Why is it, whenever I decide to have 'Freezer surprise' for dinner, you know, that game where you open the freezer and have to make a meal with the first thing you see? It always turns out that I have to make something with chips? Maybe I buy too many chips.
I took the bag from the freezer and slowly closed the door, even when I'm in the house on my own I don't like to slam doors. My Mother always told me that someone who slams doors needs to work on their time management. My time management was perfect; I had everything planned, down to the last minute, in an ostrich leather FiloFax that I'd gotten off eBay for a song.
I threw the chips on the counter and searched the cupboards for an accompaniment. There wasn't a great deal there, the non-standard opening hours of the local shops over Christmas had thrown out my normal routine, so much for my much vaunted time management. Settling eventually on a tin of meatballs in tomato gravy, I turned on the oven and emptied the meatballs into a pan. The chips would take twenty minutes to cook, the meatballs another five. I set the timer for fifteen minutes and put the chips in the oven.
I wandered up the thirteen steps to see what was on the TV, it was really only a choice between Jeremy Kyle or Dr Who, neither particularly interested me, so I tried the radio. The metal framing of my concrete duplex flat made radio reception patchy at the best of times; This wasn't the best of times, I could hardly hear Jeremy Vine's voice through the crackle of static. What I could hear however, was the beep of the oven timer. Wandering back down the same thirteen steps into the kitchen, I lit the hob and put on the meatballs – I added a splash of tomato ketchup, I remembered that the gravy in this particular brand of meatballs was a little bland.
The next three hundred seconds were spent casually stirring the pan, the smell of tomato gravy was starting to make my mouth water. At precisely 12:37 I turned off the hob and the oven, went to the cupboard to get a plate and dished up my lunch. Sitting at the kitchen table in silence, I looked out of the window and regarded the drizzle soaked cityscape. It was unchanging; from the fifteenth floor you could just see rooftops and low cloud. Peaceful.
Twelve minutes later I had finished my lunch, I took my plate and cutlery and rinsed them in the sink, I'd wait until a few more things were dirty before I bothered to heat some water. As I turned, I realised that I hadn't put the remaining chips back in the freezer – maybe I should take the time to re-organise the freezer, put the chips nearer the back, move the prostitute's head to the front, ready for next time.