I’m not a pretentious foodie. I don’t know what quinoa or ocra is. I have no interest in going to a fine dining posh restaurant to receive a small plate with something resembling a contemporary piece of abstract art and where it wouldn’t be out of place in a gallery with people standing around it, staring with their arms folded, perhaps a hand raised to their chin, stroking a goatee, as they contemplate the artists pain and use words like, “Modernism,” “Juxtaposition” and “Synergy.”
Food is just a necessity to me, it serves a purpose; to fill my grumpy stomach. Of course, I like food to be tasty but nothing too fancy. That said, as I live in Dudley, to many of the locals, I would probably be classed as a fancy b*stard. Why? Well, I’ve discovered my love of houmous. I know there are many different ways of spelling houmous but that’s how it’s spelt on the packaging.
Yes, I love houmous. Houmous with slightly toasted pita bread at 11am in the morning, as a mid morning snack, a joy. Also a necessity as I am calorie loading now that I’m a regular gym attendee. Slowly but surely, working my way towards being a bald human specimen. I’m kind of like Dudley’s version of Dwayne The Rock Johnson without the height, Hollywood grin, bank balance, Polynesian heritage and muscle mass, but apart from that, we are pretty much identical.
So on Monday morning I wrote my name on my houmous and put it in the fridge in our office.
I was feeling hungry before 11 so I headed over to the fridge after toasting my pita bread and retrieved my houmous at about 10.45. When I reached my desk, I slipped off the outer cardboard sleeve and to my absolute horror found that some cretin had unwrapped my houmous, helped themselves to some and then put it back in the fridge!
I’m the only person with my name in the office so whoever did this, knew I was the owner. They wouldn’t do that to The Rock! Why do they think they can do it to his identical Dudley counterpart?
This is the Rock, not I, the Grumpy one.
I was shocked and appalled. Who would do such a thing? This required some serious action. I wasn’t going to eat it now. I’m a germophobe / buffetphobe at the best of times. What if this stranger double dipped? That was it, it was ruined.
The managers were all in a meeting but I had to act fast. There was only one thing I could do. Yes. A strongly worded email.
A couple of years ago, before I started working for this company, there was a man who had some of his milk stolen. He sent a furious email to the branch threatening to put arsenic in his milk. He was taken to one side and given a harsh talking to. This was not the tact I was going to take. For one, I don’t have any arsenic and secondly, it would render my own food inedible for me and therefore it would be pointless.
I set to work writing the email and within ten minutes, a literary rage was emailed to all on my floor. It was titled, “The fridge is not a buffet.”
Within the email, I explained that I hadn’t received the previous email explaining that the fridge was a free-for-all. That it is not good that someone would go into the fridge, take something that had my name on it, unwrap it, take some and put it back. In future I would have to cough on my own food or dip a licked finger into it to ensure it is protected from the houmous thief.
I explained that I had lost faith in humanity. (Probably a bit melodramatic, but I was conveying my disappointment and building drama.)
I then set out a warning to the thief to strike fear into the deepest darkest depths of their cavernous, detached, inconsiderate soul. I said, “I will find you houmous thief and when I do, I will guide you to the nearest foodbank because you can’t help yourself to other peoples food out of the communal fridge!”
I then left a link to the local Birmingham central foodbank. It was an opportunity to spread the word of the good work the food bank does for people in the community who are struggling to feed themselves.
The response was like a ripple across the floor. Some actually did see the funny side but others shifted uncomfortably in their seats. Anyone would have thought I dropped the C-bomb in my email or had a shocking racist rant about something or even worse, included a picture of Kanye West. But I hadn’t.
Some even said I should withdraw that email before the managers return from their meeting because I was surely to get in trouble. But damn it, I was going to stand my ground. Someone was stealing food and I wasn’t going to let them get away with it. Firm unflinching action had to be taken.
After lunch, the managers had returned. I sit next to my manager and my electronic rage was never mentioned. This can only mean one of three things:
- He’s got bigger fish to fry and my email wasn’t offensive.
- He’s a sympathiser. A brother who believes in the Grumpy cause to fight the food thieving inconsiderate oppressor!
- He knows who did it and he’s keeping his head down.
Many of my colleagues were sympathetic towards this victim of crime. Well, apart from one colleague, who sent me this picture.
Shocking isn’t it? They’ve spelt houmous wrong!