Sunday, 15 September 2013

Part-time pleb

There comes a point every so often when you really can't be arsed. With anything.
You're tired, it's been a long week at work, you've had enough of dealing with other people's crap and all you want to do is sit down and switch off.
This is the time when I end up letting go completely and magically transform into a creature that I usually hold in contempt. A pleb.
Preparation is essential. Most of the time you can feel the wave of plebness approaching so you have enough time to get together all the essential ingredients for a session of uninterrupted plebeianism.
Unless you partake of this activity on a regular basis, and therefore may already be equipped for the event, you'll need to take a trip to the shops. The local One-Stop is usually sufficient to provide the necessary items, but you'll find that somewhere bigger like Tesco will allow your inner pleb to really run riot.
The necessary ingredients for a successful plebathon include (but are not restricted to) crisps, chocolate, pizza, sweets, biscuits and most importantly - alcohol.
Now, the choice of alcohol is entirely up to the individual, but however much you may feel that irresistable gravitational pull towards the Chablis, for a truly authentic pleb experience there really is no other choice than lager. The true pleb connoisseur will immediately reach for the cheapest piss-water available, but nobody will think less of you if you were to chose a lager that doesn't make you feel entirely violated, like San Miguel or Sapporo. Even the American beers like Bud or Miller are infinitely preferable to the revolting offerings from Carlsberg or Fosters.
Next on the list is dinner. This is the night to forget about baked trout with dauphinoise potatotoes and fresh asparagus, and focus on more low-brow fayre. The frozen section of the shop will be jam-packed with all sorts of offerings including pizza, chips and burgers, and if you're feeling really daring there's always the option of a takeaway like a doner kebab (fully loaded of course), KFC family bucket (per person), Chinese, or even traditional fish & chips - assuming you can find a chip shop where the fish doesn't taste like eating a piece of battered lard.
After dinner, you'll need snacks. It doesn't matter how full you may be after such a classy dinner (although if you did have Chinese, you'll be hungry again an hour later anyway), it is important to ensure that there are enough snacks to keep you masticating until bedtime.
Finally there's the question of how you can occupy yourself while eating and drinking yourself into a coma, and the clear winner in this department is without doubt watching the television.
It doesn't matter what you choose to curl up in front of as long as you turn it up loud enough to hear it above your internal chewing and crunching noises, and there's nothing wrong in picking out a favourite film or the new DVD you picked up out of the £2.99 section whilst on the snack-run.
If you're reaching for true pleb authenticity however, it's important to ensure that you watch TV programmes that require little or no neurological activity. The TV channels are rife with all sorts of offerings like X-Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, celebrity this, that, or the other, Britain's Got Fuck All Talent, or any manner of cheap old shite with Simon Cowell in. In fact when mixed in with endless mind-numbing adverts, this is exactly why I took down the aerial and cancelled my TV license, so you have my deepest sympathy if you're unable to fulfill this part of your pleb-fest and decide to watch The Matrix trilogy again instead.

So now you're set.
The beer is chilling in the fridge, the Yorkie bars and Pringles are on standby, you've got Netflix cued up to start 'I Am Legend', and the chicken vindaloo with pilau rice and peshwari nan is about to be delivered, leaving just one more important step. The elasticated waist trousers. Probably the most important item for any proper slob-out has to be a pair of baggy tracksuit bottoms that can comfortably accommodate your expanding belly as the session progresses.
At the end of the evening you struggle off to bed feeling bad, naughty, bloated, woozy and slighty nauseous, yet at the same time reassuringly satisfied even though you know the next day's repercussions will be distinctly unpleasant.

From time to time we all feel the urge to let go and descend into the murky depths of plebianism, but as long as it's only occasionally and doesn't become a way of life then no harm done.
I suspect it's a fundamental human urge to drop the niceties of modern life and revert to being what we want to be, and if embracing your inner pleb is your way of doing that then I understand completely.

A clip from BBC's 'Harry Enfield & Chums' featuring
Wayne & Waynetta Slob trying to make do without the TV.