I opened the care package.

Awesome. You must be thrilled.

Oh, yeah. The Espresso Martini TimTams look amazing. But the Nutri-Grain is a disappointment.


Well, they’ve changed the formula.

The formula?

You know how they used to be small and compact with a sugary crisp.


Well now they’re big and bloated and bland and not sugary at all.

What happened?

Don’t know. I guess the food Nazis got to them, foisting sugary cereals on an unsuspecting breakfast crowd.

Wow. What were they thinking? Do they have it in for you?

They must have. They taste awful.

Sorry to hear that.

I know. Now I’m disappointed and have a packet of Nutri-Grain that I can’t eat.

What will you do?

Tell the kids that it’s a fabbo Aussie treat and hope they don’t notice.

Fair enough.

But I’m not happy. I wanted Nutri-Grain so badly. I love it.

I know.

They took all the good stuff out. I want crap in my breakfast cereal.


How was your day?

Wonderful. I had lunch at my favourite English Tea Rooms.


Yes. I had sausage rolls and Earl Grey. Happy.

I’m sure you were very happy. I don’t mind a bit of forcemeat myself.

And my friend had a meat pie. But they only make four or five of each a day. We convinced her to make a bigger batch on the weekend so we can have them at our party.

They’ll be a hit.

They will. And you know what?


It made me wonder about opening my own Aussie pie shop. All that baking. It’d be fun. And people really love a good meat pie.

Yes, and all that getting up at 4:00 am.

Hmmm. Could I make them the night before and freeze them?

Well, I think if you’re working on using the fresh and quality strategy, offering frozen pies might kill the buzz.

Did you say horsemeat?


Horsemeat. You said you liked horsemeat. In your sausage rolls.

Did I? No. That’s awful.

I’m pretty sure you did.

Oh. No. I said forcemeat.

What’s forcemeat?

The kind of meat that goes into sausage rolls. And sausages.

I need to look that up on Wikipedia.

Go for it. I’d like to know myself. But you didn’t stop me when you thought I’d said horsemeat. Did you think that was acceptable?


No no. I said I didn’t mind a bit of forcemeat myself, but you heard horsemeat and didn’t comment. Therefore, you deem eating equine acceptable.


Yes. Either that or you weren’t listening.

Of course I was listening.

I want to make it clear. I don’t eat pony.


#forcemeat not #horsemeat


What are you having for dinner?

I can’t tell you.

What? Why?

Because you’ll mock me.

Oh no.

And give me a hard time.

Probably because you will deserve it.


It’s what I think, isn’t it?

I don’t know. What do you think?

Salmon again?

No, actually. Not tonight.

It must be sardines then. And broccoli. Ugh.

Got it. I really don’t know why this is so bad. The Daily Mail posted an article by a nutritionist who wrote that sardines and broccoli were both superfoods. Better than salmon and kale.

Ugh. I will not take dietary advice from someone from Leeds.

Why not?

I just won’t.

But Miss Whitehead is an authority. And she has a very attractive figure and arresting hair. And that cute Yorkshire accent.

I don’t care. The thought of you eating those poor defenceless fish with their little heads and all makes me sick.

Their heads are chopped off. Like the rabble taking all the smart people’s noggins in the French Revolution.

Why can’t you eat steak? Like normal people?

Because it’s not that good for you.

But I eat it and I’m fine. Plus you eat a dozen little creatures, and I eat only one tiny percentage of the cow.

Steer, probably.


We milk cows and eat the males.


Don’t worry about it. And in any case your comparison is silly. What percentage of a thing that we eat is irrelevant.

No. Not in my book.

So you’re saying that I’m better off eating a much larger portion of a bovine than a half-dozen sardines because six is fewer than 2 percent?



Do you know what I feel like?

No. What?


Mmm. So go buy something.

Nah. It has to be special. I so rarely eat baked goods. It feels like it needs to be an event.

Like going to church?

Sure. A wedding. Not just any Sunday. And not a funeral. And not a baptism.

A baptism isn’t as special as buying a pastry?

Not as special as anything involving sugar and eggs and flour and an oven.

So you don’t just want a pastry. Anything baked and sweet will do?

Maybe. I think the most decadent thing would be a tart. Some kind of custard tart, perhaps.

Muffins don’t count? Or croissant?

Muffins are too widespread. They’re like the operating system of baked goods, no-one takes any notice of them any more.

Croissant? They’re still slightly exotic aren’t they?

Well, not really. Did you see my review of that French place on Siesta Key? They use frozen croissants. Oh, and claim for them to be fresh. Frauds.

It’s always the libertie with the French, never the get up and do the hard baking yards.

Savoir faire 24/7 isn’t easy to pull off you know. It requires a good night’s sleep.

And a twenty-a-day fag habit.

You can’t say fag.

You know what I mean. Ciggies. Don’t get all politically bullshit on me.

So no croissant then.

Nah. I don’t think that’ll satisfy my tart jones.


Did you go to TJ’s?

God. Yes.

Not good?

Hideous. Have you seen the people who shop there?

People like me?

No. The people who shop at the one here.

What’s wrong with them.

They’re gnarly. White-haired hippy women decades past their prime pushing their carts into my achilles. Dreadful people. It’s like shopping with zombies in sandals. And the feet. Why are old people feet that way? Have they no closed-toe footwear?

The people at my TJs are relatively normal. And they have such tasty treats. Their pain au chocolat for a start. The chicken curry. You like that, I know.

You confuse two things here.


The store and the patrons.

But it’s all one experience.

Yes, but the horror of the people overshadows the deliciousness of whatever you buy there. They have the stink of superiority without the fact of it.

Hmmm. Well, you were tired.

Yes. And they were ugly. Never again. I bought the chevre spread by the way.

Tinsel the Salmon

You don’t want to know what I ate for dinner.

No. I do. Tell me.

You’ll be horrified. You’ll mock me.

No I won’t. Was it broccoli and rice again?

No. Well, you’re partially right.

Oh no. Rice. And sardines.


Rice and salmon.


Urrrrrghhhh. Rice and salmon. Tinned salmon.

*sound of exhalation

You had rice and tinned salmon for dinner. That’s so bland and boring and disgusting.

No, actually, it’s very good for you. Salmon is chock full of Omega fatty acids. Omega threes. And it was brown rice, which is excellent for your vowels.

Yes but canned salmon is slimy and gross. And it’s so bland.

I had one other ingredient.


*sounds of being strangled. Onions.

Onions. So for dinner you had onions, brown rice and canned salmon.


Well you didn’t have to eat it.

No. It’s bad enough listening to you talk about it.

But I offered not to not reveal the details.

I had to know.

I’m willing to drop the whole topic. How was your day?

Salmon. From a can. Not even real salmon.

It’s real enough when it goes into the can. I have moved on from the salmon. I caught it, now I have released it. You have caught it and put it in an aquarium. It’s in there swimming away, trying to get upstream. And you’re there poking it with a stick and tapping on the glass.

I don’t understand why you eat such boring food. What’s the point of living?

About as much point as that salmon you’re annoying in that tank.


We should name him.


Your salmon. How about Tinsel?

No. I don’t like it. How about Dick?
I think Tinsel the Salmon is festive. Gives him hope.

What about SalMON Rushdie?

You’re a fan of magical realism? Actually, given your fetish with my food, you might be.

What does that mean?

Salman Rushdie? Satanic Verses? Magical realism as a type of fiction?

Whatever. Tinsel is a stupid name for a fish. He’s Salmon Rushdie.