surinenglish

Fussy galore

It's a well known fact that fussy people should all be cast adrift on a distant island somewhere to indulge in their favourite hobby ad nauseum among like-minded fuss pots.

"Look! Look, everybody! A ship! We're saved! We're saved!"

"That's one of those ships with wooden seats, isn't it? I'm not getting on that thing. Anyway, what kind of colour scheme is that for a starboard bow? And stop waving that sheet, for God's sake, the draught is playing havoc with my breeze-intolerant tonsils."

I pride myself on being quite the opposite but last week I was, I have to say, pushed to the limit.

Being at a loose end one evening, I took my newspaper down to a new curry house that had been highly recommended, intent on enjoying a spicy catch up on current affairs.

The initial signs weren't good. The place was so brightly lit that I'm surprised they didn't receive complaints from Malaga airport. Not to worry, I'm not fussy, remember, so I plonked myself at a very bright white plastic table and perused the available fare although I don't really know why - I always have lamb madras anyway.

The very eager waiter took my order and brought the bottle of beer I'd asked for. It was tepid. This is not really what you're after on a balmy Andalusian evening but don't fuss, Peter - maybe warm beer is fashionable among hipsters these days. The food arrived; it was nothing out of this world but still, by this time, I was deeply into trying to fathom what the hell is actually going on in Catalonia, so a plate of bland pilau rice was the least of my worries.

So far, so uninspiring but certainly not worth making a fuss about, I'm sure you'll agree. What happened next, however, was enough to try the patience of the patron saint of unfussiness. One minute I was puzzling over Carles Puigdemont's vacuous gaze, the next, plunging my fork into what was left of my very average meal and there it was, right before my eyes, every diner's worst nightmare - an enormous black hair. It was roughly the length of Chile. Suddenly Spanish separatism didn't seem quite so important. What to do? Make a fuss? Unthinkable. Carry on eating? Unthinkable. Swig some beer? Undrinkable.

In the end, I slid the plate as far away as I could and asked the waiter for some chocolate ice cream. They didn't have any, obviously.

"Just the bill then, please."

"Did you enjoy your meal, sir?"

"Well... I... it's... oh yes, lovely, thank you. Keep the change."

After all, nobody likes a fuss pot.