For obvious reasons I kind of wanted to hunker down and not go out the door but Beloved’s work was having a Fancy Do. I’m not quite sure what this was in aid of – it was either a retirement or a celebration of a new contract/merger/new flying unicorn (yes this is how much attention I pay. Computer people do not speak the same language as the rest of us, it is known).
I was begged to go otherwise he would have to go alone and all the people he hadn’t met would assume he was Making Me Up (what does it say that those who hear of me suspect I am fictional? It says I’m fantastic, that’s what, so there) and it could be very very boring so he needed someone there to be snarky with.
I was terrified of falling apart messily in public, but, thankfully, I was rather distracted and needed only to escape a couple of times for air and privacy….
Sparky: What is THAT?
Beloved: It’s the location, by the address..
Sparky: It’s a TENT.
Beloved: A pavilion, yes, maybe they couldn’t fit us all?.
Sparky: It’s a tent
Beloved: Yesss… we covered that
Sparky: It’s late October, night time in rural Yorkshire. We’re going to die of exposure.
Beloved: It’s probably a modern insulated pavilion thing with those global warming space heaters.
…A little later
Sparky: I must commend them on their environmental considerations
Sparky: Well, look at the power they’ve saved! No heating at ALL. Not a single one in the whole tent. A couple of insipid lamps for lighting, why the carbon footprint for this event must be minuscule!
Beloved: Remind me again why we didn’t bring coats?
Sparky: Because we assumed that this meal would be indoors. I think it’s a ploy, by subjecting us to subzero temperatures we go numb and can’t feel how grossly uncomfortable these chairs are.
Beloved: They failed, my arse is half falling off AND I’m freezing my bollocks off.
Sparky: Well that ruins my plans for this evening…
Beloved: I don’t think they’ve invested too munch energy into heating the food either.
Sparky: The food was probably boiling before they put on their hiking gear, reached for their compasses and navigated from the kitchen.
Beloved: *pokes beef* If we start succumbing to hypothermia we can go to the kitchens. I think they may be on fire.
Sparky: This cow clearly specified cremation in her will. I’m sure she will be happy knowing her last wishes were carried out. At least they gave us weapons with which to express our disapproval
Beloved: They’re Yorkshire puddings
Sparky: *taps with knife, watches it shatter* so, not fragmentation grenades?
Beloved: Maybe they’re special Yorkshire puddings to go with the jelly
Sparky: I think that’s supposed to be gravy
Beloved: Wow, it’s congealed AND frozen at the same time.
Sparky: That has to be breaking some laws of physics.
Beloved: hey, speaking of laws, does it break any health and safety regs to serve compost with out food.
Sparky: They… they may be vegeatables
Beloved: What kind?
Sparky: Uh… green ones?
Sparky: *closes eyes* oh gods the pudding is here… how bad is it
Beloved: Oh… what have they done to this chocolate moose
Sparky: It’s… dry. They actually made your moose DRY. How the hell do you make DRY MOOSE?
Beloved: The same way they made this ice cream melt. The gravy was freezing over, but they can get ice cream to melt
Sparky: Their food is so bad they have re-written the laws of thermodynamics.
Beloved: check your crème brulee
Sparky: *stirs with a spoon, no crack at all* It’s… milk. It doesn’t even have the consistency of single cream. Milk with sugar sprinkled on top – like someone just opened a sachet of brown sugar and poured it in. I could drink it.
By which point it was gone 11:00 and we were bloody nithered it was that damn cold.
It was not good. No no it does not. For once I was inspired to write a letter of complaint – but when beloved saw my first draft began:
In the past I have gone to restaurants and thought “I could cook a better meal than this” however you have the dubious honour of being the first establishment that made me think my cat could do a better job. I would criticise your chef, but I feel that even implying the drunken baboon you have chained in the kitchen is in any way a chef would be the worst possible insult to the culinary profession. You must have been grossly disappointed that, despite your best efforts, none of your guests succumbed to hypothermia in your amateur wind-tunnel that you optimistically referred to as a “pavilion” as I’m sure harvesting their bodies for meat would have provided a much cheaper option and would likely be far tastier than the charcoal briquettes and shoe leather you are currently using. I would criticise the wait staff, but really they did a miraclulous job and given the low light levels, the temperature and the distance from the kitchen the only way they could have competently served us would be if you replaced your entire work force with Inuit long distance runners wearing night vision goggles.”
at which point he felt compelled to tell me that, since we didn’t organise (or pay for) the function it wasn’t our place to complain. Which is no fun AT ALL.