Thursday, 25 November 2010

Hunter Gathering in the Modern World

My husband thought he'd like a little bit of cheese the other day and so he bought some. Since he works all the daylight hours and many of the moonlight ones as well (although I should point out that I'm not suggesting he's involved in anything to do with moonlight spares), he did not leap out of bed and rush off to the farmers' market (operating hours officially 8 to 11 am each Saturday, but practically 8 to 8.30, since after that time the ravening locust hordes of self-satisfied early risers have stripped the place of anything worth having) to buy it. Instead, he popped into a 'souless' fluorescent-lit supermarket, which,  thanks to some commercial insight lost on the organisers of farmers' markets, was open at a time convenient to those who work - ie most of us.

Events, dear boy, prevented him from actually eating the cheese the day that he brought it home, and so it sat in the fridge until yesterday evening, when he remembered it and decided he'd like a slice. It was not, as it might have been had he gone to the farmers' market (early enough), a dripping  artisanal slice, stinking of the makers' socks and probably ripened a la Sunday Too Far Away's meatballs (I saw that film in a trendy little cinema in Paris with someone who is dead now, and we ran into a drunken Francis Bacon [was there any other kind] on the way out, but that's another story) under the maker's armpits. Instead, it was in a cardboard box.

When the box was opened, it turned out there was a white plastic container with a cellophane seal on it concealed inside. When the cellophane seal was removed, it became apparent there was another plastic seal just under it, which could only be penetrated with a very sharp knife. Once the knife had been fetched and the second seal (isn't that a movie too? No, after a quick look at You Tube it turns out to be something associated with extreme religious delusion) dispensed with, a small round object came into view. And guess what, it too was carefully wrapped, in both plastic and paper.

Undaunted, my husband set about unfolding the two final coverings, excited as the child who reaches the centre of pass-the-parcel (or rather, excited as the child who reached the centre of pass-the-parcel in my childhood, when only the centre contained a prize - nowadays, every layer has to be larded with goodies, for fear some little pet will realise that, yes, actually, life is bloody unfair.)

And, as if to prove that very point, just as my husband turned back the last corner of the ultimate layer of paper protection, the sausage roll he'd grabbed hastily from the dodgy works caff earlier in the day reasserted its presence (or possibly it was just a case of frustration getting the upper hand.) Either way, something made him suddenly and violently sick. Which was what Dame Edna would call 'spooky', for, as my husband pointed out to me this morning (yes, he seems to be fully recovered now, thanks for asking), it is exactly a year since he was last similarly afflicted - although that was in another country and feels like a lifetime ago.

(I would like to point out, by the way, that I resisted the following titles for this post: To Brie, or Not to Brie; Brie Careful What You Wish For ... I could go on.)


  1. I really want to hear more about Francis Bacon

  2. He was shouting very loudly about wanting to get some drugs.

  3. Superb post, Z.

    I don't think you should post more on the Francis Bacon story - it's one of those ones that works best - and where everything and more can be said - as a throwaway detail...

    (I saw that film in a trendy little cinema in Paris with someone who is dead now, and we ran into a drunken Francis Bacon [was there any other kind] on the way out, but that's another story) quite possibly the perfect parentheses.

  4. Thanks v much, Brit. I am very fond of a well-placed bracket or nine.

  5. Ok forget Francis. What was the name of the film?

  6. Do keep up, Nurse, what's it going to be like when it comes time to change my catheter - Sunday Too Far Away (I fear you may be too young to remember this gem of Australian cinema)

  7. Who could forget the lemon essence?

  8. I never go anywhere without lemon essence - I imagine it was useful in Melbourne?