New Post Advanced Search

Coronavirus: The latest from MSE


The MSE team is working extremely hard to keep the info we have about your travel rights, cancellation rights, sick pay (and more) up to date.
The official MSE guides: UPDATED MSE Coronavirus Guides

NEWSFLASH


New, free ‘Academoney’ course from MSE and the Open University launches
All the key areas of personal finance are covered, so that you can master your money decisions


Free Food

edited 25 April 2016 at 11:57AM in Shop but don't drop
75 replies 35.3K views
124678

Replies

  • SystemSystem
    177.7K posts
    10,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    My first visit to the site & I find the artichoke-induced flatulence incident.

    Thank you sooo much. ;D
  • SystemSystem
    177.7K posts
    10,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Tim

    U really are hysterical - i've laughed in teh office today like no other - with everyone wondering what it's all about. Soon the WWW will hear your hilarious story and worlwide recognition for squeezing on to pharts awaits u ;D
  • AndreaAndrea Forumite
    368 posts
    I've been Money Tipped! Chutzpah Haggler I'm a Volunteer Board Guide Newshound!
    Oh Tim, ;D ;D ;D please do keep them coming ... so to speak! ;D ;D ;D I haven't laughed so much in ages ;D ;D ;D
  • AndreaAndrea Forumite
    368 posts
    I've been Money Tipped! Chutzpah Haggler I'm a Volunteer Board Guide Newshound!
    Just to clarify, I meant the stories and not the f...ts ;D
  • SystemSystem
    177.7K posts
    10,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Reading about Tim's Free Food and Business Trips prompts me to tell you about the time my dear husband, Lord Melville, went on a business trip to Alaska. He was not there for long and had two important Clients to visit. Anyone who has been on one will know that Business Trips always involve "eating out"! in fact it is actively encouraged! On this particular day he met up with his first lot of Clients who suggested taking him out for dinner. Bear Steak was a speciality and they felt that as he was there they should treat him by taking him to "the only restaurant in the area that does Bear Steak" They tend to eat out early in Alaska and he was whisked away in the Company Saloon to arrive at the restaurant at 4.30pm. The restaurant Manager was at pains to point out that Bear Steak was indeed a delicacy and that they only had four steaks available that day. The members of the Company hierarchy declined but insisted my dear beloved should enjoy the treat. This he duly did and fortified with a delicious meal and excellent claret he finally got back to his hotel room, where having just fallen into a post prandial slumber he was woken by the phone ringing. It was his other Clients. They were most excited. They had heard that he would like to try Bear Steak and would be picking him up in 15 minutes to take him to "the only restaurant in the area that provides this treat". Feeling somewhat like a baffled Bear himself and unwilling to offend he unfolded his 6'4" frame, got booted and suited and was once more whisked off by Company Car to meet his new hosts at the same restaurant. To the delight of his Clients and the utter astonishment of the Manager and his staff, my dear husband gallantly flew the flag for Blighty and polished off his second and ...."the last remaining Bear Steak".
    After hearing this story I had to put him on a strict diet for several weeks for whilst this was a most amusing visit to the Magical World of Business Entertaining we would have had to spend more money on buying him new clothes to accommodate his giant circumferance!
  • Tim_LTim_L Forumite
    3.8K posts
    I must confess that my heart is rather swelling with pride at having started the 8th most popular thread of all time (and, I note, the 1st most popular that doesn't involve getting free money from on-line casinos, although to boost my ratings still further I am thinking of starting a scheme whereby if you deposit, say, one cheese and leek sandwich, I will match it with a smoked ham and mayo and give you the chance of gambling on a chance of winning a smoked salmon and cream cheese thingy (so to speak) on a stick: really, you can't lose).

    So much so that I have been rather immodestly telling some of my relations about the site, and they have been forthcoming with some tips of their own. One of these, from one of my cousins, I thought well worthy of inclusion as a potentially very useful tip, although I couldn't persuade her to post it herself because she felt our family would get "a bit of a reputation".

