November 5th

Something that we hope will brighten up your Monday morning. Respond via Comments, as usual.

34

I guess some people are tolerant, but it’s still not the acceptable thing for a bloke to do, is it? And it’ll be a long time before Society changes enough for us all to be open about it. A girlfriend found a stash of wrappers in my car once.

‘It’s not normal,’ she said.

Of course, there was a gleam of hope with Yorkie bars but you could tell they weren’t thinking of us once you saw the ads – lorry drivers looking more like male models than your average knackered, unshaven juggernaut type.

It’s all women – in overflowing baths (can you imagine the grief we’d get for flooding the bathroom floor?) getting sexy with a Flake, or a couple of giggling girlies sucking Maltesers up with a straw. There is one with a bloke – him and his girlfriend on the sofa watching a horror movie and he pretends there’s a scary bit coming so he can scoff one of her Quality Street. Now that’s good – chocolate and cunning, I like that. But why do they have to use a fat bloke? I’ll tell you why – they want to put us off.

But they won’t. We get it at garages, motorway service stations, in the newsagent’s on a Sunday morning when we’re picking up the paper. Of course, you won’t hear us talking about it like women do. We eat it and we shut up. We don’t even talk about it to each other. You see a couple of women at the supermarket check-out with a few bars and packets on top of their trolleys and they’ll start up a conversation in no time – I know I shouldn’t…, If I don’t have a small bar every day I get really cranky… Not us.

Blokes don’t make comments about other blokes’ chocolate.

43 comments:

  1. I always get in the wrong queue at the supermarket.

    I choose carefully, walking up and down the checkout lines, scrutinising the till person to see whether they look efficient. It’s a long way down all those tills. People push you and barge their overloaded trolleys at your legs. Nobody has time for courtesies any more. I’ve had people swearing at me. In the middle of the day. With children around. The children are often the worst culprits. What was I saying? Oh yes, the queues. The young boys are to be avoided – too lazy and uncaring - and the older gentlemen – last time one of them couldn’t scan my Kit Kat multipack so he pulled one of the bars from the wrapper and tried scanning it individually, then timesing that by four. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I didn’t say anything, I’d have been wasting my breath as it didn’t work anyway. There was a long queue of impatient people behind, blaming me. I could feel the back of my neck flushing. I didn’t know where to put myself. He had to call the Supervisor. Then he gave me the wrong change. It’s my policy never to point out when I’m given the wrong change, it causes such a fuss and it all evens out in the end anyway – twenty pence shortchanged here, twenty pence extra next time. It makes me nervous either way though. The Kit Kat incident upset me, I had to take them home in a torn wrapper. I felt cheap, like I’d bought damaged goods. On the bus I surreptitiously slid the Kit Kats under the carton of milk, even though the milk should go at the bottom, then the tin of soup beside that and the bread roll on top. I have my pride.

    Deborah
    Deborah7@ntlworld.com

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  2. There were three to go, and she was third. Last of the fourteen women, lovely. She didn't want to make eye contact with him, that would cause far too many problems as Harold was still sat there, twisted smile, port drinker's nose, bigger tits than her own. She didn't want to get stuck with him, though he clearly fancied it.

    Nora stands, sidling across the room and makes her selection. Pointing like a lottery advert with a sideways smile and a coquettish jingle-jangle of the keys, crossing her American Tan, stalking from the room. Sidney being led by his regiment tie.

    Nora and Sidney, gone, and its fifty-fifty, the greek god and the greasy ogre. Harold, now he looked the kind of chap who'd have a hairy back, but would be able to fix your hostess trolley at the eleventh hour. There'd be no squeaky doors or flaky paint with Harold. But then, no interest, excitement, tingly feelings or passion, either. Himself though, all taut buttocks and upper body strength. No chance if your dado rail needed a quick joosh of No Nails, or the kitchen door needed an application of WD-40, but what he lacked in the practicality department, he'd camouflage with the dirty squirty.

    She looked sideways at Stella and could see the same calculations passing over her face, hairy mole on her top lip glistening with each gloop of the lava lamp. A little sigh, and a flattening of her skirt - here she goes then, thy will be done and all that. Stella stands and takes a sly step forward, trying to catch a glimpse of the key fobs in the oversized brandy glass. Deflated she's taken the Renault, that'd be the social worker then, a result. He knew bugger all about playing canasta.

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  3. No. Unusual that. Could be they find mulling over another bloke’s chocolate something they’d not want to do in public, just maybe a private chat later. Who knows. If I knew, I’d be eating more Flakes every day than that girl in that Flake ad who gets down in a field of dandelions with her bloke.

    Then you get this reality tv show on about how chocolate does things to you, like, makes it feel hyperactive, like rampant active.

    I just want a bar so I can feel better about me. Does my molars no good mind you, but as long as I get that daily dosage my mind gets clear about the things I have to tackle during the day – my mood changes too and swings about so much I can’t keep up but that doesn’t make me want chocolate less.

    Been like that for years. Only time I didn’t crave for a bar was when I had that wisdom tooth out and my mouth wouldn’t jar open – got myself a hot chocolate though – you know how it is – the feeling just gets you by the throat and nothing can stop that urge.

    My hands quivered as I reached for a tissue in my jeans’ pocket. I blow hard and wiped the tears rolling down my cheeks with the vigour of a scolded child. My head drooped. I recoiled into a cocoon like ball on the floor.

    The room becomes silent and I got up from off the floor and moved back my seat. My hand reached for my bag, unzipped it and tentatively hovered my fingers over a Snickers, but the voice of reason in the name of Zoey brought me back into the room.

    I’m here to discover the meaning of Chocoholic Anonymous.

    Colleen
    coll@literaryspot.com

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  4. Because I was his mother people expected me to have more compassion, be more considerate. The surprise on their faces was unmistakeable when they asked, ‘Has he always been overweight?’ And I said, ‘He’s fat. And he’s fat because he’s been stuffing himself with chocolate for years. And there’s no excuse.’

    I’m sure some mothers would have blamed themselves, questioned the food they gave him at an early age: too much sugar that created a craving, not enough sugar that left his body feeling deprived. Or maybe they hadn’t met his emotional needs? But they’d breastfed; they were there each day when he came home from school, weren’t they? They made sure they had quality time together as a family at weekends. Perhaps it was his father’s fault? Not enough father and son bonding so he turned to the peanut and milky comfort of Snickers? Oh pl-ease!

    He was greedy and lazy by nature. But I spent years coaxing him towards healthier foods, encouraging him to take exercise. There were dieticians, health farms, counsellors, therapists. Our bookshelves groaned with advice. After twenty five years I gave up. And I’ll tell you, something broke inside of me. But there comes a point when you have to realise that you’re not the person who can help, that any good you think you’re doing, might actually be damage.

