The Dragony Aunt Column!

[Continued from Gastronomical Observatory]

Helen Bristol

13 December 2002 18:08

Re: Restaurant critic

Visit from Vegetaria of them picked up a Spanish bug (not a flea) and it sounds like he's in the same shape as VJ was last week. They've already discovered beer and wine!!!!
Well actually we thought we ought to practice eating blue string so that next time we visit St. Ives we'll know what the menu means and how to eat it (the cuisine not he menu). After all we haven't yet experienced nosh at the Sloop.
Can you ask VJ what exactly is "jus"? 
Got to go and practice with the Laithwaite free corkscrew.


Reporting Team

14 December 2002 18:52

We sincerely hope that it's not OUR beer and wine that they've discovered. We were saving them for a rainy day.
Funny you should mention the fud at the Sloop but it has recent been a source of personal torment for VJ as they have just changed it. Quite a few different things on it so this knackered old dog has had to be learning new tricks.
No idea what a 'jus' is. VJ hasn't either, he thinks it is probably a misprint!
By the way, what is a Laithwaite Free Corkscrew? Obviously, it is a corkscrew that is laithwaite-free but what is a laithwaite and why is it so important that your corkscrew not be infested by one?
Anyway, we've got to go as we are busy doing our CV's as it looks like we will be out of a job soon. We think VJ is going to pull the life-support plug on Spooky St. Ives because (1) he's struggling to find time to do anything with it, (2) it seems to have developed some sort of software glitch that he can't work out how to fix short of re-writing the whole thing from scratch and (3) he has just had a particularly vitriolic exchange of e-mails that has, to use the vernacular, been the icing on the dog turd!
Y'all have a pleasant diurnal experience.
The RT

Helen Bristol

15 December 2002 17:43

Without prejudice

Hey, what's up, Doc?  The RT made it sound as if you're really pissed off.
First you need to get a Glitch Finder General to help you sort out the software, that's if you want to continue with your really excellent site. You're decision obviously and only you know how much time you want to/can devote to it, especially now you're doing your training as well. Spooky St. Ives would be missed.
Second, my man, is to take a break, chill out a bit. Christmas ain't that bad.  I'm actually enjoying it this year providing I avoid the sentimental songs.
Third, don't let the bastards get you down.  I trust it has nothing whatsoever to do with the alleged Don of the St. Ives Mafiosi, and well known property owner?  Who's corns have you been stamping on?
A Laithwaite is a red nosed biped, not dissimilar to Rudolph, known for shipping and promoting the demon drink.  Therefore, a Laithwaite free zone would be a Temperance meeting or dinner with Anne Robinson.  Not that I've ever experienced either. In a Laithwaite free zone the cork screw would obviously be superfluous unless you're into silly games like think-of-as-many-different-things-that-you-can-do-with-a-cork-screw-in-one-minute.
If the RT need work there's plenty to do here.
take care


Helen Bristol

17 December 2002 19:52

Talking to the Reporting Team

Hi Gang,
S'cuse mis-typings, I tripped over last week and seem to have done something to my wrist.
Talking to the Soup Dragon: 
Can you tell me what to do?  I have a friend who seems to have been upset by something I said.  I thought I would have heard from him by now but haven't.  Should I contact him again or would that seem too pushy?  Perhaps I should just wait, maybe he hasn't got anything to say to me.  Help don't know what to do.
The Soup Dragon says:.....................................
Hope the rest of the Reporting Team has finished the Crimbo list.  Cards - done.  Cakes - made.  Crimbo pud - maturing nicely from last year.  Wine - in.  Doom Bar - barren desert.   Lists of things-to-do - done.  Pressies - uncomplete list, what the hell, still got 6 days. Sinking slowly but not as bad as usual.

Soup Dragon

17 December 2002 23:09

It is I, Soupie, your agony dragon (or should that be an agony dragony?).
My advice to you is to reflect deeply on the plight of your anonymous friend, consider their feelings and .....
..... open a can of whup'ass on their sorry derrieres. That'll teach them!
If you are referring to VJ he has been busy either working in the Sloop Slave Pits or trying to write up loads of mind-numbingly dull course work which he has to hand in at Hogwarts tomorrow morning. That said, it's VJ so, on principle, you should always open a can of whup'ass on him anyway.
Crimbo arrangements have gone down the pan due to the unexpected (but welcome) arrival of the rest of the Reporting Team. Am desperately knitting extra xmas puds and opening up new seams of soup ore in the mine to try to cope with the extra load.
PS. Tell the Big Mac that the boys have been having a night on the tiles (granite slabs to be precise) at the Sloop where Doom Bar has been replaced for one night only by Sharp's Special. Not sure if you partook of any at the Tinners or elsewhere but they assure me that it is tasty and nutritious. And, what's more, just to give him food (or more accurately, drink) for thought ..... it was free!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I do believe I hear the sound of erratic feet/paws/hoofs at the door. Where did I put my rolling pin?
PPS. I was joking about the rolling pin. It was just a cover while we concealed the AS partyware, etc! Don't want to get them overwrought in their delicate condition.