    Apparently, when her company was working on contract for another company there was a bit of a high level crisis about the expense claims, and eventually the hotel laundry bills were subjected to approval only after close scrutiny from accountants working for the clients. It turned out that people were packing their curtains up with their baggage and having them cleaned by the hotel...

    Certainly shows more panache than simply stealing the soap, I fancy.
  • Tim_LTim_L Forumite
    3.8K posts
    OK, this has nothing at all to do with free food, but I did promise I’d tell the story of my pet camembert if the free food thread reached 4,500 page views, which it has, thanks to Mini. So, for better or worse, here it is (in two parts, because the chat room software won't allow it all to be posted in one go).

    I have always been a bit of a fan of extreme cheese. When one has tasted the delights of the “Puant de Lille” (literally, the Stinker of Lille), or another, arguably the smelliest cheese in existence, Limburg, which, incidentally, was used to prosecute a bitter feud involving variously a radiator, a weekend, the back of a desk drawer, and an office fan by two colleagues in my company’s French office, the rather scrubbed and sanitized specimens of yellow plastic one finds in even the most adventurous English supermarket are less than inspiring. As a rule, if you can’t smell the cheese department from about 3 miles downwind of the shop, it is worthy of little more than contempt.

    So I never miss an opportunity to obtain a little of the more advanced variety, freely available just across the Channel (please, stop snickering at the back, I mean cheese). And if I have a colleague who is travelling across, I always make a point of asking if he or she would be so kind as to pick me up a nice Camembert au Lait Cru (in other words, unpasteurised, which is to say heaving with delicious Gallic micro-organisms).

    So one summer, I made such a routine request to a Chinese friend who was travelling on holiday to France with his wife (a delightful Thai whose demure exterior and tranquil charm obscured the fact that her maniacal culinary applications of mass quantities of chili were responsible for 75% of the internal burns cases at Worthing Hospital A&E, including most of the particularly embarrassing ones. However, I digress).

    Now I believe I read somewhere that the Chinese are short of an enzyme or bacterium in their digestive tract that makes it difficult for them to digest dairy products; whatever the truth of this, the cheese certainly does not figure in any of the Chow Mein variants I am aware of. Anyway, the practical upshot of this state of affairs was something of a lack of experience in matters cheese on the part of my friend.

    The day of the holiday arrived. My friend, anxious to fulfil his part of the bargain, stopped his car at the first roadside cheese stall he encountered, located a nice squishy camembert (poking it in the expert manner in which I had carefully instructed him), made the purchase, and placed the carefully wrapped package on the back parcel shelf of his car.

    Now it was August, and a particularly hot one at that.

    The horrific results can only be imagined, as they unfolded during the course of the long weekend. The gradual sense of creeping unease and the checking of socks; the return from the excursion to the beach to find a car steamed up from the inside, full of noxious vapour; the attempts to blame this on the French drains. And so on.

    Still, to his credit, my friend did not simply, as many would have done (and despite the risk to his marriage, or at the very least the very present danger of an impending death by chilli), deposited the offending item in the nearest “poubelle” to be dealt with by authorities “bien protégé” with the correct cheese disposal equipment, but kept it on the back parcel shelf throughout his long weekend and proudly came into the office with it (albeit somewhat at arms length) on his return, whereupon he proceeded to plop it inscrutably onto my desk, where it sat, quivering.

    This was not, I have to say, the wisest course of action. Our building is modern, and has won awards. Specifically it has won awards for its novel and ingenious ventilation system, wherein a cunning system of ducts and fans draws air from one part of the building and circulates it elsewhere, maintaining a cool and breezy ambiance at all times, with the exception of those times when a somewhat overripe Camembert au Lait Cru is placed directly beneath one of the intake ducts. In which case, the scene more closely resembles that part of a James Bond film where the Ninja arrive through the roof and everyone piles out of the secret underground base through the windows before it blows up.

