I found myself talking to someone in the pub whilst watching Match of the Day the other night. A usually avid fan of Match of the Day my attention was wandering as it was Stoke vs Manchester United and these mid-table clashes hold little interest for me (sorry, had to be done). Readers of my previous blogs (and yes I am going to allow myself the pleasant delusion that these people exist) may well point out that this is not the first time I have taken life advice from an intoxicated stranger at a bar and whilst this becoming a common practice may not seem like the greatest idea, they do provide excellent material for blogs.
“Mate,” the guy stared blearily over at me, “London is like, really different.” OK, so this particular man that I was talking to wasn’t called Oscar Wilde but he did have a point. London would seem strange to anyone but to someone who has grown up in the tiny village called Little Glemham it is all the more bizarre. For those of you who have never been to Little Glemham (ironic chuckle) picture a small cluster of buildings framed by a variety of potato fields and you have the gist. I have no idea what the actual population is but considering we lose 30% of the dwellers every time the ducks in our pond migrate south for the winter it is not what you would call a thriving metropolis.
Anyway, one of the biggest and best aspects of London for me is the incredible variety of takeaways and sandwich shops. I have found some truly mouth-watering dishes but there is one habit which nearly every shop has adopted which I can’t get my head around. I will give you an example. I was at Liverpool Street the other day and decided, for no reason whatsoever, that I deserved a bacon sandwich. The bread was fresh, the bacon cooked beautifully, nothing could improve on such perfection, nothing that is except…
“Sir, would you like some brown sauce with that?” Yes. Yes I would.
What followed though was not what I expected. The man handed me the sandwich in a bag, trotted over to the counter, and proceeded to heave two sachets of brown sauce at my head with the speed and precision of a turret gun. As much as I would like to claim that I plucked them both from the air in a breath taking display of athleticism I am afraid that I would be lying through my teeth. Due to the early hour and a serious lack of caffeine in the system I fumbled the first cachet and took the second straight in the eye causing me to reel away clutching my face. Now I do not follow American Football particularly closely but if anyone from the NFL is looking for a new star quarterback I strongly recommend they scout out the morning shift at Uppercrust.
The man was very apologetic, and even gave me a free coffee in compensation, but I was slightly confused as to why he had served my brown sauce basically as a side order. Don’t get me wrong, I have no qualms about garnishing my own sandwiches when required, but if this becomes the common practice where does it stop? “A bacon sandwich? Coming right up, can you just chop up this loaf first for us?” “Of course you can have scrambled eggs, can you just check the chicken hutch for the latest batch?” It seems to be somewhat of a slippery slope. Anyway, that’s another blog on absolutely nothing completed, now if you will excuse me, I am off to put some ice on my throbbing retina.