Sunday, 19 February 2012

2 for 1 Blog - Part One: Chopstick Inoperability, Chilli Roulette, and Mini Turtle Powercut

Firstly, apologies for not writing this blog yesterday (Saturday 18th February 2011). I got home late from a night out and was knackered.

Secondly, everything I talk about in today's blog happened last night. That's not to say that I did nothing else all day yesterday - far from it, but I'm not going to tell you everything I do, am I?

So on with blog.

Last night I had been invited over to my friends' Alyn and Emma house for dinner and a catch up. On the menu was some delicious Asian Fusion food that Alyn was cooking. I'd had food of similar origin the last time I visited them - so either they both really like the stuff, or Alyn was just going through a "phase".

I went through a phase once - it was bed-wetting.

Anyway, amidst games of such quality as 'What does this ingredients smell remind you of?' I chatted to Alyn and cuddled his baby daughter Fern. I did try it the other way round initially, but Fern isn't a great conversationalist,- and Alyn was a bit too clingy.

Emma appeared shortly after; she had been out buying bits and provisions - including four bottles of Coca Cola which she had bought on offer (4 for £2). As a result, she would spend the rest of the evening farting and belching like a dirty belchy farty thing.

Actually, that isn't true. The Coca Cola wasn't 4 for £2, it was buy 2 get 2 free.

Soon enough, dinner was served. Being "Eastern" in origin, Chopsticks were provided alongside the regular cutlery. Now I like Chopsticks (although I am not sure they warrant a capital letter "c" every time I mention them), but just can't get the bloody things to work. I've had the theory of how to use them explained to me slowly, and using drawings and puppets - and yet they just lie there motionless while my dexterity drained digits clumsily paw at them to no avail.

Which means they now join necklace clasps and bra fastenings on my list of "Things I'll never master"

In the end, I discarded the chopsticks and used a fork. Meanwhile, Alyn and Emma mocked me by using their chopsticks to not only eat their meal with, but to also take turns catching a fly with them (a different pair of chopsticks to the ones used for eating, obviously), and throwing the fly - who wasn't harmed, just trapped by their expert skill - to each other for the other to catch.

The Gits.

Inspire of my failure with the chopsticks, the meal was absolutely gorgeous. I was given a bowlful of noodles in a broth with various bits of exotic looking vegetables mixed in. Then there were five smaller bowls in the middle of the table that had bits to add to the meal if desired. These included, lime quarters ( to squeeze the juice from), sesame seeds (I think), fried garlic and...something, some herbs, and - chillies.

Now given my recent experiences with Chillies, you would have thought that I would have at least enquired as to their strength. Well you might have thought that, by I didn't. I merrily sprinkled the liberally over my dish.

And then they disappeared. And I forgot all about them.

Until, several mouthfuls later one of the little buggers suddenly appeared in my mouth amidst a heap of noodles and shouted "Coo-eee!!!" - and then set my head on fire. I coughed, my eyes streamed, my vocal chords were vaporised so I could only whisper, as I reached for my beer and drank to put out the flames. I then reached for my water (not MY water, but my glass of water) as the beer had done nothing.
Soon the heat had gone - but now I was left with another dilemma.

In the bottom of my bowl was about an inch of broth. And in that broth, somewhere, more chillies lurked waiting to get me. The music from "Jaws" briefly played through my mind, closely followed by the notion that I was about to play Chilli Russian Roulette.

No, the idea of leaving my bowl unfinished never entered my head.

I started taking spoonfuls of broth - my hand shaking more than an epileptic standing on a huge jelly during a violent earthquake. Every time I swallowed, I expected pain and heat, but thankfully it never came. Now either there were no more chillies in that bowl, or my taste buds had been removed completely from my mouth so I could have eaten Acid and not felt it.

Either way, the score was now Chillies 2, Larry 0.

Alyn and Emma have small Turtles - not Terrapins apparently, there is a lot of rivalry between the mini Turtle and Terrapin communities - and they live in a tank in shallow water, with rock they can climb out on to.

A lot like Terrapins really.

They have a heater and a light in the lid of their tank, which is on a timer and switches off at a given time. Now while this if perfectly acceptable to us, I can't say for certain that the mini Turtles like it. To them it must be like having a Powercut. Last night I didn't hear the Turtles moving around at all - until their light went out. Then all I could hear was them bumping into things in the Darkness. Just imagine what it is like:

(Light goes out)
Turtle 1: "Oh, great - we've had a Powercut!"
Turtle 2: "Who said that?"
Turtle 1: "Don't take the piss! Get the Candles!"
Turtle 2: (banging into things) "Ow! Okay, hang on. Ouch! Here they are"
Turtle 1: "What about the matches?"
Turtle 2: "They're in my coat pocket in the bedroom"
Turtle 1: "The bedroom? But that's under the water!"
Turtle 2: "Oh yeah......oops."
Turtle 1: "I hate my life."

Or something like that...

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