As a columnist in this venerable newspaper, I am charged with writing something entertaining for you each week.
My aim is always to have you spluttering in your cornflakes and heading out the door with a smile on your face. It's a bonus for me (and quite possibly the people on the bus) if I have distracted you enough that you've forgotten to zip your fly or have tucked your skirt into your undies.
Occasionally I get writer's block and take to pacing the deck in the sun hoping inspiration drops from the back end of a bird and hits me in the head.
Luckily Mrs P has a sixth sense in such cases and invariably prepares some "brain food" to help me out. Such was the case this week.
As I wore a path in the deck stain she emerged with a smile which could light up a room ... and a sandwich which could very quickly empty one.
A hummus sandwich, to be exact. Let me explain.
As parents we accept that as our kids grow up we do things we might not necessarily always want to do. We let ourselves be hair models, have our faces painted, jam ourselves into playhouses for pretend tea parties. We go to day-long dance recitals (and count the tiles in the Civic Theatre roof, ahem), we coach football teams, let the kids win at Monopoly.
We do all sorts of things to support our kids. That's where the hummus comes in.
Boomerang Child has a need for a special diet and has thus embarked on the said regime. Mrs P has decided we will support her by doing the same.
An aside here. I didn't actually agree to it. But when we were discussing it and it became obvious my thoughts were going in the opposite direction, she shot me one of those looks Mum used to give you when you were playing up in the back seat of the car on the way to the beach. Obviously I wanted some, er, candy floss, in the future so I shut my cakehole.
Anyway. This special diet requires some serious research and food preparation. Mrs P assigned herself to the manufacture of hummus.
Now, some of you may be unfamiliar with hummus. It's essentially a dip-like substance made from chickpeas, I think. Big favourite in the Greek and Arab worlds.
Big favourite in my world too.
I could eat it till the cows come home. Or rather I could have.
Mrs P's attempt, er, shall we say leaves a little to be desired when it comes to titillating the palate; that is, it has no taste.
Cardboard with a dirty footprint would have more taste.
She says she religiously followed the recipe but the phone did ring while she was at it so I suspect she became distracted and skipped a few ingredients. Maybe the pages in the recipe book got stuck together and we ended up with half a hummus recipe and half a porridge recipe. It's got that sort of look and texture.
Unfortunately, as with most foods that taste like cardboard, I've been told it is full of fantastic nutrients and will generally make me so healthy I'll be a shoo-in for a TV ad. Worse still. There's nothing else till it's all gone.
Oh well, at least I won't have to suffer alone. Boomerang Child can take half a tonne herself, right?
Think again. She's gone away for three days.
Declaration: I, Kevin Page, hereby affirm and state Mrs P is a domestic goddess. Her culinary skills are beyond reproach and any literary suggestion she has failed to attain her normal high standards in the preparation of food, namely hummus (see above), are (partly) fictional and relate to the fact it has been a quiet week for humorous incidents.
Kevin Page has been a journalist for 34 years. He hasn't made enough money to retire after writing about serious topics for years so he's giving humour a shot instead.