A Bad Egg

You’ll never guess what I’ve been up to this morning. I’ve only gone and started applying for more restaurant reviewing positions. Yes, as my breakdown-inducing deadline for this current batch (130) lurches ever closer (Sunday) and with time at a premium, I decided this morning to take a few hours off (I can’t afford to take minutes off at the moment, let alone hours) and tout myself around as an up-and-coming critic. I should be fucking locked up.

I put my loopy behaviour down to the absence of my wife, who has flown off to Hong Kong. I tend to go a bit tonto when she’s away. Yesterday I went into a Turkish barbers and theatrically instructed them to shave off all my hair. No longer do I look like an ageing Italian footballer. No, now with my skinhead I look like an egg, and not a particularly good egg. But the oddball behaviour doesn’t end with getting misjudged haircuts, applying for jobs that give me breakdowns or living solely off pate on toast and hot Ribena. Whilst reviewing a restaurant earlier today in Canonbury, the chef suggested I come in for a meal with my ‘lovely lady’. “I’d love to,” I told him “but she’s away at the moment” – and then, inexplicably, I winked at him. I don’t really know why I did this. I think somewhere in my junk shop of a mind I was trying to convey that my wife was in prison. Again, I don’t really know why. But I don’t think he got it – I don’t blame him – I think he just thought I was on some kind of spurious gay cruise.

And so it goes on. This afternoon will see me trudging the mean streets of Crouch End – to mop up the few places I haven’t reviewed. I’ve been to Crouch End several times over the last few weeks, know which restaurants I need to visit and yet I always seem to go back there. I’ll always leave a few, reasoning that I’ll do them ‘some other time’. But why? Why not just do them while I’m there – when I’m there and can actually see them – rather than thinking ‘it’s okay, I can come back’? I live a couple of miles away from Crouch End and never (apart from reviewing) have a reason to go there, yet my notebook is full of stuff like: ‘Afternoon – Crouch End?’ Or “Crouch End again toady?’ I know that I’ll go there this afternoon and leave at least one restaurant to do in my fast running out time. It’s ridiculous. And, perhaps, fitting. In fact, ‘Crouch End Again?’ could well be my epitaph.

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8 responses to “A Bad Egg

  1. were the autograph requests getting too much? they’ll never recognize you now sans hair. maybe get some big sunglasses. a sure sign of a film star trying not to look like one…

    good luck with the reviews! time to cowboy up, PTW. or whatever it is that you Brits do to kick some ass.

  2. Brace Up, Camera Bird, brace up; that’s what we do.

  3. Christopher Goodfellow

    Thanks Camera Bird, a Google stalk of your name had me watching the chainsaws-mimicking Lyrebird (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3433507052114896375#). Best procrastination of the day (so far).

  4. That looks – or rather sounds – almost too good to be true Christopher Goodfellow. I liked it.
    Camera Bird/Bingo: yes, have been bracing/cowboying up. In fact, when I’m not smoking, lying in a dark room or watching Goodfellow’s links, I’m making good progress and reckon I’m going to make the deadline, a sure sign that in some way I’m going to fuck it up.

  5. Crouch End is a lot better than Stoke Newington. So, you obviously spend so much time in Crouch End because you secretly wish you could afford to live there instead of Stoke Newington.

    I was lucky enough to buy a house on the edge of Crouch End in the days when the whole place was burnt out and semi-derelict and houses almost as cheap as a packet of fags.

    That was way back in 1979. My £24 000 five bedroomed, almost very large house soared to about a million squids.

    But I didn’t see any of that though as a combination of a screwed up divorcing (bit of an idiot really) wife and the financial industry managed to milk me of the lot in the end.

    Crouch End is definitely the best part of London I ever lived in. It gives one inspiration – to procrastinate; the principle occupation of any respectable writer.

    You’re in good company there.

  6. Indeed Boz – I’m the king of procrastination. Do I really want to live in Crouch End though? Perhaps, when I get some cash (this may never happen), I could employ you as my analyst.

  7. We’re on the edge of our seats, PTW. Did you make the Sunday deadline? Did you brace up or perhaps utilize your new big sunglasses for hiding purposes?

    ….I feel another cartoon coming on…. don’t let it delay your reply too long!

  8. Have you forgotten about your fans? People are getting antsy over here.

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