“PAPRIKA LAMB!”

Yesterday I was at work. My colleague and I were just hanging around looking for things to do as it was a bit quiet. We had a little look in the fridge of homemade food and saw a stew of some sort. We didn’t know for definite what it was, as the paprika lamb and the pork goulash often look quite similar. There was only one thing for it – the taste test (I sometimes have to do this on the cake, purely in the interests of the customer, you understand..). It tasted like pork. So we put a label on it and got on with other stuff.

Then the world arrived and wanted a sandwich. And they wanted things heated up and they wanted coffees and they wanted to buy this and that. So we woke ourselves up a little and got into ‘military mode.’ I was heating, wrapping, toasting and washing dishes in the kitchen. My colleague was making coffee, taking payments, taking orders and bagging things up in front of the shop. Due to this intensity of action, there was less time for niceties.

I would tear out of kitchen at 100 miles an hour, yelling “CALIFORNIAN CLUB SANDWICH!”  and thrust it at the first person who looked up. “THANKS! HAVE A GOOD DAY!” I would yell, with equal ferocity, before disappearing back into the kitchen to deal with the next order. I’m not sure whether they felt I really meant that last statement…

Anyway, there were pans on hobs all over the place, heating soups and stews and whatever else found its way to me. At one point, I noticed something on a hob which had finished heating. I whipped out the rice, which was also finished and got it ready for take-out. I picked it up and raced out into the shop. I had forgotten how hot it was. My fingers started noticing the heat. Ignore it, I thought. Get the food out now, nurse the cuts and burns later.

I rushed into the shop at some speed, given the finger-burning situation and shouted, “PAPRIKA LAMB!”

…. There was no reaction. What was wrong with these people? My fingers are burning here, OW OW! Pay attention. It must be someone’s.

“PAPRIKA LAMB!” shouted the crazy kitchen lady, again.

Again, no reaction. Some people were talking in the corner and I presumed it must be one of them. Why aren’t they listening out for their food? I thought, impatiently.

“DID ANYONE ORDER A PAPRIKA LAMB WITH RICE TO TAKE AWAY?!” I yelled, raising my voice to get their attention. They all looked briefly at me, shook their heads, then went back to their conversation.

My patience was running low by this point. I needed to get back into the kitchen, I was busy and important, couldn’t these people tell?! Someone needs to take this paprika lamb from me. I tried again.

“PAPRIKA LAMB!”

Nothing. I turned to my colleague, who was making a coffee, and asked her, “Do you know who’s paprika lamb this is?”

(Has anyone else spotted the mistake yet?)

She said (wait for it…..), she said, “O, is that the pork goulash?”

Yes. Yes, it is. Because we don’t have paprika lamb, do we….

A pause. I figure out how to deal with the situation.

“Is anyone waiting for pork goulash?” I said, voice lowered significantly.

The man in front of me stepped forward, thanked me and took his pork goulash…..

Crazy kitchen lady returned to her kitchen cave at the back of the shop and quietly got on with the next order…..

4 responses to this post.

  1. Now here’s a bit of a vague connection that might be more relevant than you think – did you know there’s a Joni Mitchell track called “Paprika Plains” (from the 1977 album “Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter”)? It’s just over 16 mins long so not that easy to listen to unless you’re a JM fan. However verse 1 finishes with these three lines:

    It’s stifling in here….
    I’ve got to get some air…
    I’m going outside to get some air.

    Sounds a bit like your situation at times.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Alex Jones on September 3, 2012 at 11:23

    Love your natural talent for entertaining writing on life.

    Reply

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