    I help him in a different way now. I do his shopping every week, bringing him the things that are killing him slowly. Too slowly in my opinion. He hasn’t left the house for 6 months, only moves from the sofa now to visit the bathroom. Last week, when he smiled at me as I came in with a tin of Quality Street, I glimpsed the boy I used to know. Then he was gone.

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  6. i wonder if i can do it i dont want to write about my own or other peoples bodies or about sex or about my nasty childhood or my abusive spouse all i want is to see if i can do it its something i don’t like i don’t approve of it and disapproval and dislike go right back to when i was five ok ok ok that mentions childhood sorry but it goes back to the time when she used to say you need a full stop there dear and then you leave a space and start the next sentence with a capital letter if i did these two things properly i used to get a red star on a big card on the notice board i liked to see a lot of red stars after my name i got very very well trained and advanced to master the comma semicolon colon hyphen i wont go on it was a nightmare but i conquered so when i see slabs of type written without any of it i get very very angry because of the indoctrination i had then and how careful i had to be for the next twenty years to get qualified so if im beginning to moan im sorry i now have a thing about punctuation and if i see it used wrongly i get so picky i cant begin to process what the writer is saying i don’t know which is worse prose or poetry poetry without a single comma or full stop is a pain is it a puzzle that you’re meant to work out for yourself query what worries me to the point of disintegration is i could get drawn in to this free flow stuff which would very seriously upset my world view

    judytattersfield.@tiscali.co.uk

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  7. When he was a young boy, a child prodigy, his mother would tempt him with chocolate shavings.
    “I want to play,” he said.
    “You are, my dear. Stay at the piano.”
    “Outside, I mean.”
    “Have some more chocolate.”

    His mother prevailed. He played at the court, wrote symphonies, concertos, operas and canons.
    “What’s that you’re playing?”
    “Lick my arse.”
    “Don’t be vulgar.”
    “It’s a canon for six voices in B-flat major. It’s a party piece for my friends.”
    “Wolfgang!”
    “You said I should play.”

    When he crawled on the floor and made rude comments, Salzburg was outraged; or maybe it was other way round. So he went off to Paris. He found no work there so slunk back to his home town, knowing it was over and that he had to get out. He’d “noodle” his music, the true sign of genius, and drink himself silly just for the fun. Then he left for Vienna, the city that saved him. So he gave it the best that he could: piano concertos and operas from Figaro to The Serail.

    But all the while infection was waiting in the wings. When it struck, he thumbed his nose once again and channelled his forces into The Magic Flute. His Requiem, though, remained unfinished.

    Today, he’s their son. They always welcome punk rockers. For a whole year in his honour they set up phone booths in the city: Calling Mozart!

    A money-spinning icon, he still wears his hair long; it’s caught back neatly for he’s now immortal. He died young as they do when they’re eaten by passion, but on main street Vienna they now sell his balls. They’re made of dark chocolate with green marzipan innards and his face grins out at you as you peel off the gold foil.
    Rock me, Amadeus!

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  8. Desire. Unscratchable itch. Tormenting, bottomless hole.
    Nagging, cumbersome burden.

    Take me.

    Dilema.

    How did it come to this?

    It was more than six months since he had last had access to his conjucal rights.

    “I can’t,” she had frowned, “ look at you, you’ll crush me. If I give in, then you will give up. Just two stone and then you can get some!”

    He really wanted to get some.

    He’d dieted desperately.
    What difference would one Mars Bar make now?

    He remembered when love’s lust was fresh, she seemed to be filled with a natural, of course ‘natural’, desire to bonk his brains out. She had given loads. He was always getting it.

    But then she had another desire.
    Within nine months he had some serious competition on his hands.

    “Nature makes babies cute to lure!” he surmised as he observed the guzzling little imp, banqueting at the sizably pleasing breast, a breast which once was his.
    “Lucky little bugger,” an evil voice echoed somewhere inside the lecherous labyrinth of his primordial mind.

    “Let’s do it ,” he stroked her boob, pleaded. She flinched, he’d blown it.
    “ Ouch, your hands are rough. Fetch a napkin, he needs winding.”
    That’s how it begun. He threw back the duvet, scratched and adjusted his fulcrum of fun and left the room. In the lounge he flicked the T.V. on.
    Teletubbies video blasted. He couldn’t find the remote control, nor the remotest chance of control. But there amidst the scattered toys, a packet of Hob Nobs.

    Surrogate love.

    And misplaced desires grew. So did his gut. Consequently, so too her repulsion.

    And now, with one stone left, what difference would one Mars make?

    He removed its outer garment. The length slid between expectant lips.
    And for a short while desire was silent.

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  9. I’ve given up chocolate.

    As an addiction, it’s a socially acceptable one until you get overweight, but moderation is the key. Yes I can afford this one bar of melt-in-the-mouth chocolaty goodness, but only of I do an extra fifteen minutes of sit-up, push-ups, chin bars.

    Easier not to eat it in the first place, but the substance of choice is everywhere and freely available. Cigarettes may have been banned from television but chocolate hasn’t been. Every time you switch it on there’s some skinny bint stuffing chocolate in. The only series of adverts I respect were the ones with Dawn French. Now there was a woman who enjoyed her confectionary and wasn’t afraid to show it. Those adverts shouted ‘delicious but fattening’ with every pixel.

    It gts hard to keep up with the name changes, too. Whatever happened to the Aztec bar? The Texan? The Wispa (I hate the lazy spelling, too), though I hear that they’ve ‘re-issued’ that like it’s a commemorative coin or something. Why did the Marathon bar become a Snickers? And why did the CurlyWurly reduce to a quarter of its original size?

    Why do they sell chocolate bars in fitness clubs? “Gives you energy,” declare the wrappers. They probably do but in my experience a 2 oz bar of chocolate contains 4 oz of fat. No chocolate for me then, thanks. If I eat just a piece of it I’m going to want more. Is it still classed as an aphrodisiac?

    I looked up how many calories are burned during various activities. Did you know that 200 calories (about the size of a small chocolate bar) can be burned off by 30 minutes of vigorous sex? Me neither. Now I have an excuse: I need to exercise.

    Pass me that Snickers bar, would you?

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  10. It's since giving up the drink it's happened.

    I started by moulding it. Letting it soften a bit first by heating it quickly in the microwave and then squishing it in my fist until it oozed between my fingers. My first attempt resembled a mahogany knuckle-duster.

    Heaven knows what they think down at the Co-op. I'm up to buying twenty bars at a time now. But it has to be good, the real thing. My favourite is Green and Black's Mayan Gold. After all, if you're going to do a bit of sculpture you might as well have something that's worth licking off your palm.

