It was Heat Three of the U/16s Council Bins Obstacle Course and my specialty was Recycling Bins With The Lid Missing. I was particularly good at sprinting to the closest pay phone to ring up the Twisty Town Council and request a replacement recycling bin lid/bin (depending which they deemed appropriate). This was supposed to be the night I was crowned Most Fantastic Sportsman on Field, but instead I received the Smallest Hat award for having the largest hat there on the day. (One of the judges thought he was hilarious.) I wasn't even wearing a hat – it was hidden in my bag.
They also made the following announcement at the completion of Heat Two:
‘Anyone who wears tracksuit pants plays sports. Those not wearing tracksuit pants - you do not play sports.’ I thought this was extremely rude as I had mortgaged my house and travelled 1600km to be there, but obviously my prescription sequined leggings were Not Appropriate Attire For All Occasions.
I left the stadium with my head hanging and my arm in a sling to convince the crows overhead that I was not walking away due to my lack of tracksuit pants and finesse/poor dialling skills on the field, but because I had obtained a Horrible Sports-Related Injury. I took my hat out of my bag and my smaller bag out of my hat and my purse out of that bag and my tired-looking beanie out of my purse. Sadness was cold. Beanies – particularly this one, made entirely out of hot-beans-in-sauce – were warm.
Stumbling home with tear-filled eyes, I stopped at the edge of a ravine to wail and drip beans and sauce everywhere but tripped over a crumpled library book and nearly fell to my death. Luckily, I was caught in the arms of a ravine dwelling ape who said he was heading to a Halloween party dressed as himself (a concept I greatly admired.)
It turned out this decaying piece of literature was A Recipe Book which, it stated, contained just one recipe amongst its 900 pages. The other 899 pages, I discovered, contained just pictures of dogs wearing glasses, which was humourous at first but eventually grew tiresome, as it continued to remind me that in the hubbub of the previous event I’d left my fashionable Sports Paraphernalia Encrusted Spectacles behind. I no longer appeared The Cerebral Fashionista I desired to be, but the overweight, slightly blind octopus I truly was.
After heartily guffawing at an image of a Staffordshire cross in a pair of 3D glasses - everyone knows dogs can’t see 3D - I was blinded all the more by a powerful beam of light protruding from the following page.
I HAD FOUND THE RECIPE!
And it appeared a hoon from the Dangerous Ravine Council Library had used a glow stick as a bookmark. (Chinese New Year had been the previous week.)
The single recipe encased within the pages of this book was, I discovered, the Most Valuable, Complex and Crucial Concoction in The Culinary World. This was the recipe:
CRACKERS AND CHEESE
- One packet of Thin Captains
- One wheel of cheese
Put crackers and cheese on cheeseboard with knife.
I served it as the main course the following week at the dinner party held to celebrate My New Friend Ape The Hero.
No one was particularly impressed.