Sunday, June 17, 2007
H is for Horseradish
When did our High Street become an assault course? I was focused on buying one thing, which was horseradish. I had even been tipped off by a neighbour that I could find the fiery roots in the local supermarket. But before I got there, I was stopped in my tracks. Three men dressed in commando jackets stood in my way. "Do you have paintballing needs?" What sort of a question is that? I told them firmly and politely that as yet I had not discovered a need for paintballing. I walked on. A minute later and a bright yellow t-shirt blocked my way, emblazoned with the words "Fighting Poverty." I side-stepped the yellow t-shirt man. I tried to refocus on the horseradish. But it didn't stop. As I approached the last bend with the supermarket sign in my sights, a small woman dressed in what looked like a patchwork quilt drifted out in front of me."Can I show you the way of true love?" she asked with staring eyes. "No", I said. She looked crestfallen. I marched into the supermarket, straight to the vegetables. I wouldn't have recognised the horseradish without the help of a label. They were thick, stumpy brown roots, tightly wrapped in cellophane. (Freddie thought they looked like wands from Hogwarts.) I bought them and headed home. In reverse order, the patchwork quilt woman and yellow t-shirt man tried once more to interrupt me. By the time I reached the paintball commandos, I took the horseradish root in my hand. "Do you have any horseradish needs?" I asked them. The commandoes were stumped. As I walked past them I overheard them muttering,"There are some real nutters round here."