Thursday, June 14, 2012

In loco parentis

This evening I was in receipt of an invitation to attend a “catering meeting” from a group of people who appear to be governors of a primary or infant school. I, of course, felt obliged to decline – one can only give so much – but am now feeling a little sad.

In mitigation, regular readers (a Mrs Trellis of North Wembley) will be aware that I scarcely have time to eat, what with constant demands for my participation in one project or another. This summer has, of course, had more than the usual degree of lunacy associated with the correspondence. I think that Camilla has been on the telephone five nights out of every six since October, each call with a more preposterous idea. Somersaulting down the aisle at the service (6th November), doing a duet with Grace Jones (January 17th), spiking Philip’s Wincarnis with drain cleaner (January 23rd) (she obviously found some other poor sod to do that). It culminated with her (May 5th) trying to enlist me, Gary Lineker, Shakin’ Stevens and Oliver Letwin to dress up as Somalian pirates and attempt to capsize the barge. She is quite good fun most of the time, but when you’ve missed four episodes of Emmerdale in a week, while she guffaws down the electric telephone sounding much like a pregnant rhino with laryngitis, it does become a bit tiresome.

Then it was some unctuous cove from the Football Association, name of Bernstein or some such (and I only entertained his calls because I assumed he was one of Leonard’s family and wanted me to conduct Candide again). Could I travel with the team to Eastern Europe and give some of my inspiring talks, he wanted to know. “I could, old egg, of course I could. But I won’t” (He didn’t like this). “Tell you what,” I conceded, “You teach them the alphabet, and I will teach them tactics”. I haven’t heard since.

The biggest sodding nuisance of all, and this, I fear, is why I have been sometimes curt in my correspondence with others, has been that irritating little tit Coe and his floppy haired pillock of a mate, Bozza. Will I give out the prizes, will I sing the anthem, and will I act as host to various world leaders and other VIPs. Will I buggery, I told him. That is the edited version. What I suggested he do to Boris, and with what equipment, would result in an event that would make the Olympics worth watching. I doubt, however, whether it will come to pass.

So, members of the school catering committee, I apologise for my brevity, but hope you will be able to sympathise with my plight. I am hoping that the kind people who are my closest associates on this heavenly little corner of the electric internet will leave some comments here that will inspire you to excel in the field of juvenile catering. So, come on, gang. What suggestions do you have for satisfying the discerning palates of the youngest generation?


Pete Hounslow said...

What a card, lovely

Richard said...

Pull your bloody finger out and make the time. They asked you for a reason.

Liz said...

Fish Fingers.

For the juvenile catering, that is.

Pearl said...

Children enjoy a good mystery. Nose-plugs and blindfolds all around and a good old-fashioned game of "What is This I'm Eating?" will ensure that you're not asked again.

Or asked again. You never know.


Roses said...

I confess, I'm completely out of creativity, therefore, I will whole-heartedly support Pearl's idea.

Far better to show will, do a terrible job and never be asked again, than to refuse. They will only pursue you more vigorously in the future. Unfortunately, it is the way with committees and spurned lovers.

Roses said...


Typo alert.

I meant 'show willing'

Vicus Scurra said...

Thank you Pete. You may see a resemblance between some of the commentators here and people on facebook.

Richard. You are so right. Suffer the little children and all that.

Liz. I would prefer vegan, organic comestibles, but thanks for the suggestion.

Pearl! You are a genius.

Roses. I am so pleased to see the correction. There are somethings that it is not appropriate to show.

Z said...

All school governors and caterers should eat in school at least once a week (and pay for themselves, of course). If the food is not fit for them to eat then it isn't fit for the children.

I'd broaden primary schoolchildren's tastes by having a themed week every half term or so. For example, study Spain - history, geography, language etc - and bring in samples of food for them to try in lessons, maybe try their hand at cooking them, and follow up with a week of Spanish food. Give prizes for willingness to try an unfamiliar food if necessary.

Traditional British food, vegetarian and vegan food, food eaten by people of different religions as well as that from other countries would all be suitable topics. If it's all made fun and interesting, it would work. Well, as long as the school has a good cook so the food tastes delicious too.