Greggs! The high street bakers, not what's sewn into the underpants of the least important judge on Masterchef. I Like Greg Wallace, I really do, but you can see in the faces of contestants a look of, "to be honest mate, I couldn't give a deconstructed fart what you think."
No, I mean Greggs: The Church of the Suicidal Carbaholic. They do a lot of stuff I like and a lot I don't but that's free will for you, it's not always about God. I never eat their pastries, for example, because I once bought a chicken bake and a cheese 'n' bean bake and, halfway through the first one, I had no idea which one it was.
What they do extremely well, however, is the little known breakfast deal. As a greedy old bloke who works in London I realise that getting anything hot and fresh will be expensive- if a dog farts at you he'll ask if you need a receipt. The bitter old miserly northerner in me won't let me even enter a Costa or a Pret because I can hear my dear old mum spinning in her grave and she isn't even dead. She just sleeps in a grave to avoid council tax.
Imaging my utter joy then when I passed Greggs to see they will give you a fresh-baked baguette filled with bacon and sausages (three of each no less) AND a fresh coffee for... drum roll... three quid!
Three quid for what would set you back more than twice as much in Costa or Pret, even though it would come pre-packed in a cardboard coffin and have seeds in the bread, because it's served by someone from Italy.
I love a bargain and I love hot bacon and fresh bread so, for me, it was like Katie Hopkins stumbling across a political almanac from the future and knowing her career of 'being hated' is safe for the next fifty years. I was home. I decided to learn the names of the employees so I could write a glowing letter to Greggs head office as soon as I could be arsed.
The problem with getting what you always wanted is that life will find some small but destructive way to slap you with it.
On my second visit I was cheerily told that there was no bacon... or sausage... or eggs... or baguettes. It was 8:45 and they're meant to be serving this stuff till eleven. I left, annoyed, like a pup denied milk at his mother's teat.
The next day I was in better luck. There were all the necessary elements in place so I greedily ordered but then watched in horror as the young lady, clearly ignorant of the most rudimentary of sandwich etiquette, loaded all the sausage at one end and all the bacon at the other! Then, as if that wasn't bad enough, she closed the baguette shut, like a protective shield, before adding the ketchup.
Who does that?
It threw my saliva into reverse and, as I carried my RTA of a baguette to my office, I dreaded the heartbreak of deciding which end to eat first. I ended up having to push the sauce down onto the meat with my fingers and then trying a 'lady and the tramp' on my own by eating both ends to the middle but it got very messy very quickly and the whole experience was ruined. I found ketchup on my ear lobe at one point. Say no more.
As problems go I must confess I've known bigger. I realise it's hardly enough to warrant even writing about (but you were warned so quit your whining). I doubt very much there are people being washed away by tornados fuming at my oddly-filled snack, or that ebola sufferers are chartering a vacuum-sealed jet to Kentish Town to film a charity appeal video titled, "One Man's Bacon."
It's no big deal- I get that. It's just a shame that this seemingly perfect discovery, this lost Rembrandt in a car boot sale of knock-off DVDs and headless Barbies, has slightly wonky eyes and Blackpool Tower in the distance where I thought I saw Paris.
It's ok. I'll survive. I'll just throw it on the pile of life's irritations, like dawdlers, or not being able to fart while alone on the bog but unable to stop myself in a busy canteen.
I just thought this time... you know... nah, never mind. It's not important.