    She wasn't sure I was serious when I first asked her. I'd noticed her in the Rat and Parrot a few nights earlier, sipping a gin and tonic. She looked as though she was waiting for someone but no one turned up, so I decided to risk it. I suppose it's one hell of a chat up line, 'I'd love to sculpt you in chocolate'.

    She was a bit nervous when she arrived at the flat. I could tell 'cos she made a joke about the chocolate scallop shell not being weight bearing. I expect she'd never worked with a professional before. We couldn't start straight away as the chocolate needed to be tempered. My hands were shaking. I mean, have you ever painted warm Mayan Gold over naked breasts? It was the only way. You can't create a chocolate Birth of Venus without making a mould. I knew about Goldfinger. I wasn't going to paint her all over. Give me some credit. It was the hair that threw me. It was long enough for sure. Good and wavy. But I'd underestimated the problem of absorption. I was going to need at least another fifty bars.

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  11. Sorry, funkyfulfilledandfifty forgot to add her name and email address. New to all this!

    Kate
    katiespencer@btinternet.com

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  14. Sidiki was 11 years old when the trader came for him. He was proud because his father told the trader he was a good worker. The trader told him he would be home again in a year, with $120 for his family and a new bicycle. Sidiki felt a lump in his throat when he left his home with the trader, but he didn't cry. He was a big man now.

    It was four days' journey to the big cocoa farm in rural Côte d'Ivoire. They arrived in the afternoon and Sid was put straight to work. There were other young men there, mostly from Mali like Sid, with a few from Togo and Benin. The bags of cocoa beans Sid had to carry were taller than him. Two boys had to lift each bag onto his head, and they were so heavy he could barely stand under them. Once he tripped over a root and fell. Then the farmer beat him with a branch from the cocoa tree.

    At 6 pm the boys were given a banana each and locked into their room. Just one room for 16 of them, with a can to piss in. All their whispered talk was of escape and revenge. Some had been here for three or four years. Sid's belly gnawed with hunger and loss and despair. He waited until the others slept to weep silently, his tears falling onto the wooden plank where he lay.

    It was 18 months before one boy managed to escape and alert the authorities. Sid was sent home with $50 that the police made the farmer give him, no bicycle, and a web of scars on his back from the beatings. He is 17 now, and he has never spoken of his time on the cocoa farm.

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  15. They say he’s got an addictive personality. It’s probably true.

    He’s given up the fags, now that smoking is banned and all that. It wasn’t easy, but he’s done it and I’m proud of him.

    He’s given up the beers too. He had to, really, after that last drink driving ban. The accident could have killed him. It nearly did kill me. I can’t actually remember what happened, how the car came to skid across the roundabout, flattening bushes on its way and landing upside down on the road the other side. Lucky we didn’t hit any other cars. He got straight out, of course, and I was left hanging there, trapped upside down with blood pouring from my head. As the ambulance men tried to sort me out, I could see the cops cuffing him and leading him away.

    I don’t think he is using. I look out for signs that he is changing, for any paranoia or missing money. But I’m sure he must have replaced the booze and fags with something and it‘s certainly not sex, though he’s actually more helpful than usual. He offers to run to the shop for the paper or to fill up the car at the garage. He’s even taken to doing the Tesco shop for me. I reckon there is another woman, but I can’t confront him yet, I have no proof.

    The doctor’s put me on Prozac. I need my chocolate too but I try not to eat it in front of him, because he is putting on lots of weight. It must be giving up the fags. Instead I go round to my mate Gemma’s house and we sit down with large mugs of coffee and a multi pack of mini Mars Bars and watch Jeremy Kyle on TV.

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  16. Another thing we blokes don’t do is look in the mirror. Not us, never ever. Because we’re not anxious about our appearance, don’t care about such superficial things? No, it’s because.

    There was a girl called Eileen who fell in love at a party with Neville, a beautiful boy. Neville flirted with all the girls and boys, gazing deep into their eyes, flattering them, etc. Unfortunately Eileen didn’t know this. She’d been a bit depressed recently: now gilded and shining, she whispered to her friends, “I think that boy really likes me!” Her friends laughed – gently, with some concern. No no, they said, that’s Neville. He’s just flirting, same as he does with everyone. It means nothing. Don’t be deceived.

    Eileen knew they were wrong, but set herself to watch. Saw Neville treat everyone the same, reflecting their own dazzled admiration right back at them. Was he incapable of feeling? Eileen pushed through the smokers clustered around the front door. A rowan tree grew near the patio; clasping its trunk with both hands, Eileen pleaded “Let him suffer, as I am suffering now!”

    It’s a common misconception that for a curse to work, a goddess has to be standing by. One doesn’t. All you need is to be feeling very strongly about something, as Eileen was.

    Meanwhile Neville had gone upstairs for a slash. Happening to catch sight of his reflection in the bathroom mirror and seeing a beautiful boy, a stranger, he instantly fell in love. He sought to touch, to kiss, but his fingers and lips met only cold glass. At last, desperate with longing and hoping to free his beloved, he smashed the mirror. A shard, a dagger pierced his heart and Neville fell dead on the lino.

    So that’s why men never ever look in mirrors.

    frances.gapper@tiscali.co.uk

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  18. Michael reached behind him while chatting on his cell to grab a chocolate bar when his hand encountered the softest skin he had ever touched. He started to turn dropping his cell, the loaf of bread and bumping into the woman in front of him.
    “I beg your pardon, “he mumbled as he bent to pick up his phone and the bread. He heard a little tinkling of a giggle from behind him. Trying to regain some composure he turned to see a bit of a pixie face with beautiful green eyes staring up at him. “Ummm, hello.”
    “Hi,” she said, her eyes still laughing.
    “Michael Malone,” he said extending the hand that still held the cell phone which was clearly still on and someone on the other end was trying to be heard. He looked down at the phone. “Sorry.” He put the phone to his ear and turned his back to her.
    After he’d arrived at home and went to put the bread away he saw the chocolate bar. She must have placed it on the conveyor belt while he was talking. He sighed recalling her eyes, pert nose and pointed chin . Idiot! He hadn’t even bothered to get her name – too busy with the business at hand. He unwrapped the chocolate – took a bite and imagined her laughter again.
    Four times that week he stopped at the grocery store hoping to run into her but all he had was four loaves of bread to show for it.
    Saturday he got ready early. He took the stairs two by two as he headed out to meet his nephews at the park. His cell rang as he went through the doors he dropped it. He heard that tinkling laugh behind him and turned. There she stood.
    The chocolate pixie!

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  19. Guilt is what I feel when my three-year-old son watches television whilst I iron and that I’ve used the tumble dryer again and not hung the washing outside to dry, that the clothes line needs concreting in and it’s just one more job that my husband can do but I won’t , like the decorating, gardening, picking up the leaves, the dog poo and feeding the dog.

