Thursday, 24 December 2015

The Pop-Up Vegan Bistro of Christmas Past


  The Simpson's annual pop up Christmas bistro went vegan the year Francis Quentin-Curnow was six.   
  Francis had apparently been born gluten and lactose intolerant and with IBS. His wasn't cradle cap so much as Intensive Care Baby Incubator cap. By the time he was four he was asthmatic, eczmatic, diabetic and rivalled pure violet light for taking up space on the spectrum. Aged five he asked to go in the carnival procession as Anne Frank. The following year he announced that he was now vegan, please. 
  On the QT that winter Gerard (remember Gerard?) encouraged Francis to adopt a yak. Daphne, Gerard's mother, was Francis's godmother. It was Gerard's year for getting village girls to adopt yaks; and to sponsor water purifiers in Somalia, or Zimbabwean rebels who were plotting to overthrow Mugabe. The BACS  details given for all the various donations were Gerard's, of course. 
  The game was up with Francis when he (Francis) read aloud a letter that had, apparently, come from Yannik the Yak in Guatemala. 
  Dear Francis, 
  I skip around coffee plantation clippy-cloppy today and sit now under tree to writing at you. I have yesterday before some days collect from post office your lovely present which I have eated. Would you like some of it sent back over at you as dried droppings, keeping-sakety? As for photo you been asking for, I need to know that you are genuine because many yaks adopted here have sent photo of themself to a person and then get letter again from this person saying they lie down with letter and dirty-touch theyselves. 
  Up the Red Cross.
  Love (but not in dirty-touching youself way, okay?!) Yannik Yak.
  P.S. You must send more money immediately for yak-butted injury orphans.  I have made quite many of those. 
  Gerard's granny, Lady Simpson, made Gerard return all Francis's payments and then spell: extortion, despicable and overembellishment
  Gerard was briefly back in favour when he get all the posters and flyers advertising the pop-up vegan Christmas bistro printed for free. As he drunkenly confided to me: 
  'I got Forbes Solicitors to do them.  I knew what happened just required me to bide my good time, sweets. When I was fourteen I'd just got out of the showers in the Yacht Club and Christian Forbes himself, pissed, had come into the changing room.  He said that I would have been - and I quote - "the most rampantly florid little morsel were my balls still up".'
  Gerard's mother, Daphne, said as he had been shown such initiative over the posters and flyers she would allow him to name something to go on that year's bistro menu.
  'It was a vegan version of pigs in blankets, sweets,' said Gerard.  'And she made me taste it. It was vile.  And as I couldn't say anything nice, I tried to say nothing at all. But she was on and on at me. Everybody else was chipping in. And then my uncle Miles actually, actually called me a whippersnapper. Who am I? Oliver cocking Twist? So I told them they should call the dish Putrifying Penis in Leprous Clitoral Flange - in Helvetica font.'
  He was grounded till Twelfth Night.


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