Alan invited Sheila round for a meal in his flat. Nothing fancy but he would be cooking it himself. Then he invested in room freshener, cut flowers, moisturiser and a linen sweater. This calculated impersonation of a New Man came from a men’s magazine. He was going to empathise Shelia into bed.
Alan lived on takeaways so his first real provisioning trip to a Supermarket became a nightmare. He came home with tins of asparagus and artichoke hearts, weird yoghurts, a chocolate gateau, frozen chips, an enormous Camembert, and a bottle of Bailey’s. Rummaging through the assemblage in his tiny kitchen he realised he’d omitted a main course.
It was too late to go back. He’d only allowed an hour to whip something up, including a shower and a splattering of Hugo Boss. He scrabbled through the ancient kitchen units with a prayer on his lips. Something answered it.
Behind the bin liners was a medium-size tin of Fray Bentos Steak and Kidney Pie. He speed read the instructions, fired up the oven and slammed it in. Then he decanted the asparagus and artichokes into a bowl, dimmed the lights, sunk some Baileys and dived in the shower.
Fragrant and gelled, he was re-cleaning the forks when the doorbell rang .He rushed from the kitchen to open the door.
Sheila stood there, unsure. The place smelt weird and so did Alan. He gave her a sensitive simper. She thought he was stoned and harrumphed lightly.
The Fray Bentos Pie exploded. Wicked shards of the unopened tin fired into the walls like shrapnel. A boiling mist of pie coated the kitchen.
“Plonker!” yelled Sheila, heading back down the stairs.
Alan stared at his bombed-out kitchen. He began to realise how lucky he’d been.