Food myths

A real 'Funsize' Mars bar wil be two feet long

Rocket salad
Rocket has been kidnapped by Chelsea types, who’ll simply not accept it’s merely a bunch of glorified dock leaves fit only for rabbits. The Chelsea tossers will, however, pay through the nose for it, which I suppose represents some sort of justice.
And who thought of putting rocket on pizza? That’s like putting French dressing on chips.And what’s all this peppery business about? If you want pepper, get your waiter to get busy with the oversized mill and resist the urge to get him to throw to leaves on your 14-inch meat feast. Rocket is absolutely not ‘peppery’ or high-end at all – it’s just a bland green leaf that gets lodged inbetween your teeth. 

‘Soft scoop’ ice cream
Why is it that tubs of ice cream – whatever the brand – insist on putting ‘soft scoop’ on the lid? Simple physics will tell you that if you put food in the freezer it’ll freeze and go hard. Any premature attempt at extracting the contents of the ‘soft scoop’ tub will yield the kind of result that made Uri Geller a household name.  
So what do you do when you want to set some soft scoop from  the tub straight after taking it out of the freezer? 
Well, you turn on the TV, walk about a bit, scratch your behind, prod the tub, then watch a couple of rounds from Deal or No Deal and prod it again. After that it’ll be soft to scoop. 
So, here’s the thing. Wait. Scoop. Eat.

Chicken parfait – posh nosh?
Runny pâté. That’s what this is and if you do get lured by the fancy title in a top-end restaurant then more fool you. Chicken parfait should only be consumed by hospital patients who can’t ingest solids. Chicken kidney isn’t a pleasant foodstuff and liquidising it doesn’t make it any more palatable.  

Herb boxes – a good idea?
Always sounds like a great idea: simply reach out and get a variety of herbs to pep up your cooking. You could have basil, coriander, chives, rosemary, sage, chervil, thyme: it’s a chocolate box of herbiage. 
Problem is, you have to be Alan Titchmarsh to make sure your plants don’t die. Within two weeks your coriander will have wilted, your basil shrivelled, your rosemary will look like pine needles and your sage leaves decayed. Just buy herbs in a packet, try and use it all up within a couple of days and leave all that herb growing nonsense to Jamie Oliver and Nigel Slater.

‘Funsize’ Mars bar
Why’s it fun? Pound for pound it’s overpriced and it’s not as much fun as gorging yourself on a normal sized Mars bar. It’s a small Mars bar, no more, no less.

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Because you’re worth it

This girl's worth a tenner, apparently

Just saw a L’Oreal advert telling me that if I buy some cheap crap from them, it’ll be because I’m worth it.

This advertising slogan surely is an answer to the wrong question. Exactly how much do you think you’re worth? A bottle of this gunk is usually between £4 and £10 and if you don’t think you’re worth that then there are some serious issues you might need to deal with.

Saying, “I’m worth a tenner,” doesn’t bode well so, for all you think that you’re not worth it remember, you are beautiful human beings of great value with wonderful friendships and talents unending.

That’ll be £30 from each of you. Thanks.

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Financial ‘experts’

New York dimwits circa 1963

Today the financial markets are, apparently, going to make decisions based on whether they like, or don’t like, the idea that Greece has formed a coalition and then, once they have made up their minds about this cobbled-together band of nitwits, they’ll start either buying or selling.

Now, here’s a thing. On the radio I have heard countless ‘experts’ from financial institutions give us their best guess as to whether the markets will respond badly or well to the Greek crisis package and it is a wonder to me that they don’t just get a sizeable donkey into the studio and aim a dart firmly at its behind, since the conclusions will be exactly the same.

I have a piss-poor-sized amount of cash in a ‘managed’ investment fund. At the time of purchase my so-called financial advisor told me that the considerable experience of the experts who will ‘manage’ my money will help to get me enough of a return, on maturity (not me, the fund, you dufus) to allow me to buy a substantial Maldive Island where semi-naked girls will feed me lobster and grapes, and then order me to have sex with them. All in that order. If I’m lucky, however, and things go even better than expected, my advisor told me, I might be able to buy Monaco, where I can I have the pleasure of driving around in my 220mph Ferrari at 30mph while wearing oversized sunglasses that have the brand name etched largely on the arms (the sunglasses’ arms, not mine) so people can know what a total, oversized cock I am.

At present my investment, at last viewing, is worth significantly less than the piss-poor amount that I originally invested, which means that, if I sold up now I will have enough disposable cash to buy a bag of cement and four bricks.

The bald fact is financial ‘experts’ know bugger all. They make money when the financial markets are good and they lose money when the financial markets are bad, which is what we all do. They simply do not have the knowledge to elevate themselves above plebs like you or I, and they are absolutely unable to buck the trend. If you are expecting some sort of calm during a storm from these overpaid dimwits, you can forget it.

On any given day expect the lamest excuse for stock market fluctuation. Experts like Robert Peston from BBC Radio 5 Live tell us on an almost hourly basis that the market is suffering become somebody called Ahmed in Almenia found a stag beetle in his underpants, or that the FTSE ‘rallied’ today because Bert from the fruit stall in Bermondsey found a fiver down the side of his sofa. If you look at flow graphs of the FTSE, Dow Jones, Nikkei or Hang Sang or whatever it is over the past few months you might be able to correlate the peaks and troughs with the way the wind is blowing.

You have to understand: financial markets are populated by idiots called Seth or Toby who learned that if you speak loud enough and use the words ‘bonds’ or ‘gilts’ in the same sentence you’ll get a job at some jumped-up financial institution where the chairman has got to where he is because he’s the only one able to work out how to use the percentage button on his calculator.

I know this because I come from Watford, and the most famous person to come from Watford is Nick Leeson. I was at the Watford Observer when Leeson buried Barings Bank. It was a sensation, but the reason why it was a sensation is because nobody had enough emotional intelligence to realise what a monumental thickie Leeson was. We know now that he was not the brightest button in the world, yet he managed to sink £850 million into a financial black hole, and not one management executive in Barings recognised the problem until it was too late.

Er, look at the accounts.

So here’s some valuable consumer advice, if you require it. If you want to invest money for a late-life nest egg, do not take up the services of a financial advisor, simply buy a stupidly expensive car, drive around like an arse until the tyres fall off and know that you are having some fun while the rest of the world watches ever dwindling numbers on a spreadsheet. It’s a much better course of action that you will thank me for.

Er, Toby, pass me the FT I’ve got some info on the QT…

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