I was asked to do some external work the other day. Writing work. (And this excited me endlessly because if I was doing some writing for someone else, and it was not one of their third year English essays, this task, ultimately, made me A Writer and not just A Jotter Down Of Rude Words And Mundane Memories. You can imagine my excitement. I was wooping around the show like a raver whose favourite track is booming out of a wall full of fuck-you speakers in a dance club.)
Ah, but then. There was the small issue of remuneration. It's not like I am in the position to say, "For my last project, I charged fifty bucks a word." Because my last project was a mother's day card for The Incubator. And I charged her (in a round about way) a whole lot more than fifty bucks a word. (I am a bit disappointed with the work I did on that card, though. If my memory serves me correctly, I did not squeeze a single tear from her eyeball. Fail. Epic.)
So I decided to go with the "I'll do it for the love of writing" route.
Needer of Writing: Absolutely not.
The Pant: Seriously, consider it some experience and exposure for me.
NOW (I like that.): No, I insist. I must give you something.
TP: Okay. It's winter, I'll work for cake.
TP: No! Not that type of cake! You can send a chocolate cake round to my work so I can share it with my friends. But a big enough one so The Daughter and I can have a cake picnic too.
NOW: I'm not paying you in cake.
TP: But, and I'm going to say this at the risk of sounding like a horny 18 year-old boy: I love cake. More than any other baked good. Cake makes me happy. It makes me feel happy on the inside and rounder on the outside.
NOW: Fine. How about I book you and a friend a spot for high tea at The Oyster Box?
TP: Ooooo! Say it again.
NOW: High tea at The Oyster Box.
TP: Oooooo! Say it ag-
NOW: I'm not saying it again.
TP: (Curbing my excitement, attempting to sound professional): Sounds like a fair deal. Book for Saturday. Many thanks. Pleasure working with you.
No sooner had I ended the conversation with Needer of Writing was I on the phone to The BF:
The Pant: Get your fat clothes ready! We're eating cake on Saturday!
The BF: What are you going on about?
(I relayed the conversation with NOW. In a typical manner of he said and then I said and then he said and then I said and then he said.)
The BF: Oooo! I'm wearing stretchy pants.
The Pant: Me too. Can I borrow one of Carlos's shirts?
TBF: Big time. Good idea.
Ah, we're a classy act, are The BF and I.
So we arrived at The Oyster Box (read Colonialism At Its Finest) dressed in Carlos's kit. And were greeted by an uber-friendly man who, judging by his sheer girth, consumes the entire leftover high tea daily as quality control. (Part of his job description, I imagine. Those Oyster Box folk aim to please.)
Man: Can I get you ladies some tea?
The BF: Hell no. We haven't eaten since last night to make space for some cake, honey. Ain't no way we going to spoil it by no tea.
Man: (addressing me): And for you, Ma'am?
(Under normal circumstances I would have requested the gentleman to call me 'Ma'am' again. But this Man, I could tell, could not have handled encouragement. In his head, he'd already eaten my kit off and was now devouring my rump in a most unsavoury manner.)
The Pant: Didn't you hear the lady? She said, "Hell no." Now get us some cake!
Man: Would you like me to take you on a tour of the buffet? You know, get you better acquainted with "the cake".
TP: You know what, Man? You do not sound dissimilar to my ex-boyfriend.
Man: I beg your pardon?
TP: Yup - he was always telling me, "Get to know your cake a little better, Pant." Said it would help him. I didn't quite get it. When presented with cake, he wasn't afraid to tuck in. Might be the death of him one day, I fear.
TBF: You're talking about baked goods, right?
Man: Ooooooookay. Would you follow me.
TP: Let's get this show on the road. This chit-chat is making me ravenous.
By the time he finished walking us around the voluminous offerings, The BF and I were so famished that we'd have settled for a mouldy slice of uncooked pig's liver. Lucky we didn't have to.
And so we began our feast. Cupcakes and three tiered chocolate mousse jizz-in-your-rods radness. The most glorious chilli bites and cheeses I've ever had the pleasure of treating the inside of my mouth to. Vegetarian sushi. Home-made hummus and tiramisalata. Chocolate cake. Chocolate eclairs. Coffee eclairs. Coconut ice. Scones. (Attempt at ladylike belch unsuccessful.). Mini creme brulee. Mini brownies. Sweet potato samoosas. Teeny weeny pita breads. (Did not care regarding ladylikeness at all. Belch audible throughout entire hotel.). One more plate of cheeses. Just two more chilli bites. Okay. Enough. No wait. Just one more creme brulee. Done. Not yet. Must end on a savoury note. Vegetarian pate on mini crustinis with peppadews. Done. Oooo! Forgot to try hazlenut praline do-nuts. Done. Oops. Forgot, must end on savoury note. Salmon sandwich. Done. Wait. Cannot have high tea without cucumber sandwich. Unbelievably royal. Done. Belch. But I haven't had any black forest cake. Or those little shooter glasses filled with a fancy sounding stuff. Bugger.
So after we'd phoned an American company to pimp our ride with steel undercarriage reinforcements, The BF and I rolled to the car.
And while I looked at myself in the mirror before last night's shower and actually said to my reflection, "I am so not getting naked with you," I am happy. Fat but happy.