The enema within

I have realised that you don’t need booze to act drunk. I’m not sure whether this is a startling revelation to anyone else, but it rather caught me by surprise. You see, I have been sober since 1992*, so the number of spectacularly stupid things I have done in recent years has almost dropped to nil. While this means I no longer provide free entertainment to the people who know me, it also means I don’t have to explain why I borrowed someone’s car to steal road signs and lawn ornaments at two in the morning any more.

Those with sharp eyes would have notice that I used the word ‘almost’ in the third sentence of the paragraph above. Go ahead and check. I’ll wait. The upshot of this is that there are those rare times when I behave as if I’ve been out on a serious bender. The other night, I was delayed at work, so I went straight to rehearsal and skipped dinner. Of course, I was ravenous when I finally got home at about 11 p.m, but when I opened the fridge, I was greeted with great vistas of emptiness. A lone tumbleweed forlornly rolling across the vegetable rack would have completed the effect, but as I said, I don’t drink any more.

I didn’t have much better luck with the cupboards. The only thing that saved me from the definitive Old Mother Hubbard moment, was a solitary can of peri-peri pilchards lurking at the back of the shelf above the oven. “Ah! Perfect”, thought I, as I sought out the can-opener and then proceeded to eat the fishy contents with great relish.

Several hours later, when I was finally able to peel my burning backside off the toilet seat, several things occured to me. The first was that the term ‘ring sting’ is only funny at a remove; the second was that my wife isn’t too keen on spicy food; the third was that I have no recollection at all of ever buying peri-peri pilchards; and finally, it is entirely possible that the offending can was left in the flat by the previous owners – five years ago.

* There’s a long and dull story behind the reason, which I don’t feel like going into right now.


24 thoughts on “The enema within

  1. Never, never eat pilchards!!! Pilchards, specially the spicypasttheirbestbeforedate kind are bad bad bad!! Pilchards are not good for you, drunk or sober – drunk people cannot say pilchards, ask someone at the next party you attend – you’ll see what I mean, and sober people should, as a rule, not eat pilchards. I dont think I have used the word pilchards so much in my life!! Isn’t it amazing how something old and spicy can come back and bite you on the butt like that? Ring Sting – shame…


  2. Of course you don’t need booze to act drunk. Life usually sees to it that you make a fool of yourself even if you lack that excuse…
    I hope the… catharsis was ultimately helpful. Or something.


  3. I think I also have some unidentifieable canned goods in the kitchen, a legacy of previous tenants. Makes one wonder why one doesn’t just throw the stuff out when we moved in? I know… seems a shame to waste it.
    But pilchards???


  4. Ever since I started fishing to impress an old flame, I could never eat pilchards again. I don’t think I impressed him though. I was better at it than he was. It makes good bait though!!!


  5. comment deleted: What’s with all the self-censorship, folks? We’re all friends here in weird, Barneyesque way. Nobody’s going to point and laugh. Much.

    spookie: You’re preaching to the choir here.

    anne: More like, “or something” – I ended up with a severe dehydration headache, although the experience brought the charming Afrikaans expression, “As jy dom is, moet jy kak”* into sharp focus for me.
    * Translates (approximately) as: “If you behave foolishly, you must expect to pay the price”

    nomad: Hey, I never said I gave up sex, did I?

    terri: I know, I know. Let this be a lesson to everyone, okay?

    buddess: Sounds a bit like ‘Relationship Fear Factor’ to me.


  6. Hmmmm….and I wonder who gave them my whereabouts? You seemed to derive an altogether worring amount of pleasure in informing me of my impending doom!

    Let’s just say, when they find my dead body with a red-nose calling card, I’m a haunting your ass!!!!!


  7. ‘Ring Sting’ is something I’ve never heard before. Heh.

    I’ve totally eaten stuff in the cabinets that Zube Boy and I later figured out was probably left by the previous residents. Though, we’re only at about two and a half years so far.


  8. IITQ: Headline generator? Bah! I have something even better: my rapier wit. Okay, it seldom extends beyond the occasional bad pun, but at least it doesn’t require an internet connection.

    FM: Communication from ‘the other side’, eh? Well, at least it fits the general theme, although I would avoid my ass for a while longer, if I was you. Wait! Did you hear that? Never mind – probably just my imagination. Oshitoshitoshit! It’s coming for you! Can you hear it breathing? It’s right behind you! DON’T TURN AROUND!!!

    ZG: There are three dates in the life-cycle of most packaged food: the ‘sell-by’ date; the ‘use-by’ date; and the ‘good-bye’ date. In view of the fact that we have probably fallen foul (hah!) of the third one, I believe it proves that we have an impressively strong will to live.


  9. Man , you were lucky to get away with only Ringsting… Out of Date Spicy Pilchards are the stuff of Legends … along with a quick wipe of a cloth with Brasso on it across a food plate for causing “Squitter guts” !! Kinda makes the whole house smell like a Hyena’s sweat gland…

    olblx – “Oh Bollox! ” Irish for…
    I wish I hadnt eaten that!


  10. And to think I was about to go eat something. Perhaps I’ll wait a bit. Like a few hours. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of pilchards but I’ll be sure to avoid them forever. I’ve actually had moderately severe food poisoning twice and and the thought of waaaay out of date food makes me pucker a bit. Won’t tell ya where…

    fnoooodj your one word answer to what made you sick as you hang your head over the side of the porcelain.


  11. I can relate. Just the other day I had an alarming encounter with an ancient samoosa. It broke the land-speed record for passing through my system, removing the lining of my bowel with it…


  12. I have absolutely no idea what a pilchard is, much less those of the peri peri variety. I am so picky about expiration dates it’s comical. Especially since I live alone and have so many expired things in the fridge.


  13. andrea: I’ll have to post a reader advisory notice next time: SPOILER WARNING this entry will spoil your breakfast.

    FM: Oh well – that’s that, then. Folks, please send donations to the forgottenmachine widows and orphans fund. See Ten Miles Beyond the City for details.

    bosbefok: No prizes for guessing where you picked up your reverse culinary secrets. Sien jy daai boom?

    livewire: Pilchards are peculiar fish. They live in cans with their heads cut off. One variety has regular tomato sauce for blood. The other variety has spicy tomato sauce for blood. They are generally only eaten by students, the very drunk and people like me.

    scott: As long as it makes it all the way through, I’m happy. The stuff that makes me sing ‘Louis, Louis’ bothers me just a bit.

    anika: Thanks, but I don’t really deserve sympathy, because it was a self-inflicted wound.

    sophie: See comment to Livewire for a scrupulously accurate description of a pilchard. I would probably be a bit paranoid if I was surrounded by expired stuff. I think my blasé attitude may have arisen as a result of having very little in the flat that’s overdue for chucking out.


  14. My other half is so picky about out of date food that if I don’t eat the left-over dinner the next day for lunch, it will be gone by supper time!

    (Except for pizza – I kill anyone that throws out pizza less than 3 days old!)


  15. I have absolutely no idea what a peri-peri pilchard is but I am going to go out on a limb and say that it isn’t something that I want to consume…

    You poor thing. And your wife…did she laugh at you?


  16. del: Your partner is the diametric opposite of mine. My wife will leave things in the fridge until the plastic container dissolves.

    paintingchef: Wise choice. I have the wisdom of hindsight (hah!) now. My wife didn’t laugh at me. She was too busy sawing California Redwoods in the bedroom at the time.


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