Lynne Parker

Lynne Parker

Quid pro quirky

I’ve been fortunate to have seen and done a lot of cool things this month. They weren’t cheap, mind. If you want ‘quirky’ from your life experiences, that’ll be an extra couple of quid, please.

Exhibit A. I was in London – isn’t that where all stories about overpriced quirk begin? I went to a bar and ordered a cocktail. It was appropriately expensive, given the area and bar decor. So far, so good. My cocktail was called the ‘Pot Noodle Pain Killer’, and it looked like this:


Yes, that is an alcoholic beverage in a junk food cup. I was BESOTTED with this drink, sucker that I am. Sucker that I was, because it came with a straw.

For the price of this homage to Not Poodles everywhere – wait. I tell a lie. I drank two of them. For the price of two of these homages to Not Poodles everywhere, I could’ve been drinking veritable litres of something else. Did I want to? Nah. The Pot Noodle Pain Killer arrived garnished with bits of uncooked noodle. I may have squealed with glee. If you found that in your Tesco wine bottle, you’d call the manager.

Exhibit B. A jaunt to one of my favourite (London!) coffee shops. Which now has fairy lights and a cosy nook. Just look at this nook:


I hold my hands up, as I am doing in this photo. Nobody rapidly approaching 30 should be this easily swayed by the presence of fairy lights and a replica Finnish sauna.

The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs has long been a favourite of mine. We always spend on the ones we love.

The added cost of electricity was clearly represented in the amount I forked over for a macchiato. Fair enough, I’d been fooled by Starbucks macchiatos and didn’t realise I was ordering a thimbleful.

Had I had easy access to a JCB, I would’ve genuinely forked the money over in a heavy pile of change. That’s what I think of your thimbles. But I’ll stay, because the lightbulbs at the back keep changing colour and it’s strangely hypnotic.

Exhibit C. The Bryon chain of burger joints recently released the limited edition Japan-inspired Bunzilla burger. Like I was going to miss that!


Where do I start? Oh, I know: miso-roasted bacon. I foolishly thought it was near impossible to improve on the sheer majesty of bacon. I’d nearly forgotten how much more delicious miso makes everything.

The hamburger itself was glazed with soy sauce, and the mayo was mixed with wasabi. Oh, that wasabi mayo. It had just the right amount of kick. Wasabi usually makes me sneeze. This? I think my eye twitched a little. Nothing I couldn’t handle.

I did have to remove the giant onion ring before taking Bunzilla on. I have limits.

These experiences have been interesting, but not exactly budget-friendly. Does one balance out the other? Is there a limit to how much fun you can have for free?

When people say “You can’t take it with you.” about money, they’re making a bigger point. Bigger than just ‘this gold’s fricking heavy, dude, why do we have to bury it as well as you?’ There are very few places in the world where you can leave the house and spend a day out without spending money. The executor of my will better look forward to handing out a lifetime’s supply of rum-tinged Pot Noodle cups.

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