Ah Potato Trovato…

Cash in your chips while there’s still time

On a scale of lesser importance, it has emerged that South Africa is in the grip of a Potato famine. This is no laughing matter. Unless, of course, you are one of those people who can barely look at a potato without wetting your broeks.

News of the famine was revealed this week by an operative closely connected to the potato underworld. When he listed the defects of this years crop, he may as well have been listing my own defects. Hollow heart. Malformed. High sugar levels. Size problems.

The operative blamed heavy rains and black frost. White frost apparently knows better than to jeopardize one of our staple foods. And so it should be, given this countrys terrible history.

Like Siamese twins or Julius Malema, a South Africa without potatoes is a violation of the natural order of things. Fish and chips simply would not be the same without chips. Fish on its own is just plain wrong. And ordering bangers without mash sounds weird and nasty. It would be like ordering porn over the Internet. I want no part of this filthy business. No fish shall pass my lips until the famine is over.

There are very few tropical fruits as delicious as this unpretentious tuber. Like government policies, potatoes are refreshingly free of consistencies. Each one is different. But even though they are not homogenous, many gay people enjoy eating them, too. Potatoes are like children to me, only harder to discipline but easier on the palate.
And yet, few other major food groups are striking terror into the hearts of people everywhere. Take it away and panic quickly sets in. We all remember where we were when the last of the great Irish potato famines struck in 1845.

The potato crop more or less failed every year from 1739 on. “Jaysus, Mary and Joseph,” the farmers would say over pints of Guinness at the end of what should have been the harvest. “Those feckin’ eejits have done it again. Next year will be different. Another round there, Paddy”.

The famine was the reason a million Irish emigrated to the New World and there is no reason it shouldn’t work for us. Blaming crime is for losers like Brandon Huntley. Just write “Out of Potatoes” on your application and countries will be fighting themselves to grant you refugee status.

But is there really a famine or is this a Machiavellian plot by retailers and farmers to increase their prices? Perhaps they intend getting the fear rolling by releasing nothing but the stunted runts of this years litter. This doesn’t bother me, I have never met a potato I didn’t like. If I’m right, the big boys – potatoes the size of a child’s head – are being held back and then, once the panic buying pushes prices through the roof, they will be unleashed on a desperate public. Think I’m paranoid or delusional? Listen to this: class action lawsuits have been filed against the United Potato Growers of America and 23 other spudmongers, claiming they are behaving worse than Colombian drug cartels by conspiring to restrict supply and fix prices.

Make no mistake, potatoes are the new cocaine. This doesn’t mean you should go off and snort a few lines of Smash, but if you do, let me know what you think.

Anyway. Drastic times call for drastic measures. I urge every one of you to turn your back on potatoes. It’s the only way to prevent a shortage. It wont be easy, but it must be done. Avoid looking them in the eyes or you will weaken. Proceed directly to the Gem Squash instead. They are not bright and rarely know what is going on until they are up to their necks in boiling water. For some reason they scream in French so it’s a lot easier to ignore them.

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