Wednesday, 5 October 2011
At work last week, we had a charity coffee morning. The idea was that members of staff buy or bake cakes, bring them into work and then senior managers take on the role of waiters and visit everybody in the office selling coffee and cake for a small fee, with all of the proceeds going to charity.
It’s nice to see a senior manager being a waiter – doing something useful for a change.
I like to do my bit for charity but I decided that I didn’t want to bake a cake because I hate cooking and I am sure that I would have inadvertently poisoned my co-workers. Instead I went to the local supermarket and bought a nice big chocolate party cake. I was convinced that there would not be enough cake for everybody; sadly quite a few others thought the same and in the end, so much cake was baked or bought that we had tons of the stuff left.
This has meant that for the past few days, we have been selling what’s left, again for charity.
Today, in the kitchen at work, there was a huge chocolate monster of a cake. I was urged to buy a slice and the temptation was almost overwhelming but I declined because I am trying to climb back down to a healthy BMI and a slice of this cake would have annihilated a week’s effort. Add to that, if I had had one slice I would have struggled not to go back for more and more and more.
All this got me thinking, which is a dangerous thing.
There one other thing that has the same effect on me as “Death by Chocolate” monstrosity that was tempting me – and that is beer.
For a bit of fun, I have decided to present to you a comparison of these two supposedly evil foodstuffs.
In the red corner we have chocolate; in the blue corner we have beer.
(1) Beer is addictive. If you have a pint at your local pub, you immediately think to yourself “Just one more for the road”. Before you know it you have had several for the road. Similarly, if you open a box of Lindor chocolate, you subconsciously reach into the box eating one after the other until you finally look down and realise with horror that you have eaten every last one – and STILL want more.
(2) Chocolate appeals to half of the human race – the female half. Beer appeals to the other half of the human race – the male half. Of course some men love chocolate and some women love beer – woe betides those who love both.
(3) Beer is brown – well the best beer is anyway. Lager is a kind of yellow colour whereas bitter has the same hue as a bar of Cadbury’s milk chocolate. Chocolate is also brown. I am not talking about that disgusting white chocolate which is especially made for kids and weirdos. I am weird but at least I am willing to admit that white chocolate is like rhubarb – unpleasant, unnatural and belongs in Hell.
(4) Chocolate makes you fat. If you spend your evenings sitting on a sofa munching a box of Quality Street you will inevitably weigh more than your house. Equally, beer makes you fat. If you spend your evenings sitting in a pub drinking pint after pint of Old Stoatwobbler you will eventually have a beer gut so big that you can build a house on it.
(5) Beer is apparently bad for your body. In small doses it can have health benefits. Sadly by “small dose” the “experts” mean one pint a month. Any more than that and you are a binge-drinking boozer with a leather liver, red blotches and a beer gut you could use as an offensive weapon. Chocolate is also bad for your body. If you plough through box after box of Milk Tray, you will rot your teeth and be so obese that the only way you will be able to leave the house is via the window on the end of a crane.
(6) Beer makes you sick. An evening in the company of several pints of Guinness will eventually cause your body to say “ENOUGH!” and hurl the entire contents of your stomach into the nearest receptacle (the toilet, somebody’s lap, a fruit machine) in a bid to rid itself of the ale. Equally if you spend an entire day trying to eat a shop’s worth of Cadburys your body stomach will say “I don’t care if you like the taste of this chocolate – it’s being evicted”. The good thing is that with chocolate at least you will be compis mentis and have some control over the location of the ejected food matter.
(7) Chocolate makes you feel good. Beer makes you feel good. Why? Because both release endorphins in the brain. When I first heard that I asked Mrs PM why we don’t end up dressing up in weird vivid lycra costumes with a crash helmet and start kicking shit out of bad guys.. She said “Endorphins, you moron, not Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”. So what are endorphins? They basically make you feel good and full of energy. That explains a lot and may also contribute to the reason why beer and chocolate are addictive. Sadly, the endorphins seem to vanish when we over-indulge and start throwing up.
I love beer and I tolerate chocolate – but not together. Chocolate is too sweet and ruins the taste of a good pint. Besides, it’s probably a good thing that I don’t like them equally because I would end up being so big that Tories would start pointing to me and saying “That’s what’s wrong with Britain.”
They probably say that about me anyway.
It is possible to combine beer and chocolate in a bizarre way though. At a beer festival earlier this year, I spotted a “Chocolate Beer”. Mrs PM was with me and she said “OOH!! I have to try some of that.”
Me and my mates grimaced and thought that it was an unholy alliance. We weren’t so appalled that we didn’t want to try it though. Mrs PM obliged and gave me a swig.
At first I thought, yes – it really DOES taste like chocolate.
Sadly, that’s about as far as the positives went before being swamped by the negatives. After the initial chocolate buzz the taste of the beer burst through leaving a totally unpleasant bittersweet taste in my mouth that made me feel slightly queasy. Worse, the colour of the beer wasn’t the most alluring thing I have ever seen; a kind of dark diarrhoea brown.
Mrs PM struggled on and by the end of it, her verdict was “I’m never drinking that again.”
This just goes to show that two rights can make a wrong.
Leave the beer in the pub, to enjoy with your mates, and the chocolate at work to get you through the day – especially if served by senior managers with a nice cup of coffee.
Nothing is sweeter than that.