the munchies…..

It’s just as easy to build the argument about how regular beer consumption makes the drinker put on weight as it is to dismantle it, and I’ve read many that argue in either direction. What we can agree on, though, is that the influence of alcohol can both induce the pangs of hunger and tamper with the thermostatic valve that controls wise nutritional choices.

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A firm contender for the worst thing to put in your body after a skinful might be the one am kebab with hot relish but that’s assuming intoxication has let it get that far. For this short post, I’m going to recount two very dodgy “eating incidents” that occurred after a few beers. I wasn’t drunk in the daft sense, just in the FOOD NOW one.

Don’t try either of these at home. I’m not proud of them.

A few years ago, I toddled into the lower concourse of St Pancras railway station. The Marks & Spencer’s food hall was still open and I tilted through the door. I didn’t really scrutinise anything down the aisles too closely – I was just looking for the bright yellow reduced stickers and grabbed one. Once in the snaking queue, I also detached a sweetie bag from a hook before getting to the till, paying for the scran and then descending to the next level to await my train home.

Once the train was moving, I pulled my rucksack open and disgorged the box of discounted fried whitebait and the packet of wine gums. I opened the whitebait tray and dumped the wine gums on top, mixed them around in the salt dust a bit before shovelling them in with my hands. Whitebait and wine gums don’t complement each other. I recall stuffing the remainder into one of those tiny inter-seat bins just to make sure I’d stop eating them. I was disgusted with myself but still continued sizing it up. If it wasn’t for the other passengers’ judging eyes….

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The next culinary experience happened around the same period – any weekends I wasn’t working I would to go to Bermondsey and attempt the mile. I’d been on this occasion but was already back at home in St Albans by mid-afternoon. I had a steak and kidney or beef and ale pie in the freezer and read the cooking instructions: 45 minutes!

My stomach was making the same doleful sucking sounds as a radiator that needs bleeding. I soldiered on, set the temperature and timer and went to watch Lizard Lick Towing. Eventually, the timer rang, I opened the oven and winced in anticipation for the heat roll but there was none. The patina of frost was still on top of the crust. I hadn’t turned the oven on.

What followed was a piece of innovation that will make you proud to be British (disclaimer: many new innovative solutions end in fatality). I took out a steak knife, honed it twenty times with the sharpening steel, and proceeded to start cutting the pie into paper thin slices like Prosciutto ham. I sat in front of the television with a chopping board on my lap with the knife sawing away each glacé sheave. I ate each one off the blade – a cross between an ice flake and a crisp. If that had been a plot line to the show Casualty, the potential routes to hospitalisation would’ve been manifold.

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These days I no longer make the journey into London much (this year, I’ve had exactly one pint in the capital). I’m currently experimenting with carrots from the fridge as a low calorie, low carb solution to offset boozy hunger.

What’s the dodgiest thing you’ve eaten under the influence of alcohol?

4 Comments

  1. One of the great PubMan confessionals there, wonderful stuff.

    20 years ago the Mrs and I were out in Bakewell (poor drinking town, but still) at exactly 9.50p.m on a Friday night. There were exactly ONE takeaway, about to shut in ten minutes. They had exactly ONE item left, an unbuttered sausage. We paid, then watched in horror as it rolled off the tray into Baslow Road. My good wife counted one-two-three, picked it off the road and broke it in half. Great lady.

  2. Great story, and I’m sure one we all can relate to on a deep level (though we’d rather not admit it!). Beer and food really do pair so wonderfully together, but sometimes convenience and hunger get the better of us all. There’s nothing like sitting in a pub with good food right at hand! Thanks for sharing your story!

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