Calling time on has-beans.
ONE of my greatest failings as a human being - and there would have to be an X Factorstyle contest lasting 16 weeks, including auditions at arenas around the country, to determine the greatest - is my inability to tell people things they do not want to hear.
I will perform all sorts of contortions in my life to avoid hurting other people, and occasionally end up hurting them far more than if I had just said the bad thing in the first place. I am not saying I would commit murder to avoid saying that somebody did look fat in those trousers, but I can see how matters might escalate to that state.
But, as bad as I might be, I am not as bad as the man - it was probably a man - I have termed "Customer Zero". If Customer Zero had said something at the time, we would all be living in a happier place.
Customer Zero was in a cafe somewhere in the British Isles. The exact date and location is lost to the records, but it was some time in the 1970s. He ordered a "full English breakfast". Come to think of it, he must have been in England.
In the kitchen, the cook had bacon and sausages sizzling away, perhaps a fried slice. He broke an egg into the pan and went to stir the tinned plum tomatoes he had on another ring. "Oh, no!" he exclaimed. "I have accidentally opened a tin of beans."
This being the 1970s he would have been reluctant to throw the beans away as there was probably a beans and plum tomatoes canning workers strike going on, and so he tried to style it out by putting beans on the breakfast plate and hoping the customer would not notice.
|with Of course the customer noticed. Who could fail to notice the presence of a sickly sweet pile of orange mush on an otherwise immaculate plate of full English breakfast? The cook might as well have put a Caramac there.
But instead of complaining loudly, and perhaps having the cook sectioned, Customer Zero weakly gave the waitress a 1970sstyle thumbs-up, and then tried to eat around the oozing beans without thinking of the film The Blob.
What's wrong this picture? And so the filthy practice of putting beans on a breakfast plate began.
I understand that this is a controversial position to take, but having beans with a full English is both gastronomically and morally wrong.
The right-minded among you will now be standing up and whooping and considering asking me to run for leader of the Labour Party.
The rest of you, degenerates for want of a better word, will be angered by my position, and it is to you I address the rest of this column.
First of all, I understand that you say you like beans with your breakfast.
In some cases I accept that might even be true.
But tell me this: which other part of the standard breakfast often comes IN A SEPARATE CONTAINER? Why is it always beans which appear in a little pot? It is because even among people who say they like beans there is often fear of bean juice contamination. "Oh, I don't like my beans touching my egg or the sausage," these people say.
Really? Why not? I have never heard anybody saying, "Ugh, move those mushrooms, I don't like it when they touch the bacon," or, "Can I have my sausages on a different plate?" Why should beans be different? Deep down you know in your conscience that beans should not be there. It is no good saying, "Oh, but I like beans with my breakfast." People like lots of things that are bad for them, like smoking or Mrs Brown's Boys, but it does not mean they should be allowed unrestricted access.
So my solution is this. If you want to have beans with your breakfast at home, go right ahead. That is none of my business, it does not affect others.
But beans should not come as standard with a Full English Breakfast. And instead of rightminded people having to say, "Can I have that without beans?" and then worrying for 10 minutes if they will receive accidental beans, people who want beans should be forced by law to ask for them.
And if you do not like that, I am sorry, but it is time I started telling people things they don't want to hear.