    Guilt is what I feel when my eighty-one-year-old mother stands on a kitchen chair to hide the crisps away from the children when I am perfectly capable of doing so but I obviously so look overburdened, and that she takes our old eating apples, peels them and cooks them which I can’t find time to do just so that on a Sunday I can magically present an apple crumble with little effort.

    Guilt is what I feel when I find myself having a conversation with my five-year-old daughter that I have engaged in so automatically and unemotionally that I don’t even know that I’m doing it or what I have agreed to or praised her for, that she probably can see right through me and sometimes I’m really tired and when I’m tucking her into bed and saying ‘Come on now, it’s late, no more of the story, it’s time for sleep’ what I’m really doing is looking forward to some time to myself.

    Guilt is what I feel when my eldest son blows all his bursary at uni in the first few weeks and it’s my fault because I should have shown him how to budget before he went. Guilt is what I feel that my second eldest prefers the peace of his bedroom to the rest of this madhouse.

    Sometimes I indulge in a bit of chocolate without any guilt whatsoever.

    Kathryn
    andpetkat@yahoo.co.uk

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  20. We met at a chocolate factory. Visiting a chocolate factory, I should say: too dangerous for either of us to work in one, though they do say unlimited access to free chocolate puts everyone off it sooner or later. Heaven forbid.

    The factory was disappointing: not a patch on Willy Wonka’s or anything like that. They don’t show you much chocolate, even; you just see a line of wrapped bars riding along a conveyor belt behind a perspex wall. It’s all multimedia presentations about the history of chocolate-making, otherwise.

    But there was one room where you created your own chocolate sensation. Something like that they called it, anyway. You picked from all these different ingredients, then you poured liquid chocolate over them. You were meant to let it set, and voila! Your ideal chocolate bar. But I didn’t wait for mine to go hard. It was a hot day; I reckoned it would take too long. So it was more like chocolate soup, or that chocolate fondue I had once in a restaurant. It wasn’t that nice really, but I liked the idea.

    Later there was an interactive room with chocolate-based playstations and stuff. They had this light box you stood in front of which projected your silhouette onto a screen, then covered you in chocolate. Just clever software, of course, but it was a thrill watching chocolate creeping up slowly from your toes to the top of your head, until you looked like an Easter bunny. Most people lost interest before it had finished, or just laughed at how it made them look fatter, being chocolate-coated.

    But she was different. I saw the look in her eyes, the awe as she stared at her chocolate self. She looked good enough to eat. That was it: love at first sight.

    plemingcrow@aol.com

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  21. Hallo, it's me again. Washing. It's Monday. I know it doesn't mean the same any more, but I thought I'd remind you - just in case. Things break down, you know, so perhaps you may need me again one day ...

    Oh dear, I've started getting melancholy and now I've got soapy tears on your floor. Please don't tell me off. I'll end up flooding the kitchen and then even my pretty bubbles won't appease you.

    You see, I can't get use to these machines. I agree it's been decades now, ever since they invented the twin-tub. Little did I know it would end up with the switch of a button and that's the weekly washing all done, thank you very much.

    Can you imagine what fun it used to be? A big 'copper' in the middle of the kitchen for the boiling bits, matches galore to light it, hose-pipes in and hose-pipes out, steam everywhere, overflowing sinks, a scrubbing board that used to relieve me of all my strees (they had the audacity to use them to make music later on!), and oooh, that lovely foamy water achieved with a single bar of soap. And now it's gone. Vanished. I could cry buckets.

    The mangle would come out later. Twist and turn and squeeze and s-t-r-e-t-c-h. Did me a power of good that did. It set me up for the day.

    But now I'm done with. I even had to remind you that it was Monday, not that Mondays are necessarily washing days any more. Still, that square thing in the corner with the window might break down. I suppose I could nudge the box of soap powder so that it does a whoops-a-daisy in the machine and clogs up the pipes. Then you'll want me. Just see if you don't.

    From: Yvonne Moxley
    Email: y.moxley@btinternet.com

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  22. Casanova and chocolate

    He had smeared me all over with melted chocolate, my nipples protruded like maraschino cherries, my sex was sweet as a black forest gateaux. I was bobbing on a water-bed. The room was dark and warm and, near the luminous tropical fish tank, he was sat in a red-leather armchair, wearing a dressing gown and slippers, drinking Bourneville. His eyes were accentuated by pink eye-shadow, his pupils large and intense; they looked like my favourite liquorice allsorts.
    ‘So tell me about your childhood’, he said, lighting a pipe.

    The smoke curled round the room, its tobacco stench mingling with the sweet scent of chocolate, and at once I had a crashing craving for those chocolate cigarettes I used to buy on Thursdays with my pocket money. Ah those were the days. Do you remember? When a flake was sixpence worth of heaven and you could sit all day in a meadow, with your red lips and your flaming hair. Days when you knew nothing of serotonin and phenylethylamine or the best methodology for researching the topic of Casanova and chocolate.

    My lips parted, and from my throat came a high-pitched squeal which seemed to linger forever. ‘Very good, your doing really well’, he said. ‘Tell me more.’

    But I was too busy watching the fish escaping from the now overflowing fish tank. They were leaping into the air, engaged in a frantic little dance before hitting the marble cake floor. It was both beautiful and terrifying to watch. When the last fish lay trembling on the ground, I became aware of my own body growing colder and colder. The chocolate was hardening, cracking. I must move now, I thought, if I want to get out of this alive. Then his voice again, ‘more about your childhood. Please’.



    pib.pob@ntlworld.com

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  23. If I shift my butt a little to the right, I can catch a glimpse of myself in the wing mirror. Um, um - I smile at my reflection; yes I could have been a model. How often had I been told that by admiring blokes at roadside cafs who looked me up and down as they licked moist lips. Maybe being a male model would have given me the chance to foster my craving. Not that I crave the Yorkie bars stacked in the back of the cab under the makeshift bed, anymore. I’m past yearning for them. They have another purpose now; one that gives me far more pleasure than forcing my teeth into their hardness. I’m sick of them, if you really want the truth, but the youngsters seem to like them. Well they’ve never stuffed themselves to the gills as I did in those early days. I really relished them then. I loved digging into them, snapping off chunks with such force that it almost took my breath away, feeling that first smoothness, the tang. Then, sucking the last ooze off my fingers for miles.

    No, their purpose now is to entice. Either sex will do but girls prefer something far subtler than a chunky Yorkie. The boys - now they’re another matter. There they are at every stop, desperate for affection under the guise of a ride. They don’t fool me. I see that same look of admiration I’ve experienced so often as they feast on my profile. Their eyes light up when we crawl to the back of the cab and those Yorkies come into view. And all for them. Nothing changes – I had that feeling once, when I was desolate, desperate for attention. They’ll do anything for one bite. As I did. Anything!

