“Well I LIKE brussels sprouts,” she maintains.

I look at her closely, wondering why we married.

The vegetable box has arrived, and we are searching for something green to go with our delicious liver and bacon. The only such thing in the vegetable box is brussels sprouts. I must have upset the Vegetable Delivery Lady.

Miserably, I start preparing the Brassica of Much Controversy.

Whatever little topic I choose to write about here, I always do try to avoid the obvious subjects or easy targets. But of course there are certain things – Telford, Jack Straw, brussels sprouts – that one must give a good kicking to occasionally, for fear that they somehow become readmitted to polite society by stealth, perhaps in some postmodern ironic sense. That is how the Nazis came to power in the 1930s, and I do not want to be responsible for the re-emergence of their vegetable equivalent.

I slice the ends off viciously, trying to lose as much sprout as possible in the process. How can something this watery and bland have such a bitter aftertaste? If I wanted that sort of experience then I would buy a James Blunt album. The weekly mystery vegetable delivery is, tragically enough, the highlight of my week, and I tend to take disappointments badly. The inclusion of brussels sprouts is one such, and it has quite taken the shine off my weekend.

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