Floater in a tin can.

Do you believe in second chances? Generally I don’t think much of them, unless I’m on the receiving end, in which case I should be forgiven far more often. I only mention this because a second chance was offered to me on a plate today and if you’re reading this then you are quite literally experiencing me reaching out, grabbing and mauling that second chance like a starving, badly trained Rottweiler (called Tyson) would an innocent infant born into an clueless family (harsh, but it does happen and it really shouldn’t). A couple of weeks ago the habitually lame Saturday Guardian magazine featured an article on Heston Blumenchops and how he was ‘busy’ ‘inventing’ ‘food’ for the world famous astronaut Tim Peake, or as he will no doubt be called once he returns – Sir Lord Chief of Staff Tim Peake – unless he burns up on re-entry (I hope not).

I started to read the article, gamely wondering why a left wing paper would be interested in a celebrity chef that has a near monopoly (Roux wouldn’t?) on an entire village and without a wafer of conscience charges £255 per person for a tasting menu, plus service charge, plus drinks, plus an extra surcharge for the luxury of sitting next to another couple who are also massive wankers with more money than sense. Before long I gave up and decided to turn my rage into a word document, but before I could I got distracted by something or other and my volcanic distain cooled to a simmer. At work today I flipped open the Telegraph (surely more his home, at least these days) to find an identically themed piece on the daft-goggled twat, only much shorter. Incidentally, should you find my references to HB’s eyewear offensive then be assured that I have appalling eyesight and even have to wear glasses in my sleep, lest my nightmares be all blurry.

With a theatrical flourish and not a moment’s hestitation (you’re welcome) I shwished the offending page out and pocketed it then scurried off, like a school boy with a naughty magazine, for later appreciation. So here I am at home with The Beach Boys, staring at a picture of the lantern-chinned, gurning shag-sack (moody, assertive, bell-endy) and reading an article so up it’s own arse it might well have created it’s own black hole. Let me be blunt, the article could have been about Heston and any topic of your choice and I would have winced, but to team him with a man, nay a mission, that holds absolutely zero interest for me just adds insult to industrial amputation.

I find space and the universe fascinating and Tim Peake is very likely a perfectly charming man, but what the fuck he’s supposed to be achieving out there in the blackness is quite beyond me. Since landing on the moon we, as a species, have made about as much progress as Karen Matthews did on that good mothering course. The bods and spods who are busy sitting around waiting for 3 years for some probe to tickle Saturn’s Ring and send back a blip are wasting their time; the more we find out about space the more we seem totally out of our depth and vulnerable. We can’t even control the earnest -level setting on Dr Brian Cox anymore. Remember the probe that landed in the shade and didn’t have a spare battery. Brilliant. What did we find out about that comet? Er, it was a comet, we think.

Moving back, Heston has clambered onto the space bandwagon because he needs publicity for his newly re-opened Fat Fucking Duck and for what better cause than making some special meals for Major Peake as he drifts helplessly around the planet, pretending he has unlimited access to Google Earth. The meals are designed to remind him of his wife and kids (as in Tim of his, not of Heston’s or vice versa, that would be like intergalactic virtual swinging) because having access to video links just isn’t quite the same as remembering that your wife tastes like sweet and sour prawns. The project has been 2 years in the making. 2 years!!?? Apparently Heston signed up long before because he has a real passion for ‘revolutionising space food’, as indeed do many starving people around the world. He refers to the thousands of people ‘slogging their guts out’ in the name of space exploration (a dream job for them) and all they have achieved (99% of which is access to a lifetimes worth of awful TV) so they deserve to eat food which reminds them of the time they ate a kebab in Rotherham on a stag do. Through history all exploratory pioneers have had to put up with shit food and there’s no reason for that to stop.

It makes me flustered because you can call Viceroy Peake a hero if you want to (and I know he is great too, I really do) and you could even call Heston a visionary but ultimately, when it all gets diluted down, it’s just a great big waste of fucking money. Peake will come back to tell us very little of value and Heston will have given his business a huge great shot in the arm as overpaid dimwits shovel themselves through the streets of Bray looking for a dish containing one bite of offal, which reminds them of being kicked up the stairs as a child.

If we do ever get approached by aliens we’ll be in trouble. Any foreign force looking for contact will see Peake dressed in a mock tuxedo eating a bacon sarnie or Key Lime Pie from a tin as Heston plays with himself in front of his laptop. And what will they think? Answer – either that it’s not worth bothering with us humanlings, or that we’re a big ball of simpletons that need a good lasering to toughen us up. And if the aliens do arrive and see that and decide to wipe us off the face of (our own) history and it turns out it’s all Heston’s fault I’m going to be fucking livid!

G B Hewitt 18.3.2016

I see the Waitrose magazine has this as a big article too. Perhaps Heston should team up with them too. Oh……….


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