Now, Ben and I are not really big on Hallmark occasions; or at least we like to think we’re not. Valentine’s day being The Mothership of Hallmark occasions. We look down our noses at people buying personalised Moonpig cards and hideous teddy bears, surgically attached to silk hearts, and pretend to be blissfully unaffected by such tedious frivolity. But when it comes to the actual day, we end up feeling a bit too mean-spirited to totally ignore it and the resulting activity probably costs five times as much as your average service station bunch of flowers. This Valentine’s was no exception, and we decided to celebrate as per usual, by having ‘a nice meal’ (the distinction between ‘a nice meal’ and any regular meal generally being that we sit at the table and not on the sofa). Ben said he’d cook; RESULT.
Things took a turn for the worse when he turned up with these.
Now, I don’t like not liking things. I get irritated by fussy eating (despite the fact that I used to be THE fussiest eater on the planet) and will at least try most foodstuffs. But oysters (I originally typed that as ‘butt oysters’ and it’s taken me a good few minutes to compose myself), I could happily have gone my entire life without going near one. No matter how much Tabasco/lemon/Worcestershire sauce you smother it in, it still looks like phlegm. “They taste like the smell of the seaside” people muse. AND? How is that a good thing? Would you be more inclined to eat something if I told you it had “delectable notes of guest bedroom”, or “a bouquet of Milton Keynes train station”? No. For me, tasting of a location = no dice.
But try I did. Not being able to face the whole down-in-one custom, I sliced off the tinniest portion like a total pansy, put it in my mouth and then promptly wretched into the bin. Ben managed to neck three, causing much hero worship from me.
The next day and my oyster hero is knocked out by Norovirus. After a conversation with my Step Father, I disover that apparently 75% of Oysters contain Norovirus and it’s generally considered pot luck as to whether you get it. Well isn’t that just swell? The Gods of shellfish weren’t shining on Ben on this ocassion it would seem.
Being the Florence Nightingale type that I am, I photographed his pain as a warning to others. You can tell he is ill, as opposed to just being slobbish, from a) the bottle of Lucozade, b) the hot water bottle on his face (although I think this was more to hide from me) and c) the Cancer Research UK (sorry employers) collection bucket being used as an emergency sick receptacle.
So, the moral of the story; if a foodstuff looks like something that has been spat out by a chav in an alleyway, it’s probably not going to do you much good. Mr Mangrove enjoyed the (empty) sick bucket though.