Trotsky’s Tiffin – Issue 24

TROTSKY’S TIFFIN (previously Stalin’s Breakfast)

The following ‘incident’ was acted out to the private strains of that perennial favourite refrain, ‘Old Macartney had some grub, eee I did, I know’.

Watching his weight and the weightlessness of his pocket, Old Mac weighed instead his options on the duplex menu. Being a grass muncher already steered him away from the lavish meal that crowed about its enormity. This tectonic plate of a breakfast that made the camel fat boasted thus: this not so little piggy seems to touch a rasher than the other not so little rasher that gets the succulent finger-licking treatment. Both should have stayed at home. Not home on the range, which seems to work for the deer and the antelope, but home where they might be left to mature into a respected member of Animal Farm, with a lot to say about equality of breakfasts in terms of meat replacement quotas.

Now, Old Mac’s main course of action involved a dilemma of a different organic nature. Resisting the veggie consolation prize of Perky in place of Pinky, Old Mac wanted to see and ultimately gourmandise more poultry, or at least would-be poultry. The great thing is that in the land where customer – particularly the commodified ex-citizen – is a burgher king, such shuffling of the culinary livestock, sorry deadstock, or would be dead stock if we weren’t quite hungry enough on any given day, is reasonably negotiable.

Coming to terms with this somewhat unsought for power, Old Mac took this great opportunity to exchange Perky for a third member of the poultry – would-be poultry – genus. He was happy to be able to get a word in eggways, as he usually was passive and too accepting of his lot, or little in his case.

Thus prepared, Old Mac took a satisfying sup of his third choice reality ale, his first and second choices being too popular and consequently pumped out. The draught of third choice ale eased its way in to his body and began its healing.

Not getting carried away with his success in negotiating a middle of the day piece of food, considering the willingness of the servant to please, but the reasonable basis of the exchange did satisfy him. He just wondered why the exchange was a little loaded in his favour as customer when he gained no satisfaction in seeing and hearing the over-eagerness to please from his fellow citizens, working hard to earn a crust as they were. He often felt complicit in their somewhat ingratiating position because to eat he had to enter the exchange as a customer first, as, if he couldn’t produce the mulah, he wouldn’t be entertained by any of the servants.

After a mere ten minutes of modest excitement and reasonable anticipation, his pseudo-farmyard arrived. His heart sank like a punctured rubber duck and a mild discontent bubbled to the surface and momentarily drowned out his thoughts. In this negligibly serviceable democracy it took only another five minutes for the opportunity for feedback to arrive at his table.

In his accomplished achieving  way, the servant asked if everything was alright down on the farm. Old Mac, couldn’t, in all conscience, agree having been given a meal with more Perky than pre-adolescent Gallus Gallus than earlier negotiated at the bar. Immediately on the defensive, somehow as if personally sleighted, the servant suggested a hurried trip to the kitchen to procure another embryonic Gallus Gallus, at no extra cost to Old Mac, and no requirement for any exchange of a Perky not requested. Quickly getting a humbling flash of the universe and then a small snapshot of struggling geographic locations on the planet, Old Mac concluded that this wasn’t the worst that could or would befall him in this life. Consequently, he declined the offer of recompense of the aspirant servant and accepted the breakfasted fate, or indeed fated breakfast as was. The servant however, evinced some palpable discomfort and was aggrieved that Old Mac, his commercial exchange master of the moment, might in any way be short on bliss. An absurd little ditty playfully leaped in to Old Mac’s mind: “Hey, servant, leave this stoic alone!”

Eventually, after much knife and fork play, Old Mac was left with more Perky than Gallus Gallus and knew deep down in the pit of his stomach – much later at the outer reaches of his lower intestine – that he would acidically contain this would-be service industrial related incident with only an indigestion burp marking its passing, unless there’s a fire in the belly that is not courage and only heartburn.

Old Mac returned to his clean plate and half-empty glass of ale, his second of the afternoon, and contemplated the dash of bean juice that had escaped his caution and landed on his shirt front, and thought to himself that he has just swallowed another minor discomfiture and will live to bite another day.