It’s hard to remember when I first developed a taste for Eggs Benedict. I don’t even know what the trigger was. There was no swish movie product placement, no food blog run by a bearded lumberjack instagramming his cat’s pyjamas, no One Show easy recipe.
I think I was in some breakfast bar wondering. You know, just wondering. Thinking ‘What the actual fuck is Eggs Benedict?’ And as soon as I had thought that I realised they not only had Eggs Benedict, they had Eggs Benedict Royale. Royale! Royale with cheese….well, Hollandaise sauce.
Fuck the standard version, I’m having Royale. Salmon instead of ham or the Waldorf’s crispy bacon upgrade.
As soon as it landed, I knew it was awesome. Gooey Russian roulette. If only because they never cook the eggs properly and I expect salmonella because this is, you know, Ireland. Quite the ting.
So here I am, my second plate of these this week, at a smart cafe in D4, the smartest part of Dublin, being smart and dressed like shit. I’m even using an iPad with BLUETOOTH!! like a boss. And nobody is batting an eyelid. Like it’s normal. Like it’s actually fuckin’ normal for a grown man to disrupt his holy moment of breakfast with an obsolete toy. I’m not a complete tool. I didn’t ask them for the wi-fi password or anything.
Because I have 4G!
I slaver away at this place because it is the only joint – despite the hirsute checked shirt wearing fucks that run these places – I’ve found that does English muffins as the base layer,
This is very important.
Not only is that the original 1889 recipe, its structurally sound and keeps the Hollandaise sauce where it’s meant to be working, instead of turning your muffin to a soggy gloop. Imitators think any old round floury roll will do and the natural Irish aversion to all-things English actually really does extend to ingredients.
But this is D4, and I can see the British embassy – a fortress rebuilt after the IRA burnt it down – flying Her Maj’s flag – or the Butcher’s Apron as they’re fond of telling me.
I tell them Cromwell is awesome.
Being D4 it means I get a goddamn English muffin with my eggs. And that’s why I come here.
But this pricey diversion is only a recent redoubt of ovulated goodness. I’m The Survivor With The 1,000 Word Stare. You’re looking at the guy who has walked away alive from a tabloid newsdesk after five years. FIVE YEARS…five years of mind-altering reality.
You couldn’t make it up.
So what? So the guy before me had a breakdown after two months, the guy before him was taken away on a stretcher with blood spurting out of his eyes and his opposite number on the Sunday paper had an anuerism (someone check the spelliing on that, please) at his desk and collapsed into his keyboard.
I’ve lost two deputies. One just stayed on the bus home and never came back (they found him at the bus garage when it was being cleaned of sick) and my most recent one drove his bike at 60mph into the back of a lorry.
He’s paralysed, too, but they made him come back and now he writes – without irony – about shoes.
And that’s what I do, too. News and shoes at a fashion website. It’s kinda fashioney-newsy-virally-willthisworkbecuasenewspapersarealldead-kinda-women-like-stuff-too website.
I help run it all and now have a vocabulary with words like ‘digital space’ and ‘analytics’ where ‘pages’ and ‘readers’ used to be.
Some days consist of nothing but watching dogs knocking over kids. Other days its just people singing Let It Go. And the thing is, they don’t. They keep making fucking mash-ups on YouTube and everytime I ban the reporters from doing another story on that shitting film a clip goes viral and we have to do it.
Because it’s all about the clickbait.
But the eggs, they’re damn good. And the coffee here HAS seen a coffee bean so I can cope with my first world privileges.
And as the eggs kick in, the coffee rounds it off. And the eyebleach doesn’t seem so bad.
The internet hasn’t killed news, it’s made it quicker. And we all started so we can could tell stories, right? And now we can do that in a blink.
Like the guy said: The best time to plant a tree is 100 years ago. The second best time is now.