WELL, that's Ocsober out of the way.
A steadfastly dry 31 days that has ironically led to a serious ice-cream addiction.
Funny what you'll substitute when you're breaking bad habits.
Or establishing new ones.
Shameful, too, what you'll sneak into the freezer on your way home from work.
Used to be a few coldies.
Now it's a tub of something just as cold that doesn't clink.
Often with the word "gourmet" in the price tag.
And possibly salted caramel if I'm feeling exotic.
Ice-cream is so varied these days.
Like craft beer.
Both sharing the same impact on the custard guts.
That's why they're not supposed to be "everyday food".
And that's why we have Ocsober.
I looking forward to No-Icecream-ber.
But who's counting down the days since Ocsober started.
Oh that's right, I was. Actually I wasn't.
Because I started Ocsober in August.
So I've been counting down the days since spring sprung.
And I've run out of fingers and toes.
Gnawed down with anxiety perhaps?
Counting down not only the days behind, but the days ahead, pondering questions such as:
Can I survive pre-Christmas cheer?
Will New Year really be happy?
Why do I keep hearing the ad for Boating Camping Fishing ( . . . that's not living . . . !!!).
Talk about brain freeze
Caused and alleviated to a degree, by a big plate of triple choc comfort food.
Allegedly hidden, or so I thought, in the garage fridge.
Where no one but me, or so I thought again, knew about it.
Interesting how quickly others twig to goings on in the gulag.
Watch enough David Attenborough and you know it's a jungle out there.
Scavengers alert to signals.
The walls have ears, the potatoes have eyes and everyone's on the scent for something heaven sent.
And so it came to pass the other night, in scenes reminiscent of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, I discovered my cover had been blown.
Someone else was getting high on my supply. Damn!
Looking back in forensic manner, I tried to work out who was tapping my pile.
Every routine has its sounds.
But not every routine is sound.
Like trying to sneak ice-cream from the car into the garage freezer when you get home from work.
After a hard day at the office.
After calling into the supermarket to pick up contraband which isn't everyday food.
But which can become every night food, if you plan it right.
Maybe my audio gave me away.
The sound of the garage door opening, the sound of the car turning off, the sound of . . . dead air.
If I was in the kitchen unpacking the dishes, aware that dad's sweet tooth was running rampant, would I say to myself: What is Captain Sneaky up too?
Not that I've got anything to hide.
Except the ice-cream.
Not too hard to work out, if I was smuggling ice-cream, where I'd hide it.
Certainly not the pantry?
With the chips.
A melting moment worth considering in future if you subscribe to the theory "they'd never think to look there", like someone obviously did with the freezer.
Exhibit A, bite marks in the vanilla.
We all have our "secret pleasures".
But I'm not sure pleasure qualifies for the title if it's no longer secret.
"Shared delight" doesn't cut it either.
Particularly if you get resentful about anyone other than yourself tapping the stash.
And make no mistake, someone was/is.
The trip wire I put round the freezer had been disturbed, spoon prints were evident in the choc chip, and the frozen sirloin had been moved over the chops.
Someone, other than myself, couldn't help themself.
Actually, someone other than myself could and was helping themself.
To something that wasn't supposed to exist.
And so the double games of pretending nothing was wrong began.
Needing to show I didn't know I knew, lest they knew I knew. And knowing they knew I knew they knew.
And knowing a third party might know too, given she got meat out of the freezer the day before to make dinner.
Talk about poker faces over breakfast.
Who was going to break?
Out in acne. Or condemnation about the facades we build around our desires, and being bad sharers.
Thank god for Melbourne Cup.
Supply and demand easily convert to deny and demand when it comes to forbidden fruits.
And when Prince of Penzance saluted this year at gazillion to one, fixed odds, I got a taste for something altogether more addictive than beer or ice-cream.
It's a sure bet there's no substitute for that sweet taste.