I have to be honest and admit that at the age of 66, memory recall isn’t what it used to be and if you’re a boozehound such as myself, trying to drag up the events surrounding embarrassing moments, or, indeed, any moments, from the fog of time and alcohol can be difficult.
If the ‘embarrassing moments’ posts come at random times, please accept that I’m a booze-addled, old git and can barely remember what I’m actually writing about by the time I reach the end of the keyboard thumping session.
Embarrassing moments involving food are easy to come by for most people: anyone can fall ill and suddenly vomit over the table; anyone can eat an entire bowl of garlic dip thinking that it’s their starter and not also for the use of the other five people sitting at the table; anyone can have too much to drink and start talking with an absurd accent to foreign waiters in an insulting, unimaginative and an “I’m going to get a meat cleaver put in my head before I’m thrown through the window” sort of way.
But it takes a certain amount of intense misfortune and bad luck—with you from the moment you fall from the womb—to set oneself apart from the crowd. Uniqueness, style and high levels of social embarrassment concerning food can only come from breeding.
I didn’t know my parents that well. I can only assume they were the sort of people to spot money on the floor, to be run over by a bus whilst picking it up and then to suffer a violent mugging from the ambulance crew.
The first food related faux pas to which I shall confess happened over twenty years ago on a warm, Saturday evening at a local politician’s house; the setting sun was still providing warmth, the barbecue was glowing acceptably—if anyone knows how to get a barbecue lit please leave a comment, as the price of petrol is horrendous at the moment—and local dignitaries were chatting and mingling in justification of their expense allowances.
As is usual at these bashes, the wife had put as much distance between herself and me as possible. I’d had a few stiffeners before we’d left for the function and upon arrival had set about warranting the presence of half a dozen drinks waiters.
I spied a young lady standing to one side and decided to amuse her with some witty banter to help pass the time (all middle aged men go through the ‘I’m half pissed, therefore I must be the funniest man in the world’ stage in their lives). Carrying a double vodka, and a pork and charcoal sausage in French stick, I casually approached the attractive little filly.
She must have sensed something about me and took a few steps back with, I’m sure, a come and get me look in her eyes. She was a cute thing: nice legs, slim waist, a cleavage that would put a blimp hangar to shame, and a welcoming smile.
I came up close to her and, biding my time, took a bite from my hot dog.
French stick has, in the ensuing years, become notorious for being more of a food-propellant than a food-containment solution.
A ketchup-smeared sausage was resting on the young lady’s bosom, perilously close to her crevasse-like cleavage.
As the maiden stood there, glass in one hand and a half eaten burger in the other, staring down at a processed meat and breast combo, it was clear that retrieval of the errant banger was down to me.
Slippery little things aren’t they? It was going to take more than one attempt.
Now, when one reads a horror story the author suggests that the temperature drops markedly and the air turns foul when a malevolent spirit is present. A shiver went through me and I could smell my own fear as I recognised the scream of the missus.
“What on earth are you doing?” She hollered, looking at the now upright sausage protruding from the woman’s breasts, “I‘ve heard about that disgusting spring roll thing!”
“Spring roll thing? What the hell are you going on about?” I enquired.
“You know exactly what I mean! It’s where a man puts his thingy between a lady’s boobs and then, well, you know, does it!”
“Oh, for God’s sake, woman,” I replied, “that’s a Bombay Roll followed by a pearl necklace, not a bloody spring roll you stupid cow!”
Three things then happened. Suddenly, the mayor’s daughter started to take a lot more interest in me, for that was identity of the lovely female currently nestling my sausage, the blood drained from me as I realised what I’d just shouted to my wife in front of two hundred guests and the wife started charging at me.
Things were difficult at home for some time. But, as the months went by, the memories of the incident slowly faded and were then, eventually, forgotten.
Until, almost twelve months later, an invitation to that year’s barbecue appeared on the doormat.
On the invitation, written in gold ink, was just one name…mine.