Somebody at work today had a bag of giant chocolate buttons and she offered me one. I declined, because I am being good, but it gave me feelings of chocolatey nostalgia for the times when I used to drive from Liverpool to Maidstone and back over the weekend before Denise and I were married.
Now, before I go on, I realise that eating or drinking while driving are illegal. Or rather, they aren't illegal but if you do it and you drive without due care or attention you are, at the very least, an idiot and, at the very most, going to be done by the police. So any of these vignettes I am about to describe are not necessarily the unvarnished truth and should not be copied by impressionable youths. Basically, you aren't playing Grand Theft Auto, so don't drive like you are.
Back to the memories of chocolate, not unlike A la recherche de temps perdu the smell of Cadburys Giant Buttons sends me back to the time when, as a callow youth with a long journey ahead of him and craving chocolatey sustenance, I would leave the motorway and drive to a service area, often in the middle of the night, surrounded by the flashing lights of fruit machines and bored travelling businessmen, and, with nowhere else open, enter WHSmiths where they would be selling, at discounted rates, packs of Cadburys chocolates two for one and I would buy them.
I'm going to stop that sentence right there having become bored of my half-hearted Marcel Proust spoof. I never got beyond page 37 of A la recherche anyway so it may not all be horrible long sentences that seem to go on forever and ever.
Back in the car I would very rapidly munch my way through handfuls of Giant Buttons, occasionally having to battle with trying to get the last ones out of the bottom of the bag whilst simultaneously changing gear and/or steering (remember I said that this is not necessarily true and I am not a terrible driver, much).
I used to do the same thing with Salt and Vinegar Discos which are the most salt-and-vinegary crisps I have ever eaten. Simultaneously tasting amazing whilst also making the whole of my face turn inside out with how strong they are. Which is also not a good thing to happen while driving.
On which subject, and bearing in mind that I am a bad person and a secret eater, a few years ago as I was leaving work Denise texted me to suggest that we have chips for dinner.
I should say so! I replied, never averse to a bit of chippage.
But at the chip shop the queue was enormous and I was feeling hungry and gluttonous.
So I ordered an extra portion so I could eat some in the car on the way home. This is ridiculous behaviour, and no wonder I am fat.
As I set off home, I put some chips in my mouth. I was already driving and as the chips hit my mouth I realised they were very, very hot.
I did not want them in my mouth anymore. But I was driving and I couldn't spit them out into my hand because that would result in chips all over the steering wheel or gearstick or, in extremis, all over the windscreen.
So I swallowed them.
Which was just as stupid a thing to do as the chips burnt their way down the length of my oesophagus in a manner which was also not conducive to safe driving.
I still ate the rest of the chips when I got home. And suffered for the next week every time I ate anything. And I didn't do anything so stupid ever again.
(as I mentioned earlier not all of these stories are strictly true. And not all of this is true)
(Mainly the bit about never doing anything so stupid again. I didn't do that stupid thing again, but I'm sure I've done other things of a similar stupidity level)
The new and enlightened me never eats in the car now. Not even while stationary. So my car may finally stop filling up with crumbs.
Though it has started to fill up with empty cans of diet drinks.