Some call it a potato, the Scots call it a tattie, but Hubby, for some reason was partial to the word spud. Where he got the idea from was anyone’s guess. Some say it was from the time he first laid eyes on his son.
The last roast spud is a story set in a spaceship. The first to land on Planet Hy Man, although they don’t know it yet.
The spaceship is overloaded with people so there is no fooling around, even a bit of slap and tickle is banned.
After all who wants to be stuck on a spaceship with a kindergarten?
So the men and the women are segregated, with their own kitchen.
The men, being old fashioned fry everything, while women create food for the gods.
Wife-ie passed by the kitchen.
Hubby pulled her in, “quick, before anyone sees us.”
“There’s a meeting, we’ve five minutes.”
“Five minutes for what?”
“No, I don’t know. If I knew I wouldn’t ask, would I?”
He huffed. “You always say that.”
She looked at him, always?
“Quick, before I forget again.”
Wife-ie looked at him with a smirk.
“Just kiss me,” he said.
“It’s not allowed.”
“Whose gonna know?”
“Someone will, you always brag.” said Wife-ie.
He pulled her closer. “Not this time.”
“You’ll forget, end up parading about the place boasting of ‘seeds well spent’ and ‘how much better you slept,’ then I’ll get a rollicking from the committee.”
He grabbed her waist. “Stuff the committee.”
“We’re on a spaceship; no stuffing allowed.”
“What are they gonna do, chuck us off?”
“They’ll take away your rations.”
“Stuff the rations, come here.”
She said nothing, eyed his slim chest, it was still a decent chest, a few grey hairs, a bit saggy, but who was she to complain? It’s not like she didn’t have saggy bits.
He kissed his wife the kiss of their youth, his tongue setting off those delicious feelings that made her feel alive.
“Ooooh,” she moaned.
A footstep passed…
She stopped, pushed him away. Stared at his happy face, “you’ve been at our potatoes again. “
He pulled her closer. “So what if I have.”
They crashed against the wall oven sending implements flying.
They landed on the table, rolled across the smooth surface, pseudo fruit and veg scattered to the floor.
“What was that?” yelled a voice from the corridor.
“Nothing,” shouted Wife-ie.
“Shhhh” she said, “they’ll hear”.
A few days later, the chairman called an emergency meeting, which was the same as the daily meeting but with extra beverages. He pulled out the larger-than-life fold-up table and called in the “big guns”, a committee with more members than a symphony orchestra. In fact, most on the spaceship were on the committee, there was nothing else to do but well, meet and argue.
Every month, they elected a new chairman until the arguments got so bad that a new rota was drawn up that included most, less the toilet cleaner and Hubby, who was deemed ‘past it’.
It was assumed by all that Hubby had spaceship fever, that his memory was buggered and the chances of him remembering what was agreed at a meeting was as likely as an octopus strutting up the corridor.
They squeezed around the table glaring from one to the other, they knew why they were there, they had seen the state of the kitchen.
The chairman, with his best I know what’s going on look, took command. He had one more week on the rota and damned if there was going to be any more hanky-panky malarkey on his watch.
“Whoever was in the kitchen the other day…we know”.
“You just said whoever,” said Hubby.
“I was being tactile.”
“Tactile?” Said Hubby “Like in an octopus?”
“Oh… I meant tactful.” Said the chairman, he eyed Hubby. “We have rules to stick to, if broken, all hell will break loose.”
A few nodded. Wife-ie rolled her eyes.
“Yeah, and no one likes to cook in that sort of mess.” Said a voice from the back.
“Put me right off my shank.” Shouted the toilet cleaner.
“We peel veg on that table, roll out pastry.” said the voice from the back.
“Exactly” shouted another.
A few nodded.
“We did clean up,” said Hubby.
Wife-ie kicked him under the table.
He rubbed his leg with a dirty look.
The chairman glared…he remembered cleaning up?
“Who cares about the mess, what about the potatoes?” Said a hungry looking male.
“I was coming to that.” Said the Chairman.
“Well come then, some bastard’s tucking in like there’s no tomorrow, there’s hardly any left, one roast and we’re done for.”
No one said anything.
Potatoes, the only vegetable left from where they came, were rationed, yet despite the one-a-day rule, they were disappearing quicker than the hungry-lookingchairman’s patience.
“Now I’m not saying the two things are connected’ said the Chairman, “but if they were, there is plenty of time to, well, put them back.”
“Put them back? That bastard’s probably eaten them all, there’s a definite dip in the gravy,” hissed the hungry-looking male.
Everyone looked at everyone apart from Hubby, who was now wearing his best idiotic look.
“You have your pseudo veg, your chemically enhanced fruit, Petri dish meat, what more do you want?” snapped
“Something real,” shouted one.
“Juicy,” shouted another.
“Something that leaves grease on the lips.” Sighed the voice at the back.
“And oh god…. some indigestion,” sighed another.
“And I’m fed up unblocking things.” Snapped the toilet cleaner.
A few pulled a face, regretting the whole idea of discussing things, it never did any good.
Hubby saw his chance, and with the sort of eye-rolling that turned many a stomach, he began to shout… “Let’s roast them all. Tuck in. Eat them in one go and be done with it.” He let out a maniacal laugh. “They’ll be off before we see a planet…”
They stared out into space, no one wanted to say the obvious…that finding a planet was as likely as growing a real potato.
Hubby stood in the kitchen wondering where Wife-ie had put the roast. His stomach felt empty.
There was a time before the spaceship, a time on the tip of his tongue when he knew who was who? If only he could find a spud, then he could remember, spuds always helped.
He sniffed again, it’s there! Somewhere, he could smell it, roasted and crispy…
He opened another door, the heat hit his face, “Eureka!” He shouted.
Wife-ie jolted awake. There is only one person who uses that word.
She looked at her watch, it was the middle of the night.
She slid on her ‘walking about in PJs’ cover and headed to the kitchen.
She flicked on the light…
Hubby a potato inches from his lips stopped.
“I thought we said…” she sighed, eyeing his chest splattered in gravy.
She was a tough woman, and an even tougher mother, but she always softened when she looked at him. His wiry frame, his childlike energy, even his growing bald patch warmed her.
“Here,” she said sliding a plate under him “at least catch the drips.”
He began to chomp. The potato hit his stomach.
He caught her eye, a flash of recognition.
She winked back.
He nodded, laughed and winked again.
He was always a winker.
He took her hand. “Quick” he said “we’ve minutes.”
“It’s the middle of the night,” she said with a jocular push.
“Who cares,” he stared at the last of the potatoes. “It’s not like we have tomorrow.”
“She smiled. “But let’s avoid the table this time.”