Tags

, , , , , , ,

This may not be suitable reading if you’re about to have breakfast. I’m just saying.

All the fully dedicated urban warriors in my audience will be well up for the idea of clearing a swanky restaurant. Swanky restaurants are anathema. They do not purvey, of course, tofu and tempe with seaweed, and they epitomise the corruption of the capitalist military-industrial complex and its oppression of the masses. So you might try simply storming the place. This will paradoxically meet with stiff resistance from the proletariat, to whit the staff, who being brainwashed lackeys, will take exception to you, their saviours, upsetting the clientele. You’re likely to encounter some trouble with the running hyenas of the paramilitary forces of law and order.

You could do a Rodney Dangerfield/Caddyshack thing, arrive with a load of cash and a gobby attitude, and try to annoy people that way. Alas, the maitre de will simply point out you’re not wearing a tie, and have the running dog lackeys of the lickspittle capitalist system throw you out on your ear.

Maybe dress up as a bunch of hoorays, go in, get drunk, have a foodfight, and goose the waitresses as they bend to retrieve bread rolls from under the table. Sadly, what with droit de seigneur still in play, nobody will bat an eyelid.

You need to recruit an unlikely ally. Someone within the imperialist/royalist cabal. A Companion of the Order of St George and St Michael, say. That might do. In fact I know it will, because I have been there when said hyena of the plutocratic hegemony did clear a swanky restaurant in the very swanky town of Harrogate. You’d be unlikely to make it into town in your whiteboy dreads and combat boots, but a CMG in a smart suit, white shirt, pocket kerchief, polished shoes, fits right in.

During my life in healthcare advertising I had to learn a great deal about bowel habits. Some of this knowledge was reflected in my famous Government Health Warning http://wp.me/P2C8Zz-mQ

Anyway, the client I was working with employed a consultant, no less a personage than Denis Burkitt, discoverer of Burkitt’s lymphoma, and also widely credited with establishing the link between low fibre diets and bowel disease. (I should point out that the widely trumpeted link between low fibre and increased likelihood of bowel cancer has since been disproved, but it’s still a good idea to keep your fibre intake up.)

He was a very affable man, very funny, a good raconteur. He was also immensely knowledgeable, and much of his knowledge was about bowels and bowel movements. He was ready and willing to impart this knowledge at any and every opportunity, including the dining table. As he put it enthusiastically,’ Nothing to be ashamed of, having a bowel movement. We all do it. Even the Queen has bowel movements, you know.’ It’s not that long ago he could have been slung in the Tower for that, then executed for treason. It might even have involved him being disembowelled, which would have a joyful irony about it.

He had a slightly plummy voice that, though not really loud, had an ability to carry to the farthest reaches of a restaurant. He also had some very strong views on the ideal size, shape, consistency, and buoyancy of the perfect stool.

If you’re at all interested, here’s the lowdown on the perfect turd. It should be 4 to 5 inches in length. It should be tapered at both ends. It should be smooth, with no surface cracking. It should float. There, I do hope that’s helped your breakfast go down.

It certainly didn’t aid the ingestive and digestive processes of the other diners. There was some throat clearing, some well mannered mild seat shuffling, the occasionally overloud laugh, an occasional slight titter. The clanking of heavy silver cutlery and clinking of crystal slowed down, except at our table, where we were eating quite normally.

So far so good. Then Denis dropped a bombshell, if I may use that term in such circumstances. His squatters’ theory.

I can sense a shuffle of excitement among my collective here. Squatting’s good, reclaiming for the masses property stolen from the masses. Right on! Except that wasn’t what Denis meant.

I was fascinated to learn that the longest known case of constipation on record is over a year. The patient exhibited no symptoms apart from a mild stomach ache and a degree of halitosis. Interesting stuff, eh?

To his dying day Denis had a theory, still unproven, that the squatting position for defaecation, as opposed to the sitting position usual in Western countries, was protective against a variety of bowel diseases. He was a big fan of French squat-plate toilets, surely the only Englishman ever to have admired this particular approach to sanitary ware. When I questioned him, he did admit that one of the big drawbacks of these was a tendency to crap in your back pocket, but apart from that squatting is the way to go.

This theory wasn’t a big hit amongst the fellow diners, I have to say. Expressions became more fixed as if the entire room had been to a Botox party. Decisions were made to take coffee in th lobby rather than at the table. Denis just carried on. I don’t think he was oblivious. He genuinely didn’t see that the subject should be taboo.

And he was a CMG. Must have been right. And an unusual person to be a one man Fifth Column for the crusty brigades.