Feeds

An unsatisfactory meal in County Antrim

Relishing the luxuries of business executive travel

Build a business case: developing custom apps

We are sitting in the dining room, picking at our main course, the third of a total of five threatened. The main door, unlocked to admit us, is now relocked ('I think I'll just turn this key. You wouldn't want to be disturbed now.') We are talking furtively: we have discovered that the proprietor tends to appear with the suddeness of an A/V in the first public demo of tested code.

I have ordered the steak and chips, and have been brought a huge piece of indeterminate brown meat, covered in two millimetres of congealed brown fluid. A patch of soggy broccoli has been boil-tortured to the point of cellular collapse. There are no chips.

R has ordered the other option, the roast chicken and ham with chips. This is also served in a generous portion, the processed ham cut or extruded into that uniform texture that makes it so convenient to sandwich makers. He has no chips.

I say, "The clock radio in my room only works if you spit on your fingers and press the end of the wire aerial to the metal bedstead. It receives Radio Foyle."

R says, "The clock radio in my room doesn't work at all, not even hiss. Something large is loose inside. When I picked it up, it rattled like a charity tin with a counterfeit £2 coin in it."

I say, "The kettle in my room, which is permanently wired into the wall, takes 17 minutes to boil 150ml of water. It would have been longer, but I warmed it up first on my laptop."

R says, "The hair dryer in my room, which is also permanently wired to the wall, is attached by a short flex that runs through a hole in back of the drawer where it is kept. This flex is so short that, if you want to dry your hair, you must put your head in the mouth of the drawer."

This competition, which I seem to be losing, is aborted by the entry of the proprietor carrying the missing chips in a large bowl.

He says, "I'm sorry about that, I clean forgot to plug in the fryer. There you go. Will you not have a few more? There you go. I'll leave the bowl on the table for you, in case you change your mind. It's time we got you used to the old Irish generosity. The miracle feeding of the five thousand, that's what I always say."

The chips are cut to the approximate size, shape and colour of Stabilo Boss orange highlighter pens and have a slight smell of sour grease. Heated with the fat (the better to absorb more of it), the potato substance has attained a burn-the-skin-off-the-roof-of-your-mouth temperature, yet – here is the real miracle – remains entirely raw.

"Surely," – as I stare at the huge mound of inedible food on my plate, I discover that my voice, unlike R's radio, works – "surely the point of the feeding of the five thousand was that a large crowd of people were satisfied with a small amount of food?"

The proprietor says, "You got me there. We do love our food here, I admit it. I'm a gourmet myself. That's why I insist on having five courses. We just have to share the enjoyment. And I betcha you will be surprised by my puddings."

A slight, involuntary noise from R's throat I take to be assent to this prediction.

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.