|What ham, egg & chips should look like|
We should have seen the warning signs: the car park was deserted and inside wasn't much better: I've seen more life on an old army blanket. They'd still got their Christmas decorations up for god's sake. But we toughed it out, we stayed.
We shouldn't have been there in the first place; if only our usual midweek pub grub venue of choice hadn't been stacked out with flat landers knee deep at the bar with not a table to be had. So we'd got back in the old smoker and headed east. To what was, back in the day, both a fine hostelry and eating house.
We each went for a pint of their local grog, which despite one being chilled and one slightly above room temperature (amazingly both from the same hand pull) was at least drinkable. So far, so average.
'Ham, egg and chips' I said, noticing it on the specials board. Another warning sign ignored - what makes ham, egg and chips, a pub staple, special? Jenny too plumped for this non-special special.
The place was so
quiet we heard not only the sound of tumbleweed blowing through the place, but also the chef,
who only minutes earlier had pulled our pints, programming what sounded like a bank of microwave ovens in the kitchen next door. A cacophony of electronic pings was followed seconds later by two plates of warm ham (not bacon, not gammon, but heated ham), solidified eggs, peas and carrots. They were subsequently joined by a joint bowl of soggy (yet burnt at the same time) chips.
We made (hushed) polite small talk in that way only the English can. 'How can they fuck ham, egg and chips up so spectacularly?' I said to Jenny. 'What sort of meat is
this exactly?' she whispered back.
We just couldn't run for those hills fast enough.