In a desperate attempt to be liked (or at least accepted) by my peers, I recently acquired a 170g container of shop-bought guacamole. I had a vague notion that, on one of the very rare occasions somebody came to visit, it would be noted I have flamboyant, cosmopolitan taste and this, in turn, would open up channels of conversation/admiration hitherto denied me. Initially, the fluorescent green gloop didn’t appear all that promising, but after a little tweaking and decanting, I was able to approximate one of those food photographs you used to see in cookbooks of the 1970s, or off of the cardboard sleeve of a Vesta quick meal. So far, so good.
Anyway, I popped the concoction into the fridge, cling-wrapped to buggery, and went through my little black book. Who would be the lucky recipient, I wondered? From the dwindling gene pool of those still speaking to me, I decided that my mother was probably the safest bet. After all, she hadn’t seen me in a while and if I seriously cocked up, she’d break it to me gently like mothers do. Having said that, I knew she’d be suspicious if I casually asked her over for nibbles, as I still carry an official warning from the WHO. So I dressed it up a bit: I pretended I’d painted the kitchen in a new eco-friendly Farrow & Ball estate emulsion – Badger’s Backside, or something like that she could relate to – and waited for her to take the bait. It didn’t take long:
Mother: What have you done?
Me: It’s not bollocks. I’ve just painted the kitchen and I thought you’d like to see it.
Mother: I don’t believe you.
Me: Seriously, I have. Why don’t you swing by and I’ll get us something to eat?
Mother: Are you on drugs?
Me: Of course not!
Mother: So what’s the catch?
Me: There’s no catch! It’s just an excuse for you to come over.
Mother: Okay. But this something for us to eat you mentioned. Will you be making it yourself?
Me: Don’t be ridiculous! When have I ever done that?
Mother: I want you to promise me.
Me: I promise. It’ll be from the shops. Like you like.
Mother: No, not how I like! I’m just not comfortable with you getting involved at the business end. Let’s go for a spaghetti or something. I’ll pay.
Me: All right, I’ll come clean: I bought some guacamole the other day and I was just trying to impress someone. But I don’t have anyone any more so I chose you. I’m sorry, I feel a bit cheap now.
Mother: Did you paint the kitchen?
Mother: Did you dick about with the guacamole?
Me: A bit.
Mother: Look, you know I love you…but not that much. I’m going to call the police. Do you understand?
Me: I do.
Mother: Bye for now.
Me: Thanks, Ma.