Dinner with Mrs Quimbly is a culinary adventure and sometimes a journey into the unknown. Often both. Particularly when she cooks.
A visit to a restaurant is an impossibility, of course, but a visit to a pub for a spot of lunch shouldn't be too much of a challenge. Or at least, so you'd think.
Having found an acceptable pub, chosen a table and then moved the prerequisite three times in order to obtain just the right seating, lighting and correct ambience, but with the lavatories in sight and a clear view of the exit, we ordered our food.
Now, I have to say that the meal, when it eventually arrived, wasn't anything to write home about - although, given a sharp enough object, such as a chisel or a diamond drill, I may have been able to inscribe a message on the hard piece of meat masquerading as a steak that I found on my plate and then pop it in the post. However, being English, I accepted the meal for what it was: another in a long, dreary line of disappointments, and ate it resignedly whilst ignoring the grunting, gnashing, belching and swearing coming from my companion and occassionally wiping splashed gravy from my jacket sleeve, shoulder and the side of my head.
The sound of clattering cutlery died down and the end of the meal was signalled by a loud slurping sound, eventually subsiding into the soft sussuration of the sucking of teeth and the occasional click of dentures upon wood.
The waiter/barman approached. He smiled, opened his mouth and uttered the now seemingly universally-obligatory Transatlantic post-prandial enquiry.
"How was everything?"
I fixed my gaze upon him.
"Well, the Big Bang was quite messy, evolution went well and the Rennaissance was a corker. I'm not so keen on ... oh, you meant the food, didn't you?" I replied in my head.
Something entirely different came out of my mouth, of course.
He smiled again to indicate that I had validated his existence with my remark.
And then came the moment that I was dreading.
"And how was everything for you, madam?"
In my mind I calculated the time that it would take for me to reach the exit before the inevitable occurred, but Usain Bolt would have been hard-pressed to have risen from his chair before the onslaught arrived. I merely gripped the edge of the table and waited.
"I'll tell you, dear. The f*****g sausages looked like a set of shrivelled old dosser's c***s, but without the piquant flavour. The mashed potato had the consistency of some f*****g thing that had spent a week passing through the chef's digestive system before s*****g it onto the f*****g plate and the gravy had the flavour of month-old s***k that he'd stored up in his b******s and w****d all over the plate whilst imagining Margaret Thatcher, naked, f*****g a goat, and mixed up with some f*****g wallpaper paste before p*****g in it.
Also, it was a very small portion."
"Well, you ate it."
"It was better than what I get at home, dear. Now get me the f*****g dessert menu."
We are now barred from that pub.