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  24. “Grande frocio,” mutters Carlo with a mischievous snigger as the waiter places his food in front of him. My new boyfriend Fabio and the others guffaw. I laugh too although I squirm in my seat at the same time. I hope fervently that the waiter doesn’t understand the vulgar Italian slang for ‘big faggot’. He’s our age, probably a student too, but he looks sophisticated in arty glasses and a pale lemon shirt. It’s the shirt that’s got Carlo started.

    Spurred on by our laughter, Carlo scrutinises a slice of his pizza and then flings it back on his plate,

    “I’m not sure it’s safe to eat this, you never know what we might catch.”

    More juvenile laughter follows and Carlo pushes his plate aside and lights a cigarette. My 'Neopolitane' sticks in my throat. I feel like such a fraud. What would mum say if she could see me now, joining in and snickering?

    Under the table Fabio strokes my knee and I so desperately want it to work out with him that I imagine he’s signalling, “don’t worry, I’m just playing along too, I’m not really like my brother.” I squeeze his fingers tight.

    Carlo begins telling another gay joke. As I prepare to laugh I think how mum and I have always laughed at homophobes, how we’ve simply regarded them as a quaint, virtually extinct species. Society is supposed to be fine with homosexuality. I let Fabio’s fingers go.

    As I stand up I can hear the blood rushing in my ears. My voice sounds squeaky. I tell them that I have to go and also, that my mother is gay.

    I don’t wait to see their faces. As I expected Fabio doesn’t follow me, but I am able to hold myself tall as I walk away.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I begin by observing that women always branded for their jabbering ,eating, chocolate


































    and job opportunities are interlinked together. They talk ,talk, endlessly talk and smart.
    and eat chocolates and lecture about them with sweet words and that could be
    another reason for their success in life and job.
    As mankind is more and more advanced , as we are more and more educated and as
    technology getting improved our outlook in society should also change .Equality in terms of
    job opportunities should be taken care off. Tolerance is lacking in most of us. Some fellows
    because of their economic background , bereft of proper education are denied of their dues
    in society and thrust upon menial jobs unbecoming of them.. Even I am no exception. For various reasons beyond explanation I was forbidden to occupy high positions in government departments and this is a very sad and unwholesome part may be because I am a man.
    Appearance is also another factor which contributes to one’s own upliftment. Why all these meanderings? After all these for an interview or for postings in private sector a good star like appearance is essential. Yes! It is no longer a male-dominated society.
    Women are given utmost preference , and it is the women in the bathroom making it a clutter
    by flooding much to our chagrin . or drinking Maltesers or even watching a horror movie with a
    fat bloke, or eating chocolates catch our eyes...... Some how women, chocolates and conversation – all are interlinked as has been emphasized.
    Chocolates are available everywhere in around us-tea-parties, weddings shops –tubes,
    Aircrafts and in all easily accessible places and women consume chocolates and as they eat
    more and more chocolates, they tend to be hybla tongued. It is some women
    loving living ,some conwomen too.

    ReplyDelete
  26. “If you listen,” Sarah whispered, “You can hear them screaming.”

    I looked at her collection of chocolate on the floor in front of her. The large chocolate bunny still had its head and its ears. Mine has lost its head within the first ten minutes. I envied Sarah her willpower

    “What do you mean?” I asked.

    “To the chocolate.” She said. She gestured at a group of chocolate chicks, their heads gone, their torso and legs still around to witness the horror that had befallen them. “Can’t you hear them? I can hear them crying.”

    I sat down beside her. “Sarah, chocolate can’t scream.”

    “It can if you shape it into something.” She told me. She nodded her head sagely; being six years old had made her an expert on such things. “If you give something a shape, a body, you give it life.”

    I laughed, a hollow sound. “Where did you hear that nonsense?”

    “It’s not nonsense!” She insisted hotly. “It’s true. Here, listen to the rabbit. I’ve eaten the heads off of his babies, his children. Surely you can hear him screaming.” She shook her head. “Oh, how he must hate me.”

    To humour her, I picked up the heavy chocolate bunny and put its mouth to my ear; I wasn’t sure where the mouth was on a chocolate bunny.

    I could hear a sound, a shrill note that sounded like screaming, but it was very faint. I heard Sarah gasp and pulled the bunny away from my ear. Sarah looked frightened. “What is it?” I asked.

    “Look.”

    I looked down to see its eye open and blinking at me. I watched as it stood upright in my palm and its eyes watched me.

    “Oh, he must hate me.” Sarah said. “He’s come for me.”



    Jamieson Wolf
    jamiesonwolf@gmail.com

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  27. We just go out buy it then eat it, that's it nothing more. Ever since “The New Man - I am secure enough in my masculinity to eat chocolate in public” things have been confused. Look, I am a man, right. That means when I want chocolate I eat chocolate, its not about fat , mental health or anything else, I just want chocolate. I do not like to shop, I am a man. I do not like quiche, even if I say I do, its because I fancy you, and this is what you want from me.

    I want to get you into bed, its in my genes, I must procreate. But of course that's not really politically correct, so we don't say that any more. We just wait, see what it is you want, give it too you, in exchange for... well you know what, its what we do. Don't be mistaken, even the most gentle and charming man is fixed genetically to be this other beast. The one you do not see. Only other men know, a nods as good as a wink and all that. Why do you think fathers of daughters are generally murderous bastards, its because we know.

    So, just remember this picture, a man, any man, he eats raw meat, scratches his arse, farts, everything he doesn't do with you, his lover, wife or girlfriend. He wants you, doesn't want to be told, doesn't care if it smells, so long as he gets his own way, everything will be OK. We will kill to get our own way. No matter what nice Mr Jones from accounts says, he would like to rip the heart out the driver of the car that cut him up this morning.

    Remember one thing only -

    I am Man, The Hunter.

    Jim Barron
    jimbarron@walkauvergne.co.uk

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  28. He is right of course. I found the wrappers from two Mars, one Snickers and a large Galaxy Bar stuffed in the driver’s side pocket when he had driven for four hours after a good lunch. Came in asking when dinner would be ready, ‘cause I’m starving!’

    The cunning bit’s right too! They are secretive,even sneaky, about it? They really are. He said ‘They’ve been there for ages, I didn’t eat them all in one go’. He did. He did exactly that – I had emptied the junk out of the car – so I knew, I knew exactly, but he still denied it like it was a woman I had seen him looking at.

    What makes them feel so guilty? Is it us, or is it something more Neanderthal? They hunted then dragged the bleeding carcass back to the cave taking crafty bites. They all knew they were doing it, but no one spoke and nobody said a word when they got back. Lots of shrugging and sucking of those huge teeth when the women pointed to where the delicious bits should have been, with questioning expressions. Oh they keep mum alright.

