In which Suave Gav explains his aversion to meat whilst Tony continues to walk on eggshells.
Suave Gav called, ostensibly to offer an apology for fainting when I mis-pronounced ‘blutwurz.’ I had been feeling rather sheepish about my faux-pas but I could never have expected even the most rabid vegan would be prone to passing out at the mention of blood sausage.
“I should think my parents had a sadistic streak,” said Gavin. “No animal was sacred in the Armstrong household and no animal part was off the menu. The beasts of the field would cower if we passed. Not that anything we ate ever resembled animal flesh - which was a blessing, for had my nine brothers and I known the origins of the various delicacies dished up, we would surely have mastered the art of hurling from an early age.
“The main justification seemed to be that it was ‘economical.’ That is, once the rich had done with the finer cuts of an animal, the remains would go to waste were it not for the Armstrongs. ‘I see,’ I said to my father. ‘But if they hadn’t slaughtered the beast in the first place, that particular problem wouldn’t have arisen.’ I thought this was an excellent observation for a five-year-old, but it landed me a clip around the ear.
“I don’t blame my parents. They did an otherwise excellent job of rearing my multitudinous siblings and I. In fact, anyone who knows me will confirm that I am a near-perfect physical specimen, despite the early gastronomic torture. But I hope what I have said goes some way towards explaining my sensitive disposition in this field.”
“Yes,” I said. “I’ll be careful not to mention.. that word again.”
“The thing is,” said Gavin, “all of this is neither here nor there when there is a matter of far greater consequence for you and I to discuss.” I wondered what else I had said to offend him but this didn’t appear to be the issue. “Since our meeting at the Herbaceous Perennials, I’ve done some considerable research and even conducted a few preliminary experiments.”
“A new chutney?” I said.