‘My book has arrived?‘ Neil said.
‘The book. Jamie Oliver’s Super Food. I’m cooking tonight, for both us.’
Cut/smash to 8.30pm, I’m starving and Neil is cooking plaice and new potatoes in his Bruce Willis vest. I don’t have the courage to tell him I don’t like new potatoes as they’re already coming to the boil. I have however started listing ‘no new potatoes’ on my dietary requirements to the brands. Come on, it’s just stodge.
After the dinner we watch the footy, Arsenal get battered and we both call it a night. Around 1am I wake – a disturbance in the force. Now the toilet from my room is a steep staircase and a 10m cold tiled floor away. I plant my cheeks down and hear the runny splash, the dreaded runny splash. My thoughts turn to Johnson from the Peep Show quizzing Mark on the toilet. ‘Is that normal poo-ing you’re doing Mark?’
I traipse back to bed, hug the pillow, make a prayer to God to make it quick. As Russell Crowe would say in Gladiator, ‘I want a soldiers death, a clean death‘. Not one strung out for days clung to the U-bend of the sh*tter. Half hour later I was up again, this time I took the quilt, hot-water bottle and pillow knowing that I would need protection from the merciless floor. I began to hurl, then crap, then hurl, then crap. The contractions were hastening, with momentary pauses I would reheat the hot-water bottle. Eventually I passed out by the radiator in the dining room. It was 7am. 6 hours of wretched hell that left the toilet in need of an exorcism.
A few moments later, full of morning vim, housemate Neil strolled over my corpse and asked what had happened. With a few weak breathes I begged him to go to the co-op and get some Lucozade. He kindly obliged, and even had to open the bottle for me. After Neil left for work I crawled into the bath tub like Di Caprio in The Revenant. After the water got up a couple of inches, I ran it through the shower head positioning it directly up my anus. For both hygiene and deviance.
30 minutes later I was out of the bath. I hurled up half a litre of lucozade, crapped some more lucozade and slopped off to the lounge – spent. Utterly spent. I don’t know what the offending article was that lead to the grizzly affair, possibly the fish, the new potatoes, maybe Jamie Oliver. But as my best mate Paul would later tell me – Never accept a meal from a man in a vest.