We live therefore we eat. Or, if you prefer, we eat therefore we live. Either way eating is something all of us must do. Just what we eat is a matter of choice as is the decision as to whether breakfast, lunch or supper is the main meal of the day. Supper’s mine. Derived from the French souper, the time of day that supper is taken varies around the world. In the United States and Canada, supper is served between 6pm and 8pm. In New Zealand supper could be cake and tea/coffee served later in the evening, particularly when people have visitors. In Australia, supper may refer to a late light snack after dinner. In Germany “abendessen” is eaten between 5.30pm and 8.30pm while in Poland “kolacja” is taken from 6pm to 9pm. In Singapore supper is sometime between 9pm to 12 midnight and in Portugal, Spain, Latin America, Asia and the Arab World, it may be taken just before retiring to bed. Different strokes for different folks but no matter where you find yourself or to which cultural dictates you subscribe, one thing remains constant. When you’re having supper you are occupied…..otherwise engaged….. off-line….powdered down and at the very least you’ve got a face full of food and grazing spanners in both hands and it is common knowledge, to most, that any interruption is undesiable.
So why is it that some wart-neck will choose this time to phone and try and sell me something? There I am with the perfect bite delicately perched atop my fork. With steady hand headed towards my mouth and mouth slowly moving towards my hand – (ok, I concede that this co-ordinated movement technique is weird but that’s what I do….deal with it!) I’m just about to pop the tasty morsel into my mouth when without warning… RING RING RING! Right there I shit myself setting off an involuntary chain reaction. The food ends up in my lap. I stab myself in the face with the fork and fling the knife the across the room where it ends up lodged in the ornamental candle aunt Aggie left me in her will. All this happens as I dive for the phone and the chaos is complete as I startle the animals who are usually settled by this time of day. The dog thinks I’m playing fetch, chases down the knife and trashes the delicate arrangement on the coffee table. The cat, after a panicked dart around the room scratching and flattening sundry people or items in its path, heads straight for the cat-flap and disappears into the night. With a fork stuck in my kisser, food everywhere and amid disorder of Krakatoan proportions, I answer the phone thinking that this better be good. The voice on the other end says….. “Good evening, my name is Wackjob Waddletwot. I am calling you on behalf of Magic Meal Vouchers and I have good news for you. Your name has been selected from two hundred gazillion names and you have won a free meal voucher to the value of R300.00. To claim your prize all you have to do is invest R724.00 in a book of vouchers and we will add your prize to this giving a total value of R1,024.00. To take advantage of this once-off offer, all we need are your credit card details. Are you interested and can we sign you up?” At this point the fork induced pain in my face gives way to a throbbing in my ear. From the toes up, I feel my blood begin to boil. I’m overcome with the urge to reach down the line and rip out dear Waddletwot’s tonsils and feed them to the dog…. but that’ not going to happen…. there is a candle lodged in its throat. I fight the driving desire to fling the phone across the room but think better of that knowing that the cat, which is half way back through the cat flap, will do a u-turn, head for the hills never to be seen again. Instead …..
“Do you know what time it is?”
“Yes it’s 7:13 pm”
“Great. Your brain is sufficiently developed to tell the time”
“Tell me Wackjob, are you aware that, in our culture, most people are having supper at this time of the evening?”
“So with grey matter at least this developed, what is in there that makes you think that I would be interested in anything you have to offer at this time of the evening while I’m trying to have my supper?”
“Your name was drawn and you are a winner”
“Well thank you Wackjob. Tell me, do you have a family”
“Well here’s what I want you do. Are you listening carefully?”
“I want to reward your generosity by donating my prize to your family. Now run along, phone them and ruin their supper. Hopefully they will be pissed off enough to have you committed. They would be doing you a favour. Anyone who is clever enough to know that 7:13pm is supper time but not sufficiently bright to know that this not the time to call about Magic Meal Vouchers, should be locked in a padded cell for their own protection. You are a menace and given your level of stupidity I’m willing to bet that you drive slowly in the right hand lane, forget to switch cell-phone off at funerals and insist on touching the paint to see if it is really wet! Thank God you weren’t around at The Last Supper! We all live under the threat of nuclear destruction but the fire and brimstone you would have triggered reduces any nuclear threat to a Boy Scout campfire with everybody sitting around singing Kumbayja! Think how that would have screwed with Dan Brown’s version of events. Oh, I forgot, given your dip-shit mentality, you probably have no idea who Dan Brown is. This begs the question, were you born an idiot or did you practice?”
The toss-jockey put down. Never did get any answers and I will never know whether he was committed or whether he is still out there lurking. So next time the phone in your house rings at supper time, be wary…..be very wary.