Memoirs: Captain Potwash

Volume 2: Meet my Life-coach

At the epicentre of culinary excellence, you’re always going to be surrounded by inspirational figures. None more inspirational than Steve.

It’s hard to express in words exactly what role Steve fulfils for those around him. Manager, life coach, kitchen sensei… these are but a few inadequate words that spring to mind.

Short and stout, at about 5”7, Steve scours Salisbury high street for the tightest ‘spray-on’ jeans he can find. Expertly, he takes the edge off his outfit with a classic, clean pair of white pumps – the type children stomp around in sulkily during primary school PE. But Steve carries this look in such a sexy way that it makes him irresistible to the female gender.

If it wasn’t for his hairline’s betrayal of this otherwise youthful exterior, you might think the KD Butherspoon kitchen sensei was around 25 years old. As a matter of fact, as this hairline and other markers of wear and tear indicate, he’s around 35. Or probably older. He also has two children, who rarely get a mention. You feel he’d probably sooner dunk your wincing face in the deep fat fryer than share anything of real emotional substance with you. It’s strictly fanny and football in the office… “Standard”.

This ‘30-something with kids’ status is a reality that he masks by bathing every inch of his pasty body in Paco Rabanne’s notorious ‘1 Million’. I happen to have very fond memories of this aftershave which date from around year 10, when I was 15. The overpowering sweetness of the perfume, combined with the fact that it’s packaged in a fake bar of gold supposedly worth ‘1 million’ (no currency specified), makes it irresistible to any pre-pubescent young man. And, obviously, Steve.

Watching him make barbecued chicken toasties in one hand while expertly readjusting his crotch with the other, I asked Steve what he had been up to at the weekend, foreseeing rather a grimly predictable response to do with fanny and football. This is, however, why I’m not the kitchen sensei, and why Steve is such a great guy. It was time for him to thrust his latest, most precious pearl of wisdom unto me, with or without my consent…

It all started with a bet. He placed one – I didn’t grasp what kind of a bet it was, but football’s Steve’s gift that keeps on giving. The footie winnings snowballed to the big league: a fat, festering sum of 1000; (I can gladly confirm that this time we’re definitely referring to a thousand Great British Pounds).

Dizzied by the colossal wake of his hefty winnings, Steve took his “missus” out for dinner at a local restaurant. Then, as is customary, she went for a piss. Unshackled by societal pressures of etiquette and politeness, Steve connected with his inner feelings of being a bit “fucking bored and horny”, so slapped £50 on the table and fled the restaurant to pillage everything untoward that Salisbury nightlife has to offer.

Following a perfect storm of booze, MDMA and – we can only assume – the music of Darren Styles, our lacklustre lothario charmed his way into the bed of a young lady named Wendy, who I’m told lives locally. As always, Steve spoke of how he did an excellent job of having sex with her, which was utterly fantastic to hear… Though he wasn’t overly complimentary of Wendy herself. But then again, Steve has exceptionally high standards – Wendy was actually very lucky to make the cut. I always have to remind myself of that.

All great men must eventually fall… Caesar’s dictatorship ended when he was stabbed in the back. Steve’s sweaty Saturday night dictatorship came crumbling down on Sunday when his mind turned to his recently ex ‘missus’ and, we hope, his two kids.

If there’s one thing we should all learn from this anecdote, it’s the virtues of pragmatism. Rather than wallowing in stress and self-pity, Lord Steve went out and spunked the remainder of his winnings on a new, “top of the range, 42-inch flat screen TV”. Then, the next day, he told me this story. What a fucking privilege.

If I manage to juggle all of life’s pressures and pretend to be 19 when I’m actually nearly 40, have sex with a lady called Wendy and come out with a new TV, I’ll be delighted. Well done mate. We’re all so happy for you. ❤

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