Wednesday, October 10, 2007

new joe's special (whoever joe is)

NOT only do I have extraordinarily pert buttocks but they now have to be registered with the appropriate authorities as a lethal weapon. What on earth is he on about, you may ask? Well, like most stories on this blog it is one that originates at that well-frequented watering hole known as The Yard.
Last Wednesday there was a good quorum of the usual suspects gathered around one of the tables discussing what they would be doing later. The Prince of Darkness was looking decidedly ropey after a long weekend and was bemoaning the fact that he had been summoned by the Boss to Dempseys, the Irish bar which is treated as home by the disparate group of people that make up the Celtic Supporters Club, Cardiff Branch.
Now I have been there before and must say it is a bit of a surreal experience. The wonderful Withers has also experienced this rare phenomenon. It is a bit like going to some out of the way wildlife park and seeing the monkeys climbing all over your car and breaking off the windscreen wipers.
To demonstrate this to those who haven’t been so lucky to visit the Dempsey’s menagerie I decided to give a demonstration of what they might expect.
Bouncing up and down and singing a quick rendition of “Hey, hey the Celts are here nah nah nah nah nah…” there was suddenly a loud crack and I looked down to see I had broken one of the wooden slats in my chair perfectly in two. Oh the humiliation. I felt like one of those kung fu guys who shouts "Ar... shole!" as he splits wooden planks with his fist.
The rest of the gang were falling around laughing, which wouldn’t be so bad if it was a one off but…

Move forward to Sunday afternoon. We are sitting in exactly the same place, enjoying getting sloshed Sunday, which is a new version of More Beer Monday, Boozeday Tuesday, Thirsty Thursday etc. There is a reason for this gathering of the clans. We are celebrating the joint birithdays of the Wonderful Withers and the Fabulous Baker Boy. They are moaning that the previous night we were so busy in the office that they couldn’t actually get out and enjoy the evening among the thousands of kiwis, French and, for some reason, Irish who have invaded the Welsh capital.
Extraordinary day, by the way. The two southern hemisphere giants went out of the rugby World Cup at the quarter finals stage – Australia beaten by England and the French notching an amazing win over New Zealand. Kiwis are miserable even when they are winning, so when they lose it’s a wake of huge proporitions. It didn’t help that most of them had been convinced they would be staying until the final stages and were now left kicking their heels around Cardiff, not knowing how to hide their disappointment and embarrassment.
But, not for the first time, I’ve veered off the subject. On this occasion the broken chair which was the handiwork of my bum cheeks is still plainly visible, so I go and get a new, fresh seat to sit on. At one stage I jump up – don’t know why to be exact – and sit down rather hastily. Crack! It’s happened again. Cue more outrageous laughter.

… But that’s not the end of the story (stop yawning at the back!} Shift forward again to Boozeday and the Prince of Darkness, the wraith-thin overlord of the night, is discussing his rather underground taste in music – bonny Prince Billie, Seasick Steve and the like - when, lo and behold, he slumps back into his chair and crack! He’s done the same thing. Well, we could have laughed for weeks.
There’s no doubt that we are both black belts in the Marshall Arse. More importantly, it seems to me that Brains brewery have bought a faulty batch of chairs. It’s time they sorted it out because I don’t think I can stand much more of this embarrassment.

Back to Sunday and a fun day was had by all. At about 11 we adjourned to the lava lounge where our photographer Mad Liz, all 4st of her in dripping wet clothes, is thrown around the room by some giant Frenchman keen to show off his jiving skills. The poor thing looked like a rag doll by the end of it.
The wonderful one, meanwhile, was in that kind of drunken state which inevitably brings on a strop. “Where’s my jacket, someone’s stolen my jacket, I’m going home!”
I walk 10 yards to the next table, lift a pile of coats lying beneath it and inquire: “This jacket you mean?”
What’s worse than the wonderful one in a strop? The wonderful one swearing undying gratitude and hugging you. Oh Lordy.

On Sunday I needed a quick meal before popping out so consulted the Observer Food Magazine’s 101 summer recipes and came up with an easy option… they call it the New Joe’s Special.
All you do is brown minced meat with crushed garlic and chopped onion. (I added some mushrooms when the mince was brown). When almost cooked add chopped spinach and stir until wilted. At the last minute stir in two eggs, grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Serve with spaghetti. Good fuel for a boozy day and remarkably quick, too.

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