Monday, 26 November 2012

Food-fight Service

I reckon I've just about washed all the mess off myself now.

It is a fundamental human need to share a meal. It's the thing that distinguishes us from the animals. Apart from jackals and hyenas, obviously. So I really thought this evening's "Roast Dinner Service" was a great idea. Everybody sat in the Moot House together, in a big open circle, rather than the serried ranks of the Great House dining room. And after I authorised Burton to loosen the purse-strings, Bernie had promised to cook something that wasn't recovered from the hard shoulder of the M1.

So we were sat there, the low-alcohol wine-effect grape juice was flowing, and I was eating something that looked like it might well have once lived on a farm, rather than skipped across the motorway.  I mean, wallaby? How did he get a wallaby the other week? As Bertie Wooster would put it, reason and soul flowed. And then we moved into the "creative" part of the ceremony. Each was to bring a song, a juggling act, or a favourite reading.

And then the Yorkshire pudding landed on Marston's head. I suspect that Young Keith flung it. Marston had, at that very point, just reached a particularly poignant and incomprehensible part of the recitation of some metaphysical poetry, and Young Keith had just had enough. Marston's not over-bright, but he does know how to throw a Brussels sprout. So the sprouts started flying in the general direction the pud had come from. Then the roast beetroots flew across the place - a very earthy taste, has a roast beetroot - and next thing we knew the air was full of flying vegetables. It was the tinned carrots caused the most problem - as Bernie hadn't actually taken them out of the tins prior to throwing them.

Now I'm not sure that you can technically call a meeting at which everyone gets covered in roast potato "worship". But it brought us together - into two loosely-organised "sides", at any rate" - taught us something about hardship, something about team work, something about sacrifice. And something about the viscosity of gravy.

There will be even more to learn about sacrifice in the morning. The Beaker Folk will be giving up their spare time to scrub down the walls of the Moot House. It may be organic and natural. but pulverised potato is a very bad lining for the inside of a worship venue.


  1. Must have taken you back to your Public School food fights :)

    In the Army, this was common, but it tended to be bread rolls or toast with marmite on, which is guaranteed to adhere to whoever it hits.

    And a bread roll, dipped in gravy, is quite heavy and a hit on the head with one, thrown with some force is liable to cause a KO.

    It was known as high spirits, and much encouraged among the young, blue bloods in the Officers Mess. I, coming from the Sergeants Mess on commissioning thought it all a bit naff. I was more used to the Arm Wrestling, murder ball or boat rowing antics of the Sergeants Mess. Less mess and much healthier as the trials of strength gave a pecking order, which belied the rank of the individual.

    Taking the RSM was the ultimate feat. Until you became the RSM, when you needed to have all of your bodily strength to keep the upstarts in line.

    I found that a strategic wack on the head with my Pace Stick seemed to work every time.

  2. KirstenM, apologies. I deleted a spam comment on this post, and it removed your erudite response.


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