Last night I watched An Idiot Abroad with the spouse. In this episode, Karl Pilkington went to Uganda and South Africa, ostensibly to see some gorillas in the wild — but of course in traditional Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant style, he is sent on various other missions to include finger painting with cow dung with the Ndebele tribe and tracking rhinos by tasting their droppings.
I was jealous too.
During this stint, Karl was told that the Ndebele tribe would teach him their painting tricks if he would cook a dinner for their king. If you’ve ever watched the show, you’ll probably cringe at that description on the basis of past experience.
Karl set about shopping to cook for the king. He bought various items that he would have about in England — packets of crisps (that’s chips if you hail from the Americas), gummi worms, beans, toast, cheese, etc. He bought Coke and Fanta. He prepared to cook a dinner for the king of the tribe, thinking he was just cooking for the king and a couple others.
When they showed up (wearing whole cheetahs, Karl remarked), there were many more than he expected. No less than six or seven in the king’s retinue, and Karl became frantic trying to get his toast with beans and cheese sorted. The king asked him where the meat was — because men eat meat. This of course flustered poor Karl, who hadn’t any meat. Instead he went onto the next course. He made custard and cake for dessert, and the king and company asked for more, which sent Karl into a right tizzy.
As I pull and prod my manuscript into some semblance of order, I wonder if I’m actually Karl Pilkington trying to cook for the king. Here I am doing my thing with my toast and beans and biscuits, and all I’m wondering is if the king and his retinue will savor this bit of Emmie au gratin, or if they will wonder where the meat is.
I’m hoping they’ll think it’s a right delicacy, my manuscript. 🙂
When was the last time you felt like you were cooking for a foreign king? Did you know what was expected of you, or did you feel like some guy might just pop out wearing a cheetah?
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