There’s a great shame that haunts my life; an unforgivable horror which stalks me wherever I go. It plagues my daydreams and breeds my nightmares, this feeling of raging, unconfined guilt.
I can imagine myself at the Pearly Gates as St Peter carefully weighs out all the good and bad things I’ve done over the course of my life. The scales just about lean in my favour and I’m starting to believe that heaven awaits when the Keeper of the Keys produces this golem, tipping the balance irrevocably the other way.
“I thought you might have forgotten,” I say meekly, as St Peter opens up the shaft to hell. “Dear child, a sin so heinous shall never be overlooked,” he replies and casts me down.
As I descend, I’m almost certain the eternal terrors that await will be themed around my great folly, this moment of infamy that I will never be allowed to forget. And I’ll think to myself that I deserve it, while the crime runs over and over in my head.
I once spent £24 on a chicken sandwich.
I once spent £24 on a chicken sandwich!
I once spent £24 on a chicken sandwich!!*
Now, in a sane world, this would be the bit where I tell you about the big dollop of caviar that was plonked on top, or the truffle-ridden salad, or the side dish of whole lobster. You could mmm and ahhh an understanding and think to yourself “extravagant yes, but I can see where the money went”.
But it is not a sane world and the sandwich had none of these things. It had two slices of bread, nuggets of battered chicken, a green salad, tomatoes and a dressing. That was it. No fancy adornments, no side dishes, nothing.
Yes I was in the bar at The Dorchester. Yes it was my honeymoon. Yes it was a damn good chicken sandwich.** But £24? Just what was I thinking?!
*What form a sandwich-themed hell would take, I obviously cannot say – I’m sure the devils are more creative than I am. But I’d bet a lot of money on it smelling like Subway. And I reckon those acrid cucumbers you get in Ginsters butties would also be involved.
**And I do mean impeccable. I couldn’t fault a thing. Even the tomatoes – my food nightmare in waiting should I ever become famous and get invited on Saturday Kitchen – were divine.