You probably know the classic vegan joke, why did the vegan cross the road? The answer is, of course, to tell you that they are a vegan.
Yet there is so often truth in jest, I was cooking dinner the other night and went to the herb pot outside for some chives to go with the buttered new potatoes.
My new female neighbour is just outside, I’ve met the husband but not her so this is our first intercourse.
I already know that she is a specialist in ceramics and makes artisan pots, not normal pots but artisan ones, this tells me much in advance and so I am well briefed.
The opening round is just a little sparring, how are you settling in, that type of stuff and we circle each other warily.
She then says, “What are you cooking, it smells wonderful, although I’m a vegan.”
Bang! Right on the chin, straight in there, kudos as we used to say, and also in less than two minutes on my stopwatch, see me, feel me, touch me, I am the ultimate life form, behold my veganism.
She’s good and I am now aware that I have a proper contest on my hands. Had Graham Taylor and Phil Neal been present they would surely have said, “This will be a test, this will be a real test.”
I’m rather tempted to go with, “I so admire your sacrifice but I just can’t imagine a life without quiche.” This is what I call the Waitrose shuffle and it usually puts the opponent on the back foot. You have signaled your social standing whilst also still paying lip service to the preservation of furry things.
I opt however for the more direct counter, I’m keenly aware that the early use of veganism means I am facing a genuine contender so I just windmill and go with, “Oh vegan, that’s interesting, and do you prefer that to real food?”
She rocks back on her heels, she is unsteady and I see her eyes are momentarily blank.
I quickly follow up with, “It’s actually chicken marinaded in lime with herbs de Provence, minced garlic and bacon lardons.”
It actually isn’t, however the psychological point is all important here, the emphasis of the vast array of food that is available to normal people disorientates vegans who only have about five meals in the whole world to choose from.
These incidentally must always contain soy or lentils whilst being in a tribute shape of real human food such as sausage.
She covers up and jabs back weakly, “Well it smells wonderful, whatever it is.”
This is too easy now, “You don’t have to miss out entirely, I can eat it in the garden and you can watch through the window.”
Just as she crumples to the canvas my oven ringer goes, saved by the bell indeed. I don’t think there will be any call for a rematch.
* * *
Why is Nish Kumar and what is it for?
Well apparently he is a stalwart of such TV gems as The Mash Report, Mock the Week and other similar frippery.
Having seen brief glimpses and believe me, brief is more than adequate, I was radically forced to re-evaluate what constitutes a comedian nowadays.
If comedians were body parts Nish would be a scrotal wart, he has the grating, stilted vocal delivery of a small child who has been asked to tell a joke in front of grownups.
He giggles, somewhat like a Japanese schoolgirl, his face behind his hand, where it really ought to be at all times, at his own puerile banter.
He finally collapses, far too slowly for my liking, face down on the desk. This occurs usually in the event that one of his fellow ‘comedians’ utters some totally banal comment, which they do, very frequently.
His fellow ‘comedians’ are usually such giants of humour like Ed Gamble or Sarah Pascoe, the true comedy greats. I personally can’t wait for a repeat of ‘an audience’ with either of these two, hopefully once ‘they are no longer with us.’
If I was ripped to the tits on Nitrous Oxide with a side of finest Lebanese Black and a sprinkle of Oxytocin then Nish Kumar would still not be funny, not at all, not under any circumstances.
In comparison the trite and banal trio of Andy Parsons, Russell Howard and Josh Widdecombe are comedic virtuosos of the 10th Dan, masters of mirth, heroes of humour and indeed, denizens of drollness.
I was therefore rather curious as to how this flakey imposter received any employment in the field of any form of TV entertainment, let alone humour. The clue, of course, is that he appears mostly on the BBC, it shoehorns him into whatever passes for humour in their warped agenda, he fills a quota, a lefty ethnic to promote their shabby, alternative, progressive syllabus. That’s it, I wish there was more but that’s all there is.
This judgment is absolutely nothing to do with race, if they are funny then they are funny, I have been a fan, over the years, of Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Russell Peters and also Patrice O’Neal and Richard Pryor in their day. They are or were funny, Nish Kumar simply isn’t.
If you want to promote ethnic comedians then do so by ability and not by agenda.
Once the home of true comedy greats like Hancock, Eric Morecambe, Tommy Cooper, Monty Python, Victoria Wood, Ronnie Barker, Spike Milligan, Del Boy and many others the BBC is now reduced to shoveling tepid horse manure into the living rooms of the undiscriminating and terminally stupid.
If you see the phrase ‘featuring Nish Kumar’ in your TV guide please move along swiftly, I promise you, there’s nothing to see here.
* * *
Just a short time ago this brave island courageously survived both Thundersnow and Snowmaggedon, what would be next, how would we even know what essential journeys we should undertake?
My icepick, thermos and hazard warning beacons were constantly by my side, even in the relative safety of my bedroom where I dozed fitfully.
In truth the nation was reeling at this point. Some speculated that perhaps even Snowzilla was on his way and it would be Snowpocalypse.
The media handled it, as always, responsibly. There was no sensationalist reportage, just reassuring facts and sensible advice, they were an inspiration and a lighthouse of common sense for us all.
Then came the news we had all feared, the Beast was coming, the Beast from the East, this was the big one.
As the Beast raged and almost two centimeters of slush piled up outside my door I realized that provisions were low, I had to make the choice, do I die on my knees or do I go out like a man?
I realized that I must do what I have to do, whatever the consequences. This is from my journal on that fateful day;
I took on the Beast today, I sensibly added one extra layer to my regular winter outfit, a sturdy but fashionable cashmere pullover and then it was Showtime, or should that be Snowtime?
“Bring it Ivan” I said and looked straight into his ice-cold Siberian eyes. I swear he blanched visibly, bullies do when you stand up to them.
A swift foray to Mr. Spencer’s fine emporium provided a rather unexpected opportunity to purchase a meal for two with sides for just one shiny, slippery plastic £10 note.
I must confess this meal will not be shared, I shall eat both the meals myself over two separate days and consequently the laugh is on them.
I don’t think they carry out any follow up checks but even if they do a man who stands up to the Beast fears very little.
Facial cheeks aglow I returned to my overheated hovel, Beast from the East, he is but a spritely breeze, I’ve shit him.
© Viciousbutfair 2018