    What’s galling is when they’re getting a bit pudgy, do they cut down on food, oh no. But magically the weight goes while we reduce our meals to gnat’s portions and don’t loose an ounce. They are just cutting down on the secret mound of chocolate they usually get through in a week, but would they ever admit that. Hah!

    I believe that chocolate is a danger thing for them – illicit pleasure hidden from view. The sabre-toothed tiger is extinct and sometimes they need to flirt with peril. Watch him squirm next time you catch him at it – demand a kiss and see how coy he is, it’s priceless!

    Jane redjane77@hotmail.com

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  29. He watched her groan in satisfaction as she swallowed. Now it became his secret treat too; after a bad day, he’d slide into the garage on the way home. At first it was Cadbury’s Wholenut; hazelnuts embedded in chocolate chunks. But then that didn’t quite hit the spot anymore - he needed to broaden his horizons and a Bounty caught his eye. The smaller bars seemed slightly girly, until he remembered the ‘Taste of Paradise’ adverts - all those half naked chicks must be for men. He swapped to Mint Aeros when he caught himself nibbling the chocolate off the Bounty – leaving the inner whiteness intact.

    In hindsight that was when it began.

    In the queue he read the magazine covers ‘101 Amazing Desserts’ and ‘Release the inner you’. Unable to resist the brightly coloured temptation he slipped one onto the counter with his Ripple. The tingle reminded him of buying Razzle at sixteen.
    ‘For the missus’ he explained to the checkout girl. She nodded, understandingly.

    The increase in chest size was easily attributable to the extra chocolate, although his waist seemed to slim down. He wondered if chocolate had any side effects. His wife had commented on his baby smooth chin and his softer voice; she appreciated the way he was chattier these days too. They spent many an evening over Celebrations and a bottle of wine discussing their friends’ love lives. She very kindly hadn’t commented on the decrease in the other department. Every day it seemed to get smaller and smaller. But somehow, the more he thought about it, the less he cared.

    He went in the garage to collect his daily dose; Cosmopolitan was asking ‘Do YOU wear the trousers in your relationship?’. That really made him think. The next day he bought his first skirt.

    nicky@sharra.plus.com

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  30. It was the summer of 2004 when Sainsbury's in Cardiff decided to remove me from its supermarket and ban me from returning.

    No, not because I'm gay! Stop interrupting, Mom. Rather, they may or may not have caught me stealing those little pots of delicious hommous!

    Now, I'm not saying it was responsible on my part to wear a baggy track suit and oversized hoody into Sainsbury's with the sole intention of jamming tubs of hommous into every spacious pocket. However, it's also irresponsible for Sainsbury's to sell such an addictive food product!

    The supermarket occupies a glorious, window-lit facade on the corner of Queen Street in city centre. So inviting! Sure, you have to navigate the gauntlet of pedistrians, Big Issue sales associates and charity workers with their clipboards and pointed questions, but it's worth it! You enter the shop and feel the delicate chill of the freezer aisle in the distance and there's no place you'd rather be.

    So, as a poundless writer battling student fees and a crippling dollar-to-sterling exchange rate, I had to resort to thievery to feed my stomach and my obsession. I slinked through the store, pretending to be an ordinary shopper.

    "Wow, bargains!" I said, in the first aisle.
    "Ooh, price cuts!" by the aubergines.
    "Caws, cwrw, gwyn..." read my fake Welsh shopping list.

    Then I saw the hummous pots stacked so neatly in their cooling compartment. And I lost it.

    I started shoving them down my trousers, under my shirt, in my hood. All I could envision was chic peas! Soon, I was embraced, or headlocked (depending on how you look at it), by store security and flung onto Queen Street.

    Once home, I removed the single pot of hommous hidden deftly in my boxers, smiled, and put my baby to bed.


    Bill Trüb
    welshwordsmith@yahoo.co.uk

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  32. This pub’s a blessed haven from them. Only two tonight, sitting together, waiting till their blokes bring their drinks. I can just imagine the sort of thing they’re whispering ‘Looks like we’ve chosen the wrong place.’

    I mean we all agree this whole fuss about sex discrimination is a non-starter. How can the sexes possibly be equal? Why should anyone have to employ someone who takes days off every month when she gets a bloody period! You don’t catch us shying off work like that. And just take a look at women drivers; hogging the middle of the road, don’t know their highway code, driving along at a snail’s place, even going the wrong way up one-way streets. I know one who failed five driving tests in a row and she’s still on the road. I can tell you this, you’d never see me getting on a bus driven by a woman.

    Look at the fuss some of them make over changing a light bulb, throw a fit when they’re faced with changing a fuse. How many men sneak around at night looking over their shoulders, listening for heavy footsteps behind, carrying personal alarms? Anyway wandering about in the small hours is asking for it.

    As for equal pay. How can they possibly justify it? All that chaining themselves to railings to get the vote. Loads of ‘em don’t even bother to vote, or else follow their husbands.

    And another thing, women always generalise; you hear it all the time “Just like a man”. Mind you, I’m not saying they don’t have their uses, but without stating the obvious and that apart, let them stick to the ironing, bringing up the kids, keeping them off the streets. Given the chance, I’d limit them in the workplace to running the canteen.
    mrrawlinson@btinternet.com

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  33. jan fortune-wood5 November 2007 at 21:29

    It was a shock I can tell you, finding those wrappers in the glove compartment like that.

    I told him straight out. I said, ‘It’s not normal.’

    Well it isn’t is it? I mean you hear about kinky types and I don’t want you to think I’m a prude. I’ve always considered myself open minded, but this – well, it made me feel a bit sick to be honest. He tried to tell me that everyone does it, that men just keep quiet about it, but I wasn’t born yesterday. I’m not falling for any of that.

    It wasn’t just that it was – I hardly even want to say it really – makes my stomach turn… It wasn’t just a few wrappers or even ones that you might turn a blind eye to. I mean if it had been a couple of Yorkie bar wrappers I could have laughed it off. After all there was that advertising campaign and we’re all susceptible to media images, aren’t we? But this was hard core stuff – mint Aero wrappers, Galaxy bar foil and even – look I hope this won’t go any further, I hope you realise I’m telling you this in confidence – even Cadbury’s Flake wrappers.

    I feel queasy just telling you this, but I had to tell someone. It’s not just that he ate the stuff. It’s more that he had the nerve to buy it. I mean where would a guy go to buy chocolate when it’s obviously not the kind you give your give your girlfriend as a present. Ugh, I had just had an awful thought – I bet he used me as the cover story – I can jut imagine it, Oh and one of those flakes to take home for the girlfriend.

    I mean, what kind of bloke buys himself chocolate?

