I just had a birthday. Some people want a bike for their birthday, others a party dress or a My Little Pony. But my one wish, pure and simple, was to get through one day without being engaged in conversation about Romanian food. More a mission, really. And if you think this should be easy then you’ve never lived where I live. These are the diversionary tactics I tried:
(1) Talking about everybody’s 2nd favourite topic of conversation: members of their family.
(2) Wearing my full highland dress: a kind of “shock and awe” tactic.
(3) Pretending I was French, so I'd be expected to neither understand nor care - or, alternatively, so they’d talk about another nation’s cuisine... or food in general... or food as a metaphor for something else... anything, really.
(4) Getting drunk. (This, as usual, happened later after everybody else had left).
We'd invited many people to our house, good people, honest people, people I care about. But despite this I knew from the moment I woke up that I would fail. But this put no halter on my blind ambition, and I hereby bask in the glory of Heroic British Failuredom:
(1) “Hands off cocks on socks we’re charging the Russian guns! Yes, lovely boy, it’s called “The Valley Of Death”, you want me to draw you a map does you? Oh, I see you is crying: is it because I am standing on your hair?!” (etc)
(2) “Hey you, Oatsie Boy, pop outside there’s a good chap I think one of the sledge-marmosets has run orf. Don’t bother looking for your boots, I ate them last night with a rather nice Chianti that I bought with me.”
(3) “I, George Mallory, am going up Everest, but I'm not taking any oxygen with me ‘cos that’s for poofs, innit. Oh, and if see me fall over come up and turn me round so it looks like was coming down.”
(4) Across the Andes by Frog.
Heck, I was so bomb-happy at the end of the day that I took everybody out for dinner at a Romanian restaurant.