    Those of us blessed with children, however, will know that one very rapidly gets accustomed to anything, however disgusting, and so once the initial waves of nausea had subsided a little, I cautiously approached within pencil-poking distance of what I can only describe as a seething, undulating, pulsating mass of living cheese. On being touched it made soothing gloop gloop noises, and wobbled with apparent pleasure.

    I felt I had at least made friends, but this did not alter the fact that the Health and Safety representative was circling with dark intent (and full protective clothing). Somehow my cheese and I had to make it through the day.

    I tried several techniques to mitigate the effects of the problem. An attempt to calm the cheese by placing it in the executive Management team fridge was, I regret to say, a disaster, as the residual odour contaminated their milk for several weeks and I believe has cost me at least one promotion (it was not so much that I had offended the management team so much as I had offended the management team secretary, which of course is where the true power lies).

    However eventually I found a place for the cheese at a spare desk in the hardware department. To their credit, they took to it as if it were one of their own. And since no-one knows precisely where the design for the very clever switch mode PSU in our most recent product came from, I think there is every chance that kindness was repaid with kindness. I would like to think so.

    [continued below]
  • Tim_LTim_L Forumite
    3.8K posts
    The day slowly drew to a close, and I proudly took my cheese in my hands to present to Mrs Linnell, purchasing an authentic French stick on the way home in anticipation of what the French so aptly term the “degustation”.

    Mrs Linnell is a kind and understanding woman. She has to be, you will say, to put up with me (I know you will say that, because everyone does). However on this occasion, she had evidently got out of bed the wrong side, and the rather steely regard with which she fixed me and my precious prize did seem to indicate that she was in a mood that I can only portray as less than receptive to what I was beginning to regard as a lifeform in its own right, a friend almost. In the spirited exchange of views that followed, it became clear that it would not be allowed in the house, let alone fridge, and that I would do well to remove it as far away as possible.

    I therefore repaired to the garden, my baguette sous les bras (to “mes lecteurs anglais”, I should point out this is a highly amusing bilingual joke that will amply repay a study of French slang), ready at last to tuck into the delights of a real camembert au lait cru, juste au point.

    I placed the camembert carefully on the ground in an isolated spot, far from the prying eyes of the neighbours, and gingerly cut into it. The cheese let out a soft slurping noise, then a gentle moaning sound, and its golden treasure poured forth.

    I must say that what was peculiar about this particular cheese was that it was evidently self healing. As I cut a slice, the wound drew immediately itself together and the cheese was renewed, seemingly without any loss of volume. I must say that my excitement at having what thereby seemed to be a limitless supply of cheese was only tempered by the effects of being slightly overcome by ammonia poisoning

    There are many who would have baulked at this point, and not carefully spread some of the resultant sticky goo onto their French stick, and tentatively tasted it. But not me. If not exactly a conventional experience (the best way of describing it would be as concentrated fermented essence of summer sports sock), it was perfectly acceptable. But I was left with a certain residual guilt: the same sort of mixture of feelings one gets when one has just enjoyed one’s pet rabbit served up in a nice mustard sauce. Obviously I could go no further, and wept openly at the realisation that for the good of the neighbourhood (we have had a good few years for house prices, and it would be a shame to spoil things), and for my cheese, we had come to the parting of the ways. Probably the fumes had something to do with it too.

    So, anyone out late that night would have been surprised to see me with a spade, digging a neat hole in a secluded part of the lawn. The cheese is now buried in a lead box in the garden, where I am certain it is still living, and perhaps evolving further.

    But, I assure you, it can be brought out at only 45 minutes notice if required.


    NB Beware: Camembert au Lait Cru should not be eaten by pregnant women, children, or indeed anyone not prepared to spend two weeks doubled over in the smallest room with stomach cramps and an ample supply of Andrex quilted.
  • May i congratulate you for your short stories . You can see how it goes on here and consider publishing !
    Keep them up
    WELL DONE
    'The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides with the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and good will shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon those with great vengeance and with furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support