I do not believe in God; but the other day he did me a huge favour. It all started when after a few cans of lager, I decided that all I desired most in this world was, as part of my evening meal; an Iranian style salad dressing.
I had first experienced this amazing delight as a prisoner of a load of gorillas in the great Bush War of Rhodesia. My captors would coat my genitals with the stuff, and then get the village dogs to lick the whole lot off. This was done whilst filming my screams of ecstasy for future generations of paedophiles to download from ‘You ‘N Your Chewed Tube’.
Of course, this is all creative writing fantasy, and the truth isn’t much further than the Mad Mahdi restaurant in West Hampstead, London. The first time I went there, I was a little surprised to say the least. Wearing a T -shirt with a depiction of Barack Obahma, and the words, ‘Give me a break, I’m half white too!’ I was accused of being a ‘Wank’ (I think they meant ‘Yank’), and I was escorted out of the premises by a machete wielding bearded woman, smelling suspiciously of top-grade Dutch weed.
However, I did eventually on another occasion have the pleasure of consuming their culinary delights. Providing you like chicken or lamb, there is everything available for the discerning palette. (For the really desperate, they do offer a fish or two.) I was a little miffed that classic favourites of goat and camel and G.I. Blown-Up Joe, were not on the menu. My request that my lamb must be kosher, was well met with satirical amusement by the staff; well versed to drunken infidels’ ‘little jokes’.
The minced lamb kebab was superb. The salad was strangely presented in rows of sliced vegetables, slightly overlapping each other. I do of course refer to raw onions, tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce. I would have been more than hacked off it had been rows of raw aubergine, yams, papaya and turnip. Actually, I did have some kind of aubergine starter that looked remarkably like something my girlfriend’s dog recently vomited up onto the living room carpet, but it was absolutely divine.
Anyway, it was the dressing that really took the place into the land of the holy gruel. I am of course referring to the dressing down I got after requesting a pint of their best red wine with a vodka chaser; to be amazingly told they don’t sell alcohol. Something to do with it being against the Koreans. The white liquid stuff, served in a porcelain boat, was actually the dressing. My background of reincarnation as a former Roman Emperor, afraid of being poisoned, made sure my girlfriend had to stick her finger in the stuff and check it out before I had a go. She did start to froth around the mouth a bit, but I put that down to the fact she still had a mouthful of Coca-Cola when I forced her to shove a well soaked hand of Dulux’s exterior, all weather paint, type goo, between her well lipstick smeared lips.
It was supercalafractchelisticexpealodoucous and the spelling is atrocious! It was music to my taste bud. It was good bacteria for my intestines, and it was all free because my girlfriend was paying! Yes, Yes, Yes - I had found utopia, but how could I replicate it?
Back at home, I hot wired the nearest rate payer’s electricity supply, and using my stolen WiFi laptop (sold to me for £5 by some drugged out local 15 year old ‘hoodie’), I proceeded to Google for the recipe. It is not easy, especially as the lashing rain constantly poured through my plastic carrier bag enhanced cardboard box home under the bridge, making the machine rather slippery. I used to search for information at the library, but sadly the local council closed it down due to a lack of funds. They did try to raise the four million pounds required to renovate the place after it was torched by the fire brigade. They had been attempting to flush out 5000 Zimbabwean failed asylum seekers sheltering in the place, but to no avail. As one obese teenager announced, as she struggled to down her 18th vodka-pop without vomiting, ‘Fuk-em, oo nids boks anyway?’
I did sign the petition to get Robert Mugabe to finance the rebuild but he referred us to Clare Short’s letter which said ‘shove it’, so most of us are now resigned to use the World Wide Web for information. My early attempts met with failure. I typed in, ‘The secrets of Iranian salad dressing’, but all I got were links to 9/11 conspiracy theories. In a stroke of brilliance I took a massive chance and entered ‘garlic grated cucumber Colman’s mint sauce natural yoghurt’ and guess what came up? Yup, Iranian salad dressing!
Now I had the cyber ingredients, I needed to purchase them, and it was then that God interfered. The nearest shop to me is SPAR, notorious for over pricing everything but its beer. In fact, whilst the credit crunch has affected everything, at ten quid for a carton of 15 Carlsberg lager tins, it is still the cheapest way to get motherless on beer. Their food section is another scene altogether. The cucumber was 99 pence! Now me and cucumbers go back a long way. People still ask me today, ‘What were you doing when Ronald Reagan was shot?’ Even a tribal Amazonian, unearthed only last week, knows the answer; ‘I was masturbating.’ Of course it wouldn’t sound like that. It would be more like - ‘Ich bin ein vanker.’ Incredible as it may seem, I was wanking too, but not my own tool. Almost unbelievable, but this is the truth, I was wanking a cucumber in Crete! I was paid a pound an hour to pull a cloth up and down dirty cucumbers, before they were packed off to the UK, to be sold for 99 pence a pop!
So, I resented forking out almost an hour’s wage for a wanked out cucumber. Besides, SPAR didn’t have any yoghurt. Miserable, I fought the perfect storm (we get these everyday), and looking rather bedraggled, I was instantly recognised as the local bum by the slappers serving at the Co-Op. They had all the ingredients but it was at the cumber department where God did his thing. They had half a cucumber for 47 pence but a full one for 75. Logically, the big one was the cheapest option, but I wasn’t sure I could consume enough before it turned into one of those fungi infested smelly things that habituate my fridge with abundance. Then God said ‘Thou must take the big one, for thou will surely cock-up the recipe.’ This he never said, but he might of in hindsight, because I did and… I did.
Returning to my leaking cardboard box called homeless, I emptied my goods from my environmentally friendly cotton carrier bag (stitched together by a 4 year old Mumbai slum-dog earning £1 a decade), and contemplated my next step. Obviously my next step would be to avoid the mounds of seagull shit. Mountains of it; all defecated by the fish ‘n chips leftovers scavengers, now fornicating on the bridge over my home.
It is all well and good having the ingredients for my top secret Iranian salad dressing, but I did need something to put it on. Snaring a seagull would have been easy. As highly trained killers in the war, they taught us everything. Oddly, the only thing that sticks in my mind from that time was the lesson, ‘How to open a beer bottle on a Land-Rover’s bumper.’
Besides, roast seagull, tasting of discarded cod, didn’t quite take my fancy. My local butcher had the solution. He is a nice man. I wrote a poem about him. Here it is –
WHAT’S FOR DINNER?
I have in my hand a piece of liver,
That announcement make you shiver?
I got it from my butcher for free
Who removed it? Don’t ask me!
Google a recipe - fava beans, nice Chianti?
Onions, pepper, salt and flour sauté?
Served with mushroom omelette
Organic offal is a complimént.
My butcher fulfilled my wishes
I wonder if he has any brain
Homemade in a membrane?
I managed to get some heart
But who took the butcher apart?
Police have shut his shop
Appears someone ate the lot!
Supermarkets are so expensive
Their prices make me rather restive
Tomorrow I need something cheap
Oh, look! The hills are full of sheep!