You know the feeling when you spend hours making a meal, then you eventually sit down to eat it, but the end result somehow doesn’t seem worth all that effort? Or when you order something in a restaurant because the description on the menu had your taste buds tingling, but when the waiter puts it down in front of you it tastes bland and flat in comparison? Well a few months ago, back when we still attended the office every day, I had a pretty traumatic lunch break in work due to that very type of disappointment – obviously I’m exaggerating about the traumatic part, but I can’t help it, especially when it comes to food. I’d had the cold for about a week (don’t worry, just an actual cold, nothing Coronavirus related), so was feeling sorry for myself – no one else would – and decided I wanted something warm and hearty for lunch instead of the usual sandwich or baguette. So I asked in the canteen if they could do takeaway for the hot food and they said yes, bonus! They always have a selection of at least 3 hot mains to choose from. My choices today were:
- a macaroni cheese type dish – ruled out because of my lactose intolerance
- swordfish with a selection of season vegetables – ruled out by being too healthy and not quite cutting it on a day where I wanted nothing but stodge
- meatballs in a delicious looking sauce with a side of roast potatoes – sold!
I practically sprinted back upstairs so that I could dig in to my calorie ridden, carbohydrate infested meal as soon as possible. Just what the doctor ordered (in this instance, by doctor I quite clearly do not mean doctor and obviously mean the bottomless pit that is my stomach). I made the first cut into one of the meatballs, ready to smush (that’s a word, right?) it about in the sauce and take my first bite. Only to see that the “meatball” was white inside. Hmm, strange right? Well you’ll never guess. What I thought were meatballs, were in fact codballs. That’s right, you read that correctly. Flaked codfish, mushed together and rolled into a ball. Codballs. Yuck! Why someone would come up with such an invention I have no idea. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good fish dish, but rolled up…no thanks!
Now I like to think that I’m a fairly positive, smiley person. Well not this day. I was in a terrible mood all afternoon. Unhelpful to my colleagues, unmotivated to go to the gym that night (ha, any excuse, right?) and in an all-round bad mood. All because of a few codballs (it doesn’t get any more normal the more you say it, does it?). Does anyone else let the small things in life annoy them this much?
Do you want to know the only thing that put a smile on my face again later that night? It was when I remembered this…When I was in my late teens/early 20s, my friends and I used to always hang out at the same friend’s house, as he had converted the garage at his mum and dad’s house into a hang-out space for us all (I can’t believe I just used the word hang-out, I feel like that majorly undermines the coolness of it but I’m not really sure what else to call it to be honest). We spent endless nights there, drinking, eating, dancing, singing, laughing. But regardless of the occasion, or who was there, we ALWAYS used to watch the same movie before everyone eventually crashed out, Michael Jackson’s This Is It. So why did this seemingly irrelevant anecdote end up making me smile after the codball catastrophe? Because every single “morning after” the epic night before, when we’d all wake up with sore heads, the TV was always still on and had been playing the advert at the end of the Michael Jackson DVD on repeat. That advert was for the kid’s movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
To this day I’ve still never watched the actual movie itself, but somehow it holds such a strong meaning for me. Somehow, that random thought process cheered me up and put a smile on my face, making me forget about the white mush of a lunch I spent 8.99€ on and making me think happier thoughts, back to the great times spent with friends (and the not so great clean-ups the morning after the party the night before).