    ReplyDelete
  34. They talk about other things though, like the power output of their engines (the mechanical kind) and the latest techno-fuel-additive that makes one microsecond’s difference to the 0-60. Then, when they’ve exhausted that, they start talking about computer operating-systems and video cards and wireless connections. Oh, God! It’s so fucking boring.

    Unless you’re a honorary bloke, that is. Genuine honorary blokes actually find engines and computers interesting. They nod along, following the verbal ejaculations so closely that they can ask questions.

    ‘So what’s the power to weight ratio on that? Wow, I bet that goes.'

    I bet it does. I wish she would. There’s nothing worse than some peach-skinned know-it-all, coming in here – hands still grubby from working at the garage – downing pints with the boys.

    She doesn’t know, this one. Some of them do. Some of them know that there’s nothing like a tomboy to raise blood pressure; but you can spot that type a mile off. They’ve got manicures, and makeup, and they can’t keep the conversation going.

    This one’s genuine, though. She’s got grease on her jeans and dirt under broken fingernails. She’s not wearing any makeup at all, and her hair is tied back with a rubber band. She really is interested in engines, and computers, and whatever, and she thinks they’re interested in her mind.

    But she’s young, and that’s the cause of it…on both sides. They’re laughing at her jokes now, and she sees their eyes twinkling with humour. She loves the fact that they are so interested in who she is, and what she knows.

    She thinks, because she drinks beer and can talk about Brake Horse Power, that they haven’t noticed how big her tits are. Poor kid. I wonder who’ll grope her first.

    Leigh
    leigh.forbes@blot.co.uk

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  36. The Eskimos may have a hundred different words for snow, but how many do they have for chocolate, eh? Bet it’s not as many as the chocolate obsessed women of Britain have.

    I’m a bit of an expert on chocolate. I was weaned on chocolate blancmange, then spent my school years eating chocolate spread on toast for breakfast and chocolate spread sandwiches followed by chocolate mini rolls for lunch. A chocolate bar when I got home from school, and a couple of chocolate biscuits at tea time.

    There was a short hiccup in my teens when I discovered, horror of horrors, that certain types of chocolate made my throat sore if I ate too much. I had to rein in on the Yorkie bars. Mind you, I was eating an entire 20-piece Yorkie bar at one sitting, at that time.

    Anyway, those words describing chocolate. Here you are:

    Dark, luscious, thick, warm, comforting, finger licking, toe curling, orgasmic, delicious, creamy, smooth, Galaxy, desirable, milky, Green and Blacks, relish, roll around the tongue, melt slowly in the mouth, Cadburys, succulent scrummy, rich, sweet, bitter, delectable, mouth coating, satisfying, yummy, filling, seductive, ooooohhhh!

    But there’s a downside to all this chocolate eating:

    Fattening, tooth rotting, sick making, stomach churning, guilt ridden, craving.

    Not as many negative words are there?

    I blame my mother for my chocolate addiction. She’s the one who bought it all for me. I was a skinny child. She was plump, rapidly getting plumper. Maybe she wanted to fatten me up, put some meat on my bones. That’s what mothers are supposed to do, right? Maybe she just wanted me to be more like her.

    She only had to wait. Now she’s shrinking with old age, and I’m spreading like the chocolate I used to put on my toast.



    kath.mcgurl (at) ntlworld.com

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  37. No one told me you don't have to like chocolate.

    No one told me you don't have to be anything other that who you are, and whoever you think you want to be will undoubtedly change — maybe tomorrow, maybe next year, maybe five years down the road.

    No one told me you don’t have to listen to those who know better, and there’ll always be someone to offer advice — sometimes helpful, sometimes hurtful — but you don’t have to let it soak in. Just use what you can and let the rest stream under the bridge.

    No one told me you don't have to follow the rules (except for the ones about stealing and killing, but hey, if you’re happy being a Republican then more power to you).

    No one told me you don't have to be funny (unless of course you stand up on a stage and say "Hey! Look at me, I'm funny" — but even they have writers and rehearsals and don't always hit their mark).


    No one told me you don’t have to do anything more than just listen and breathe and read everything, that’s EVERYTHING, especially the words that made you uncomfortable.

    No one told me you don't have to settle for whatever’s in your own backyard, no matter what Dorothy says. Fuck her, she got the ruby slippers, didn’t she?

    No one told me you don't have to stay away from Oz or Munchkinland or anywhere else that your wanderlust drags you, and that, if you choose to return to your own backyard, make sure you’ve hired a good gardener while you’re away.

    No one told me you don’t have look to back, but when you do (and you always will), look there with kindness and love.

    No one told me you don’t have to fail.


    bob [at] bobzyeruncle [dot] com

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  38. Just writing about today’s message which, frankly, was not really that helpful.

    There I was, really starting to get into this whole discipline thing that writers are supposed do. So far I’ve posted messages every day (albeit on one occasion it was well after midnight), and encouraged by such an achievement, I decided to really go for it and to try to bring some order to the rest of my life starting with my diet.

    Saturday morning saw me down the supermarket carefully choosing fresh fruit and veg in ridiculous quantities, skirting around the crisps, cakes and chocolate aisle. Sunday saw me going through the cupboards, binging on anything I knew I couldn’t eat on Monday, and at the end of it I was feeling quite sick. Still, I thought, it’s all in a good cause. Uncomfortably full, I dragged my over stuffed carcass up to the computer, completed my three hundred words and collapsed into bed.

    This morning I managed to cut out breakfast altogether (must have been all those chocolate bars I ate last night), and off I went to work feeling as virtuous as if I’d been dieting for a month. Admittedly by about ten, I was starting to feel an empty space in my belly and had resorted to a couple of raw carrots to keep myself going until coffee time.

    By eleven o’clock I felt I’d earned a break. With what I hoped would be a reviving cup of mint tea in hand, I logged on and settled myself down to discover what today’s message would be. Imagine how I felt when confronted with today’s topic – chocolate!

    So, thanks, whoever it was that thought chocolate on a Monday morning in any shape or form was a good idea. Ah well, there’s always tomorrow I suppose.

    ReplyDelete
  39. "Can you tell me how you heard about us?"

    Now he has taken my money, I cannot believe my ears. Three traumatic, terror laden hours have just borne their climactic conclusion, and the plumber asks me a question like that. Even more dumbfounding, I hear myself obidiently respond like a distant, robotic muppet.

    "You were the first I found in Yellow Pages."

    It isn't the sodden wreckage of my living room he regards with a pained expression, just my response.

    "Oh. It wasn't the result of our recent TV campaign then..."