Helen Bristol

18 December 2002 19:11

Taking your excellent advice and am reflecting deeply about my friend's plight (hope that isn't like Portnoy's complaint) and considering my friend's feelings. Along comes Big Mac and muttered darkly about B*******s,
Sharp's Special and Free. Not a happy bunny.  Yes, we sampled the nectar at the Tinners after the expedition along the cliff path to Zennor. Probably the only thing that could have revived me after THAT experience.
I must have looked worn out when I got home tonight as Big Mac offered to cook even though his sessions are usually at the weekend.  Can't image it was the work itself as I have been sitting and talking most of the day.  Must have been the Crimbo shopping after work. 
Must dash now or the wine will start turning into icelollies (not for the first time!)
PS Did VJ get the stuff into Hogwarts in time?  Hate having to work to deadlines like that, the adrenalin turns to inertia instead of geeing me up. 
PPS You know, Soupie, its so nice being able to talk to someone sensible.

Soup Dragon

18 December 2002 21:44

Yes, I believe that Crimbo shopping does take it out of you ..... and out of your bank account. Personally I like to give gifts of soup. Ideal in winter weather although a bit tricksy to wrap!
Yes, the Vile One did manage to hand in his homework on time at Hogwarts. However, some of the younger students challenged him to a game of quidditch which, in his foolish ignorance, he accepted. So, he gave them a quid and they threw him in a ditch! Still, I suppose you've got to expect that sort of thing in Camborne.
Talking of which we are hoping that VJ does manage to earn his wizard's hat just so we can display his certificate. We wonder what the public reaction will be when they see that the chef gained his culinary training from the Camborne School of Mines!

Helen Bristol

19 December 2002 18:25

That's where Tupperware comes into its own. The square boxes are so easy to wrap.
When VJ gets to be a proper chef will he be opening up Chez Spooky in the cellars of Smeatons Beer?  And will you be his Sue Chef or Chef de Soupe?  
Big Mac has found the source of Ham & Split Pea so we're set up for the duration.
You must let me have your xmas pud pattern.  Do you use white (for cream) or ecru (for brandy butter) for the topping?  And for the sprig of holly do you crochet the berries? I find that so much easier than fiddling about with No. 15 needles.
Now the rest of the team is back you should try to get some rest, it must have been a worrying time for you.
I'm dining out tonight at a place called Harvey's. Presumably because it is run/owned by a bloke called Harvey.  We know how to call a spade a digging implement.  Girls night out tonight and not an AS party in sight (at least as far as I know)  Second thoughts with that crowd definitely not.  Big Mac is resorting to an Asian culinary adventure. 
What with one thing and another we didn't get to the TurnOff prize exhibition last Saturday and I haven't seen any reports in the National or local rags.
Talking of rags, I'd better go and put my glad rags on.
Talk to you again soon, Soupie. 

Soup Dragon

19 December 2002 18:42

Oh, you are so clever. I knew you'd have an answer to the problem. By applying your cunning new tactics I should be able to finish of the pressies early and put my paws up in front of the TV with a small vat of mulled wine and a masseur to soothe my aching scales.
It's quite hard work looking after the rest of the Reporting Team, you know (well, I'm sure you do know!). Typical blokes, think they do all the hard work while all we have to do is make their dinners, iron their fur and knit their xmas puds. Still, boys will be boys and at least they bring me choccies and things at suitable moments (although their taste in the make-up and underwear departments is a bit suspect!).
Have a good time at Harvey's (I recommend his Bristol Cream). Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a bath of molten soup on the go. Just a touch of seasoning and .... aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
Crispy Hatmas
Luv' Soupie

Helen Bristol

20 December 2002 17:59

You've obviously got your lot better trained than I have.  I don't see too many (if any) boxes of choccies.  On the ironing front I made sure they ALL know how to put knife edge creases in their trousers. Pity they're horizontal. Count yourself lucky, Soupie, makeup and undies haven't occurred to they, at least not for me!!!!!  Big Mac can fill you in about his sons' taste in womenfolk. Think they must get that from their father. Now where did I put that peroxide?
Harvey's was a bit of a disappointment.  I was going to say "typical pub grub" but just in case VJ should sneak a look at you emails, I won't.( He wouldn't, would he? Oh yes he would!) But I'm sure a dragon of your wide experience will know what I mean.  After all we girls have to stick together and defend our culinary mysteries. I'm sure the cuisine a la Sloop is hugely superior to what I got last night.  The ambience of the place was a tad lacking in taste, big flat screen TVs showing VERY scantily clad young girls prancing around with, what I can only describe as, somewhat effete young males. Grabbed the Zantac as soon as I got home, but suffered all night.
Big Mac had a boys midday out at the Fox and Goose so, joy of joys, I won't have to cook (much) tonight. Think I'll get on with decking the halls (no not like Allan Titchmarsh) and chosing the wines.
Now, just you make sure that you don't overdo it for Crimbo.  Get VJ to help you, now he has THE KNOWLEDGE, and take it easy.  Another molten soup soak and scale massage on Crimbo Eve will be just the job. Easy with the Nutmeg, can't be having you flying too high.
Luv Helling

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