“Have you ever thought of being on TV?”
I blink at the question, and turn to the Pork Butcher. He blinks also, but I am not sure whether this is due to the question or whether it is because that people blink all the time.
The girl is quite foxy, probably in her twenties, and has sidled up to me. It was definitely a sidle – certainly it was on the sidle side of walking. To be honest, I am a bit flummoxed. I am not used to being chatted up by foxy twenty-something girls, whether in front of Pork Butchers or not, and I appear to have lost the capacity to know what to say. I stare beseechingly at a rolled shoulder for rescue, but it just sits there impassively. That is the problem with meat. It is no help in a situation such as this.
My mind races. If she wants to have sex with me, then the best place would probably be behind the Vegetable Delivery Man (with a beard)’s stall. We get along very well and I am sure he wouldn’t mind nipping off for a coffee for ten minutes as long as she promised that she would not do anything revolting with the jerusalem artichokes. I am pleased with my idea, which I managed all on my own without the counsel of any meat whatsoever. No wonder people just eat it and do not appoint it to advisory bodies.
“It’s ITV’s ‘Britain’s Best Dish,'” she explains, spoiling things a bit. “I’m from ITV. Do you cook at all? I see you’re buying lots of good ingredients.”
Boooooooo – she is not picking me up at all. She wants me to be on her television show. Boooooo, boooooo and triple boooooo. I make vague noises about not really being a reality television type of person.
“Do you have a signature dish at all?” she persists. It is odd. I cannot help but be flattered by her interest. I obviously look quite televisual in her eyes. Obviously it is ITV so they are not looking for cooking ability in the slightest, but want people who will grab the housewives and melt them with a rogueish twinkle of an eye. This might be my thing after all. She then spoils it a bit by mentioning that she’s just asked the elderly Pork Butcher, who has turned her down.
I say that I will think about it, take some details, and don’t. They get you on to these things with a combination of promised stardust and ego-flattery, and I am not falling for it. Later on, I pass the details on to Short Tony and Len the Fish, with some promised stardust and ego-flattery, but they do not fall for it.