    Fortuitously, my mind snaps seconds before engaging the mouth, preventing my thought process from manifesting into this particularly juicy helping of caustic articulation:

    "No. Sorry. As the water was coursing through the ground floor, destroying everything from here to kingdom comewithin these four walls, a zingy, life enhancing TV ad featuring your up until now creditable company didn't enter my mind. My initial thoughts were "Fucking Hell!", followed by "Fuck it!" and white hot panic when the stop cock broke off in my hand. How could you expect me to conjure TV images like that? Motor cars suddenly transforming into speed skating robots to prove they are a better option for getting me from A to B, or monkeys banging drums to eighties classics persuading me to buy a bar of chocolate, or wild horses galloping across raging seas for the sake of a pint of beer won't fix a broken down pipe, will they? I called because the water flowed freely, I couldn't stop it, and the only thing still dry besides my humour was the telephone directory, whereby I looked up'P' for 'Plumber'.

    Even though the words were unspoken, I think he could tell.

    "Sorry, it's just that I have to ask..."

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  40. I’ve always known I was different. Others suspected as much, but weren’t sure by what comparisons. Was I special in a way that would lead us to further greatness? Or was I different in a way that would result in our eventual demise? They kept me at a distance – close enough to keep an eye on me, but far enough away to protect their vulnerabilities. I did a proper job hiding it, but inevitably the truth would reveal itself.

    Chocolate?

    No, thank you.

    Very rarely was my polite decline a successful evasion tactic.

    You don’t need to be polite. Have some chocolate.

    No. Thank you.

    Go on. Have some chocolate.

    All eyes are on me. Trapped. Disclosure is inevitable.

    I don’t like chocolate.

    My confession takes the air out of the room. Some people stare and others struggle not to make eye contact. I have become the giant purple satin elephant in the room and like most enormous pachyderms inside rooms they don’t belong, this one is not up for discussion. I cough. The awkwardness hangs thick in the room, choking. I cough again. People are quiet, yet I can see in their eyes – frantic. Suddenly everyone is judging themselves, wishing they hadn’t put that last piece in their mouth, wondering who saw them stuff handfuls of the stuff in their pockets – a few for the road. They do to themselves what they imagine me doing. They imagine me as some sort of holier than thou health freak casting judgment on each of their chocolaty discretions. And their resentment is tangible. I know from experience that explanation is futile so I gather my things and leave the mess I have made of their shared experience – the shattered comfort of what was once thought to be universal.

    And I start again.


    Alison Baldwin
    alison.baldwin@gmail.com

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  41. I’m in bed with Paul for the first time; it should be the best moment of my life, but as usual it has been ruined by chocolate.

    We try different positions, but our fat keeps getting in the way. All I can hear is cold flesh slapping against cold flesh. I pull myself off Paul and hug the duvet around my self-consciousness.

    “Are you okay?” Paul sits up.

    I look down at the sheets, crumpled like an empty chocolate wrapper, and retreat into my thoughts.

    We never really stood a chance. Even our names are fat: Samantha and Paul. I’ve always been big. Trouble is I love chocolate, and it's hard to avoid it when you work in a supermarket. All day I watch packets and bars and tubs pass through my till: chocolate biscuits, wafers, cakes, bars, ice cream, milkshakes...

    Then I met Paul, my first proper boyfriend. He also works at the supermarket, mainly in the bakery. He loves chocolate too and is even bigger than me. We enjoyed talking about our favourite flavours and sharing the richness of dark chocolate melting on the tongue. He made me laugh too. Soon I stopped noticing how fat either of us was – except when we tried to wedge together on the sofa and now, as we try to make love for the first time.

    “Sam! Darling, look at me.” Paul peels away the duvet, then grabs my hand and pulls me to him. I smell warm dough, cinnamon and orange chocolate.

    “Let’s try something else,” he whispers softly in my ear. He kisses me and starts to nibble at my neck, slowly, as if savouring a chocolate truffle. He moves downwards; stroking and licking, licking and stroking. As his fingers and tongue caress my body, it feels like chocolate melting.


    Sarah James lifeislikeacherrytree@yahoo.com

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  42. Did you know chocolate will last for a year if you store it properly? I didn’t. You must never store it in a fridge because the moisture will affect it. And if you keep it too warm it starts to look white on the surface, as if it’s going mouldy. How do I know all this? Well I’ve been doing a Christmas cookery course, ‘The Dark Art of Chocolate Cookery.’

    Chocolate is actually really good for you. It contains antioxidants, and things called flavonoids which you need to keep your heart healthy, and chemicals which make you feel good. It can control your blood sugar levels, and even the caffeine turns out to be quite safe. The fat is the ok sort, not the one which raises cholesterol. And it’s a myth about chocolate causing acne and headaches.

    He, yes the master chef is a he, used to be addicted to the kind of chocolate bar you buy in newsagents and garages until he found out they were mostly skimmed milk, dried whey, hydrogenated vegetable fat, glucose, fructose and wheat flour. It almost ruined his life.

    I’m learning lots. He told us there are three types of cocoa tree, but most chocolate is made from the bean of the Forastero tree, which is a shame, he said, because the very best chocolate is made from the other two. It’s apparently a bit like wine. You can detect all kinds of flavours. You can have chocolate tastings, what you do is listen to the sound it makes when you snap it, and note how shiny it is, then you let a little piece just melt on the tip of your tongue. You can even match chocolate to wine. In fact he’s showing me how tomorrow night. Just the two of us.


    sanda.andrews@blueyonder.co.uk

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  43. It’s like this,’Alf said, ‘No bloody end to women rabbiting on about themselves. What if the BBC scrubbed ‘Women’s Hour’ every other day and put on ‘Men’s Hour?’ Prostates instead of menopauses.
    Mind you, there’s fat chance of that when the BBC is run by bloody women and long haired simpering fairies. People go on all the time about the differences between men and women. It’s never been less. They all wear trousers and go out to work. No idea how to behave, neither. Pushing and shoving and getting pissed at weekends. All tattoos and rings in their navels. Why?
    They don’t mind being helpless when they need to. Watch them turn all fluttery if they get a flat tyre or get lost or need some poor bloody man to do a bit of menial heavy work. Then they go off to work and flirt their way into the good jobs. Get paid more than their men and wonder why things go wrong. Train a ‘house-husband.’ Then be really happy.
    That’s another thing. Have you seen any of their magazines lately? No? Well just you go and have a look at Tesco’s bookshelf. Just a few good old fashioned men’s titty mags on the top shelf. The rest is bloody feminist porn. All about how to have multiple orgasms, divorce profitably and what is today’s puce.
    Have you tried driving when the school run harpies are out in force? They aren’t driving on roads like the rest of us, they’re carrying precious children in their 4x4 tanks with all the subtlety of General Guderian and his Panzers. Try asking them to move over so traffic can get by and see what they say. Make your bloody ears curl.
    My Mum had kids early, fed Dad, got fat and stayed happy.”

    ReplyDelete

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