The horror, the horror. I’ve seen it all, I’ve eaten most of it. I’ve started my day with a trident of chocolate orange segments. I’ve had three coffees and I’m assuming the present opening position. The gifts are fluent and flavourful, each award carefully tailored to it’s recipient’s needs and wildest desires. I’m happy with my lot, I’m happy with what I got. Time is slipping away, not in terms of pace more like the meaning of time is slipping away. I look at my paper watch, it’s 5pm, I walk in the kitchen, it’s 4am, I look at my watch again, it’s midday. I look out of the window I see my future self in 30 years. I look in the fridge, I see myself awakening at 5am with a dicky tummy. I look at the chocolate orange, splayed open and forced back in it’s packet with haste. I corked it on the new work surface at 9am, there began my first coffee and the traditional Christmas feasting.
It’s traditional to get caught with your pants down at Christmas. Found alone, crying in the pantry, folding in sea salt and malt krinkle crisps. The cupboards and fridges are so bountiful at your parents that it’s impossible to refuse. It makes you feel alive to branch out solo on a reconnaissance mission to recover a handful of chocolate peanuts or a single pre-cooked chipolata. I’m not even hungry but I’m scheduling the day’s entertainment. I love it of course and I’m always hungry, even if I think I’m not. There’s a window, a hunger window. I doubt I need to explain further but there’s a time allocated to each human whereby they can fill a hole before the pane is fully closed. I’m gifted with a hunger window that has a hole in it, I can usually fire in small treats even when full to bursting. When it comes to toast for instance, I can keep going for a long time. The first scheduled official intake comes at around 10.30 with Mum and Dad seated but within easy access of the toasting plant. The toaster gives the gift of toast to bread, transforming the weak and lank to hot and crisp. From silent to deadly, from frisky to freaky. You might have heard of it. Hot buttered rounds are flying back and forth, another couple of sheets enter the transformer. Mum favours marmalade, Father is a peany butter man. I like to start with a pure sheet with a spreading of butter on and then head henceforth to peanut butter upgrade. Sliced bananas got involved at one stage, I was really going for it. Food Legend prefers toast cooled rather than at it’s butter meltin’ “best”. It becomes more, meatier, deeper depths. It’s not just a hot and bothered waif with butter globs forming at the pressure points. It’s a human being, it’s a surfboard. It won’t wilt nor will it won’t, it’s can do and it’s doing what it can for my breakfast. I don’t know how many slices I polished but we’re talking at least three. A drop in the ocean of the way food events were to follow this famous day. We exit the dining table and proceed to matters of an inedible nature.
I can reveal that the next official food stop came in the form of oven-generated chicken spice pieces. Not the official name but you know what I’m talking about, kebab-like staples of the tikka persuasion. This was at about 3pm, give or take. Sister and boyfriend were here by this stage. Sister stalking me in the kitchen crying “cheeseboard” in my ear like a screaming set-to-stone banshee crumbling in to the ocean. I know, I want that too sis but I’m not prepared, at this stage, to manage a group snack table. Christmas, despite the way it’s marketed, is all about solo enterprise. It’s Rodders vs Del-boy in a never seen before Celebrity Deathmatch, likenesses deemed too weak for TV. If you want a cheeseboard then you shouldn’t speak a word to any body, you should retire from the room and strike strategically with crackers in hand and dagger in sock. Luckily Father was blessed with a greater for the group good mentality and so, we’re feasting on chicken pieces. Not just chicks, bowls of twiglets and pringles flank a sour cream and chive dipping plateau. This is Christmas, this is feast time. Individual chicken portions have been administered, so there’s no room for gobblegeddon on that front, but the portions of twigs and prings are communal baths and I fear expulsion for eating my own towel. So to speak, so to spork. I’m restrained, to a point. I’m fulfilled but thinking about the extra chicken spice portions lying dormant in the fridge. Christmas, a time to think of others. What other foods are doing while you’re eating others. Why are you eating this when you could be eating…others? The Others with Nickle Kidman, Cath Kidson and Paul Kitson. Mother is back in the house after a short exodus and that means the main feast is almost upon us. I’ve travelled far for this main event, I’ve travelled by road and rail. I’ve born witness to some incredibly repetitive Christmas eve pre-emptive ramble tamble. I’ve been numbed in to submission by a mantra on the Skipton train. Lady of unseen years starts talking about Christmas telly, asking her father “are you watching Ab Fab, Dad?” over and over to unheard ears. Are you watching Ab Fab, Dad? Bar you botching bab bab, dab? Bab you dab dab bab bob, bib? Repeated to the point where the words lose all meaning and suddenly everyone on the train is murmuring it at me, Malkovich Malkovich style. It’s the most idiotic sequence of words I’ve ever heard, I’m dissecting them and I hate every bit. It makes me not want to watch it but unable to stop thinking about watching it all day. Star you swatching stavin and tracy, smum? Bar boo dog chin travis band lacy, bum? I watched Ab Fab, Dad and it wasn’t that good ‘kay, it was bit cringe but bit funny too. Nothing to write home about tho. Boffin to bite bome babout bo. Christmas dinner anyway! Oh, IT’S ON!
Let’s cut to the scrapes and talk line up statistics. Turkey, boom. F your best beef or glazed ham or nutrageous roast. Turkey, the blandest bird on the menu is where it’s at. Old top heavy squawker, GM Sally. The teetering beaker. Put down your crutches, take the orange out of your cavity and pull up a pew on my plate. Lovely stuff. Trimmings is as trimmings does, Ibiza: the essential mix. We’re talking pigs in blankets, sprouts w/chestnuts and bacons, potatoes : roasted and mashed, stuffing, Yorkshire puddings, carrots, parsnips, gravy boat, bread sauce and other elements I may have forgotten in the melee. Fallen soldiers, I loved you all. You can’t critique it, it’s the best meal anyone can eat. Presentation goes out of the window, we never anticipated that we’d need a bigger plate. It’s an edible jumble sale but it’s all killer no filler, every forkful is a bargain unearthed. Each load more distinguished and valuable than the previous. Bring me the perfect forkful. Let me hang my head and absorb, let me not say anything for ten minutes while I deconstruct this mound. Allow me to savour nothing and destroy everything. The flavour gradient is too steep, Captain! The crew are enjoying this just a little too much. It’s a thrill ride pleasure time, my brain is making love to my heart. My stomach is watching, eating, resting. My legs are buckling, my lungs are shrinking, my pelvis is pickling. There’s a party in my pores and everyone’s excited. Meal time concluded, and I should add proceeded by a prawn cocktail starter piece, all attendees lifetimes culinary ambitions achieved. I try to speak but a chipolata comes out, my eyelids are abandoned sprout skins, my buttocks roasted. It’s time for bed but I keep my pork pies open for maybe ten hours more. A lemon cheesecake-lite mousse endeavour is thrown on the bonfire followed by a couple of choccy segways throughout the eve. Numerous cans and bottles are emptied to try douse the flames but it only serves to raise the roof. Come midnight and me and my Dad are on savoury duty night watchman style, taking care of a pork pie. More slivers rather than the full bundle but still, admire our steel. Mother is nodding in and out of consciousness, vapour trailing a nubbin of stilton on a cracker life raft. No matter how much you eat, you’ll always be ready to get back in the saddle eventually. You might have to get a new saddle if you’ve out-chaffed the old but still, you can never truly eat yourself full.
A day of excess, a day of success.