Reader, I am one of those people that stockpiles naughty things to eat on long journeys. I'm not ashamed, in fact, I'm quite proud. There's something wonderfully sinful about creating a cosy little corner of Rocky road bites, brie and cranberry sarnies on white bread so processed it sticks to your teeth and share size packets of skips. It's slightly disgusting, like a little piggie munching away and ending up with food on it's cheeks and ears, but I meter out the treats so that the journey (whether it be by coach, train or plane) is interdispersed with my own personal tasting menu, and frankly I've always been a pig fan.
I just can't understand the travellers that are able to go long distances with just dried fruit (surely the unhappiest of foods? No one can take pleasure from a manic depressive dried mango. You can imagine the poor thing trying to sell itself 'I don't taste very good, but I'm healthy! Oh...well, yes, I am quite full of sugar but....no....no, I won't fill you up for longer than ten minutes. Ok. I'll just sit at the bottom of your handbag, chatting to your tampons and snotty tissues then.') And those that claim simply not to be hungry have clearly never experienced the joy of journey-munching. It's not about hunger. I don't think I've ever been hungry on a coach, or a train or a plane. I always have a good breakfast. But that's not the point! It's not about filling a hole, It's about decadence, enjoying something slightly wrong and sordid, because yes, eating junk food on a coach going to Yorkshire is vaguely sordid. Sitting there, hunch backed, your arm rounded so that no one can see just how trashy your magazine is while you shovel cheese and pringle sarnies into your gob, and the size 4 stick insect a few seats ahead looks horrified as she talks to her travelling companion about her very small dog and how they're both on a diet of celery and lime juice. It's like watching Jeremy Kyle when a documentary on women in politics is on the other channel. Yes, it makes you a chav, but it's so much more fun.
When you leave the coach, the aim should be to feel sticky, fat, a litttle nauseous but also a little smug. Because what could have been a very dull journey was a culinary delight. And yes, you might have to have a bowl of leaves for dinner that night so you don't develop diabetes or have a sugar based brain explosion, but as you grin, bread teethed at skinny girl, you can at least be assured that your quality of life on that journey was a great deal better than hers.
Today, I am feasting on chocolate raisins and salty popcorn, mixed together in a savoury/sweet swirl of goodness whilst listening to the Abba Gold album. And you know what? I wouldn't exchange it for dried mango and reading the financial times for the world.
Right, time to hit the trashy mags,