Disgusted from Tunbridge Wells

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 13 August 2020

Don't we all have a purpose in life?

Some of us know what that purpose is, others thrust their purpose upon us, but I wager most of us spend time wondering what is the meaning of life.

Now given that we're all living through an unprecedented existential crisis I ponder, on an hourly basis, "Why I am here at all?" Then, having failed to answer that question, pose yet another wicked brain teaser. Even if were I to create the most meaningful piece of drama and, in so doing, were to unravel the meaning of the universe and discover my life's purpose, I'm still left with the ultimate conundrum - since we're going to die anyway, and everything is closing down and even the really useful Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber can't keep the West End open - What's The Fucking Point? (WTFP)

WTFP, like FOMO or LMAO, are acronyms that speak to our times. Short and to the point they reveal the angst of a generation that needs to express itself in as succinct a way as possible thus leaving more room for - what, EXACTLY?

IRL and IMHO - in other words 'In real life' and 'in my humble opinion' - speaking in acronyms can cause permanent damage to an adult brain. Be that as it may, (now abbreviated to BTAIM, honestly) the world of communication is so littered with acronymistic bilge that I curse smart phones and media sites that ever demanded limited characters. In the last century sailors would write, 'SWALK' on the back of their envelopes, 'Sealed With A Loving Kiss', or even 'NORWICH' - which endearingly asked the partner of said mariner to have nickers off ready for when the boatman barged through the door with a bottle of rum and an STD. But now we implore each other to Don't Forget To Be Awesome, I kid you not DFTBA. Wtf?

So, there I was with the old git, in The Pantiles, having a coffee and a Pastel de nata - YOLO after all - surrounded by disinfected patrons, when it occurred to me that the chairs we were sitting on were plastic, the table we were sitting at was plastic and the apple green succulent in its little black flower pot, plonked in the middle of the table, was also plastic. It disturbed me that using nasty plastic was an abomination, especially in a town that has links with the celebrated dandy and leader of fashion, Mr.Beau Nash, as well as having a well-heeled population that gets disgusted at the drop of an aitch.

Later, whilst walking through the countryside pondering my purpose and the prevalence of plastic, I noticed that the hedgerows were full of Arum Maculatem.

We called it 'Cuckoo-pint' when I was a kid but it has many common names; 'Snakeshead', 'Adder's root', 'Lords-and-Ladies', 'Devils and Angels', 'Cows and Bulls', 'Adam and Eve', 'Bobbins', 'Starch-root', 'Wake Robin', 'Friar's Cowl', 'Sonsie-give-us-your-hand', 'Jack in the Pulpit' and 'Cheese and Toast'.

Now the name 'Lords-and-Ladies', 'Soldier's Diddies', 'Priest's Pintle' and 'Naked Girls and Boys', all allude to the plant's likeness to men's and women's naughty bits. And since all of God's creations are said to be purposefully designed I wondered what the purpose was of a phallic flower whose berries were so poisonous we were always told never, under any circumstance, to eat or touch a soldier's diddies, advice I have adhered to throughout my life.

But of course, contrary to popular belief 'Lords and Lady's' do have a place in our world. According to WIKI ' The root of the Cuckoo-pint, when roasted well, is edible and when ground was once traded under the name of Portland Sago. It was used like salep (orchid flour) to make 'Saloop', a drink popular before the introduction of tea or coffee. It was also used as a substitute for arrowroot' More wonderfully, I discovered that back in the 15th century the nuns at Syon Abbey used the roots of Cuckoo-pint to make starch for altar cloths and other church linens. So even 'Priest's Pintels' have a point.

Living in such times of fake news and fake furniture maybe my purpose is to throw a light on trickery and fakery, chicanery and any amount of BS, that my reason for being here is to speak out, however uncomfortable it may be, and draw attention to the hypocritical cockalorums, swank pots and rodomontades.

So WFA I will SO and TTYL.

(withoutfurtheradoiwillsignoffandtalktoyoulater)

Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes

Comments

1. At August 16, 2020 2:27 PM June wrote:

Everything gets abbreviated now Jeni. I feel like we live in an alphabetical universe.
People come up with long titles for everything and then canít be arsed to use said long title and so it gets whittled down.
Am I the only one who doesnít t know what the fuck any of it stands for?
Rant over darling girl.xx

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.