Helen Mirren and Me

It’s a sad day financially and personally when you find yourself standing at the frozen food aisle at 9 o’clock on a Saturday night staring at the home brand frozen French fries, complaining into your mobile to a friend that you refuse to spend more than $3.68 on fries, but that said, a potato gem, well one can’t place a monetary value on genius.

‘Why don’t you just go to McDonald’s or that fish and chip shop around the corner?’ my friend so ignorantly suggested.

‘Because I never actually see them working there. They’re always out the front and that says to me they don’t change their oil.’

‘But you’ll eat something resembling a potato cake no questions asked from Golden Tower at 4am.’

‘My self worth was particularly low that day, and if you remember correctly I also found the guy who ran the 7/11 shaggable that evening. We all have lapses in judgement and anyway I want to make my own chips.’

‘Then buy a potato’

‘No, they have to be frozen, oven baked fries. It’s Saturday night for crying out loud and I have Prime Suspect on DVD. Don’t you see? Scrubbing, peeling, cutting and roasting my own chips – I might as well start wearing knitted trousers and calling my kids Acorn and Wonderment.

There was silence for a moment.

‘Hey, I was thinking, what happens when we don’t have internet?’ My friend pondered.

‘What, like if it didn’t exist?’

‘No, as in, I don’t have it where I’m staying right now.’

‘Well I assume you’ll just have to do what most people do. Call someone, pay them, get it installed, or you could take your laptop outside, find someone to sit in the gutter and cross your fingers.’

‘That’s called stealing.’

‘No, in today’s world it’s referred to as knowledge transfer.’

I awaited her answer while considering if my hair should endure another winter with discount conditioner.

‘Hmmm, look Lou I need to go; my hair dye is bleeding into the handset.’

‘Ha! You’re dying your hair on a Saturday night – loser!’

‘You’re buying frozen chips.’

‘Ok, to be fair I’ve now moved onto condiments.’

‘Yep, how’s that cognitive therapy working out?’

‘I haven’t started yet, like I only just gave up coffee and all other stimulants including men- BAM! – did you get it? It was a joke!’

‘Yeah, Lou I got it, but I think you should hop to it, cause just imagine how embarrassed you’ll be after I visit you after your first suicide attempt. I mean you’ll just kick yourself.’

‘I’m hanging up now.’

‘Enjoy your potato.’

‘Thank you. I will.’

Now at home and settled into with my box set of Prime Suspect a.k.a Helen Mirren marathon and chips, I began to imagine myself as DCI Tennison. I smiled as she spoke of fish fingers, knowing that she too wouldn’t have broken budget to buy the better frozen chips. We both shared that quality of great humility coupled with superiority. I didn’t have time to think of all our other similarities, the DVD was about to start.

NOTE TO SELF: forge new career as actor as have recently discovered an ability to emphasise with Oscar winning actress Helen Mirren. Follow up with manager on Monday.


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