In the soup

28 Nov

MRS Strop is reading page proofs for the features desk and discovers that the Editor has branched out into writing restaurant reviews now that the NOB’s long-standing reviewer has been made redundant.

“Fack me. That’s all we need. Being told where to eat by a bloke from bladdy Scunthorpe.”

She expands immediately, all rings turned to full gas and lids rattling.

“Don’t these fackin executives get paid enough without fackin free meals? Fer fack’s sake. Is there no fackin justice?”

Apparently not. The Leek Man recounts a tale from the past that puts into perspective the subject matter we are dealing with and shores up Mrs Strop’s towering outrage. The Editor was at a banquet for local dignitaries one night several years ago and turned to the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, who was sitting next to him, to complain that his tomato soup was cold. Mrs Strop’s eyes widen into complete circles, like the ends of baked bean tins.

“No . . .” she gasps. “Not gazpacho?”

“Gazpacho,” Leek Man confirms, reassuringly.

“Fer fack’s sake.”

Big Bernard is listening on the newsdesk. “That’s a good tale,” he says from behind his computer screen. “What’s he been eating this time?”

Mrs Strop picks up the proof, which had been tossed petulantly across the desk. “Jesus fackin Christ. Fackin chicken tikka masala. I suppose that’s exotic for fackin Scunthorpe.”

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