Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Over at The New Psalmanazaar, Ian Woolcott correctly observes that never judge a book by its cover is a much overrated maxim, especially when it comes to buying actual books. For my money, no dust jacket has ever topped David Pelham’s 1970s cover for the Penguin edition of A Clockwork Orange.

Oooooh, iconic, isn’t it?

Feebly, the current Penguin edition depicts a glass of milk (or, presumably, the droogs' fave tipple Milk-Plus), but I’d be surprised if Pelham’s cover doesn’t get another airing at some point.

All of which quite naturally puts me in mind of a meal that Mrs Brit and I shared in Montego Bay, Jamaica. We were settled on the balcony of a decent enough restaurant, enjoying the wine, the stars, the gentle lapping of the Caribbean and the rich scent of ‘erb’ drifting across the hills, when our peace was interrupted by the unmistakeable yelp of a wild American tourist complaining about something.

It soon became clear, from his increasingly loud and indignant remonstrations, that he was complaining about the waiters' tardiness in bringing him.... a glass of milk. “I’ve asked like three times already. Now where’s my goddamn milk?”

So tickled were Mrs Brit and I by the idea of a fully-grown adult ordering a glass of milk in a restaurant, and then getting angry about it, that we spent the next several hours in fits of giggles (admittedly the drifting erb fumes might also have had something to do with it). Well I mean to say. Milk! Pythonish sketches suggest themselves:

“So that’s two smoked salmon to start, then one sea bass and one woodpigeon. And what will sir and madam be drinking this evening?”
“You wouldn’t happen to have any Panda Pops, by any chance?”
“Oh I’m terribly sorry, sir, would you believe we’ve just sold the last two bottles.”
“In that case let me have a look at the list…. Ah yes, a tumbler of Ribena for me please, and…. the usual, dear? Yes?…And a large Um Bongo for my wife, thank you.”


worm said...

heehee Um Bongo

Its one of those things that I think everybody in the whole world can be divided by - those who drink milk and those who don't.

Personally I've never really viewed 4-times digested grass from a cow's udders as a refreshing beverage choice

Uncle Dick Madeley said...

Nothing wrong with Ribena. In fact, I might go and get myself a glass to have with my mid-morning Smarties.

worm said...

ribena is but a poor man's vimto

Brit said...

"Ah good evening sir, I am the Head Soda Stream Sommelier here at Claridges. May I recommend the Intergalactic Space Juice? It's particularly blue today...."