then the phone rang.
I left the sandwich in the kitchen. It wasn’t going anywhere. There were only three cats in the house.
‘Only me! I’m finishing early. Do you fancy meeting in town for lunch?’
What a question! And with only milliseconds to formulate an answer I went for…
Of course I would like to meet my fabulous wife in town for lunch. I love meeting in town for lunch! Lunch is great. Lunch is a treat! Lunch is…
In the kitchen, right now…
‘What sort of time?’ I asked.
‘’Oh,’ said Denise breezily, ‘about 15 minutes in Harpers? I’m on my way there now.’
‘Cool! I’ll see you then!’
I hung up.
I went down to the kitchen and stared at the sandwich.
Now obviously what I should have said is, ‘Well, I’ve just made my lunch but if we meet up I can have a drink while you have lunch.’
There are two problems with this. Firstly that nobody likes to be stared at while they are eating (though Denise is used to this as I eat very fast and so have usually polished off all of my lunch while she is still on her first mouthful) And secondly, that if I had said this there was a good chance that Denise would have said, ‘Never mind, I’ll come home and have something there.’ And lunch at home is nothing like as much of a treat as lunch in a café.
‘Well, thank you very much!’ said the sandwich, still being stared at by me.
‘What am I going to do with you?’ I asked.
If I was going to have lunch in town I obviously wasn’t going to eat the sandwich. That would be crazy. So I could put it in the fridge and have it for lunch at work the next day. But then Denise would know that I was having a massive, good grief that’s a whopper! sandwich full of eggs and bacon and sausages.
Or I could put it in the bin. Not out bin, obviously, as that would lead to discovery. So I was going to have to drop it in a bin on the way into town. Which would require me wrapping the sandwich, the lovely, lovely sandwich in something and then dropping it surreptitiously into a bin. And, apart from anything else, people might point at me and wonder what I was up to.
What to do? What to do? WHAT TO DO?
Well, I suppose…
No, that would be crazy…
But I could eat it. All of it. Right now. Very fast. Clock’s a ticking. It takes 10 minutes to get into town and into Harper’s café.
It is a very nice café by the way. If you’re ever in Maidstone I would highly recommend it.
Yes, I suppose I could eat it.
It was the most logical thing to do, wasn’t it?
I mean, I was going to have to eat a second lunch. But I could have something light.
Like a salad.
Reader, I troughed it all down. In about three mouthfuls.
And then I had to change my shirt, because I had dribbled egg, molten butter and ketchup down my front.
And then I went and had lunch.
With my beautiful wife.
And it was good.