Mad Bishop & Bear, Paddington
by Egon Toast
First Great Western's insincere apologies bounce around the great shed, eventually mithering off into the vaulted ceiling. Left with half an hour to kill, my stomach suggests making friends with something warm. So up the escalators, past the mid-morning sushi trolls, into the eyrie. The Mad Bishop and Bear delivers West Country ales before you've even left west London, as well as traditional pubbe fayre, doubtlessly trucked in from a packing shed somewhere under the Westway. The all-dayer it is, then.
The plate is discus-ed onto the table. I look up: the waitress is already back by the bar. There will be no decent English mustard today.
To the dissection of the victuals. Dissection. Victuals. Do I mean entrails? God man, you're eating sausage, think of something else. The bacon, yes, that's safer. Oh no, wait. It's a floppy sheet of pig-fabric that tastes of margarine. No good either. Where else to seek succour? The beans, already coalescing, send roots down into the plate. This isn't going well.
Done 'over-easy', the egg's yolk wobbles beneath its albumen film. What does that remind me of? Oh god. My egg's got a cataract. More or less undeterred, I prise a piece of toast from under the carnage and poke at the hidden golden centre. The yolk emerges, warm and gloopy, clinging to the toast for comfort. Some joy at last!
The sausage isn’t so bad really is it? Let's have another try. Is that a hint of sage? Marjoram? It's a good thing, whatever it is. Ah, soggy tomato half, how can I have forsaken you? Good work, lad! Here we go! I'm almost sated, good heavens. Twenty minutes have passed – my train's in, and on time as well! How's about that then? Hooray!
Sometimes, enjoying the small things in life turns you into a complete idiot.