Oh my goodness - I thought I was rude!!
"I sat down, touched the stickiness of a table that had been wiped with a dirty cloth, and knew instantly that you should never eat the same thing twice. Like history, food repeats itself — once is comedy, twice is vomit. It was just as I remembered it, but instead of filling us with Proustian reverie, it reminded us of how far our tongues have travelled. All those lunches, dinners and teas of the past 20 years, a motorway of food stretching round the world, speeding our expectations away from scooped out baked potatoes stuffed with sour cream and chives, away from the combo platter with 2in of boiled sweetcorn that taste like bog-wiped loofah and the coleslaw that was slimy tile grout, and the potato salad that was coleslaw but without the sophistication, and an onion loaf that was a breeze block of watery oleum, held together by oil that they’re now turning into tractor fuel.
The ribs and that barbecue flavour — such a cosmopolitan, grown-up Hollywood version of home-grown brown sauce — tasted as if they’d been boiled in an ashtray. The flavour of smoke has been so comprehensively removed from our lives that it now seems hideously like sticky, toffee-coloured emphysema. The mud pie and the chocolate milk shakes are made from that preparatory chocolate syrup that is so glossily, authentically American and appears in so many porn movies, but is potty-mouth if you’ve ever eaten real chocolate made with chocolate.
A manager man came up to the table. “Oooh, not such a good review last week, hope we’re gonna get a better one. Everything all right?” he asked cheerily over a mountain of congealing and collapsing incinerated animal bits. I smiled the smile of the apocalypse. No, it won’t be that bad, sonny. It’ll be on a whole new level of bad. This is bad from a bad place where the bad people live. This is a glutinously awful pig-swamp bad, out all on its own in the badlands. This is, to put it simply, just so you don’t forget, terribly bad food. And it’s terribly bad food from the bad past. It’s like having your mum come out with photographs of your 1980s girlfriend, and you have a look and you think, “Oh, my God, how could I ever have put that in my mouth?” "