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Fusion Cuisine and Horrible Rhyming Slang

Dear Rachel

I am by no means a fat gentleman – though I am reconciled to the fact that my days in the Bolshoi are behind me – and I do not therefore expect to be advised that it’s ‘best to stick to Diet Coke from now on’ by the non-specifically south east Asian girl at Upper Crust on Liverpool Street station, from whom I buy a late breakfast every Monday morning. I think she might be Thai. In any case, if I want a muffin baguette drizzled in Fanta, it is her job to provide it, and not hand out casual dietry advice, in the same way that I don’t expect to find a finger buffet at the dentist.

I accidentally called her ‘babe’ the other week and hated myself for most of the rest of the day. I am strictly ’sweetheart’ or ‘darling’ when interacting with females in a casual or semi formal environment, in the manner I suppose of a window cleaner or electrician. ‘Babe’ makes me sound like someone who occasionally enjoys themselves, and ‘hun’, with which I briefly experimented, sounds a bit lezzie.

[Hitting Read More now will reveal fusion cuisine comparisons and a distressing journey in rhyming slang]

Surprisingly, though, Upper Crust is likely to remain my late Monday breakfast provider of choice. On paper, I prefer the that pasty place – the name escapes me but they have a sort of pirate as a logo – as they have a thing called a doner kebab pasty, which as a fan of fusion cuisine – kebab and chips, spaghetti hoops on toast, that sort of thing – I heartily applaud. However, their pasties are so hot that if you get on the Central Line westbound from Liverpool Street, you will need to be at East Acton before sheets of flame stop shooting out of it. As an experiment, I put one in the garden here at Griefjunkie Towers, and a small and highly arid desert sprung up around it within days. Sushi is nice in the current hot weather, and I have a lot of it at Greenwich, although I eat it with a spoon, because while I’m sure Japanese culture has many excellent qualities, innovative cutlery is just not one of them. I understand getting into the spirit of things and all that, but I would rather just say yeah look can you give me a spoon and fork and then I can eat normally, rather than jabbing away with a chopstick in each hand in the manner of someone trying to knit a seafood jumper.

East Yard cultural icon Pikey Dave – who smells of tarmac and stolen motorbikes – once called me a peasant for not being able to use chopsticks. Later that day, he came bounding up to my stall while I was chatting happily with customers, and exclaimed ‘I’ve just munked on some bird’s tits up Beak Street!’, which yes, is the kind of outburst you would expect of a culturally sophisticated man. Probably worth pointing out that Beak Street is a low key red light area of Chinatown, and that Harry Munk is rhyming slang for – and I’m sorry about this – spunk, which is in turn non-rhyming slang for semen. ‘Harry Munk’ forms an etymological anomoly within the traditional Cockney rhyming slang format, as usually the first word carries the rhyme. In this example it should be – yes that’s right – I’ve just Harryed on some bird’s tits up Beak Street. I didn’t think to point this out at the time.

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2 Comments

  1. Kelly

    Jul 3rd, 2009
    12:17 am

    Don’t get paranoid! You aren;t all that fat! Just the benefits of good living!

  2. Paul

    Jul 3rd, 2009
    12:19 am

    Good living, Kelly, and a lot of kebabs. But yes, mainly good living.

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