Saturday, 19 September 2009

Come dine with me

Life in hospital is hard and lonely. Once you’ve counted the bricks on the wall outside the window and watched the 1500th episode of Crap in the Attic, you really do begin to crave the company of other beings. And one thing I really miss is a convivial dinner party with gourmet food, sumptuous Australian wine and the chance to experience sparkling conversation and witty repartee with my fellow diners.

Then an idea came to me like a little low-energy light bulb slowly flickering into a dull glow above my head. Why not hold my own dinner party here and invite some people round to break bread with? I could get the hospital to do the catering and ask the guests to bring the wine. But whom should I invite? I decided to draw up a list.

Osama bin Laden
The world’s number one bad boy hasn’t been captured yet despite most of the American military trying to flush him out of his cave somewhere in Tora Bora. The threat of having to come and eat some of the food I’m currently being offered just might be enough to make him give himself up. Failing that we could always drop some Crofter’s Hotpot on his hideaway using a drone aircraft.

George Bush
Dear old Georgie got us into this mess at the moment and some people are calling for him to be tried as a war criminal. A more fitting punishment would be a portion of the hospital’s Quorn and Pasta Hotpot. I’ll ask him to bring a friend… if he’s got any.

Michael O’Leary
The unbearable boss of RyanAir would not ordinarily be welcome at my supper table but I’m willing to make an exception. I wouldn’t charge him for the food of course… but I’d make the bugger pay for his knife, fork, spoon, plate, glass, pepper, salt and serviette. Plus I’d charge him for replying to the invitation which I’ll only allow him do online.

Andy Burnham
The Secretary of State for Health has to be invited out of courtesy. Since he and his department claim that most people are satisfied with their hospital food I shall expect him to stay until he’s cleared his plate of Mushroom Stroganoff and had seconds.

Cherie Blair
Why not?

Harriet Harman
No explanation required.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – President of Iran
If hospital food doesn’t wipe that ever-present grin off his face then nothing can! Incidentally, the halal menu is better than the main menu.

Gordon Brown
I’d have to invite Gordon because everyone is so beastly to him. A nice wholesome supper of Harvest Pie should cheer our Prime Minister up and hopefully force an early election when he’s taken seriously ill with food poisoning.

Well, those are my dinner guests. I would have liked a few more ladies in there but couldn’t think of too many who were deserving of such punishment. Let me know who your guests would be and why. Who knows? I could add them to my list.

UPDATE: Just thought of a few more women: Hazel Blears, Patricia Hewitt, Kirsty Wark, Kerry Katona. Please help me out with more. And no... I won't put Mrs Thatcher on there as she's too old and no one over the age of 80 (even if it were Hitler) deserves hospital food like this.


  1. penny said...
    Margaret Thatcher: there is nothing she doesn't deserve.

    Jacqui Smith because I am sure she is filling her precious databases with everything we write here.

    Jo Brand: She's wonderful so we mustn't allow her to eat anything but she will certainly have something amusing to say on the matter. Plus she used to work as a psychiatric nurse so she must know some of the more serious effects of bad food on vulnerable people. She may even be able to help you get through this difficult time TractionMan.

    Tony Blair because I would like to see him try to keep grinning while he says grace and thanks god for what is put before him.

    How's that for a start? lots of ladies too.

    19 SEPTEMBER 2009 16:29
    penny said...
    oh, another thought: the kitchen staff from your hospital. Give them one small portion each. Also invite the financial bods who decide their budget. Give them seconds.

  2. Dan Hannan, the other Plan author, (can we have people who are dead?)Rand Paul, Ron Paul,

    Harrison Ford, Oh the list is going to grow exponentially I'm afraid.

    I reposted the Downfall Video on my blog with a link to yours... I found it very funny Im a doctor and Ive been a patient too.. So I know what its like. Hang in there man

  3. Dan brown. Maybe it's put him off writing rubbish. Oh and yes, give Gordon brown the Harvest Pie. My God that'll sort him out

  4. Madonna, because she looks like she needs some food, and has many little hungry mouths to feed these days.
    Britney Spears? who needs a lesson in home cooking, to take care of her own brats.
    Martha Stewart? Who can conveniently point out that the supper plates are from a different era to the mismatched spork and knife?
    Jamie Oliver?

    Why don't you write a sitcom?

    Gordon Ramsey's Hospital NIghtmares? Ramsey's NHS NIghtmares?

    Hang in there pal, the world's laughing with you.


  5. I have a suggestion. Why not send our NHS food across to Ohio?

    They seem to be having difficulties with their current lethal injections. Perhaps the bleached lice, cat bile and freeze dried stomach ulcers will prove more effective?

    It was deemed that Ohio's recent attempt "...violates a constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment."

    I assume we have no such ban within the NHS then?

  6. Female dinner guests - hmm...

    Nigella Lawson as eye-candy

    Jane Asher to bring cakes

    Clarissa Dickson-Wright to prepare braised fox cubs

    Polly Toynbee to get VERY indignant about it and tell you off for being unpatriotic

    And Delia Smith for half-time entertainment :)

    Great blog and I'm very glad a) not to be a prisoner of the NHS b) delighted that the law of unintended consequences has made your plight an international cause celebre!

    Hope the roof top protests start soon!

  7. Bear Grylls. Aside from the fact he's insufferably smug, I'd like to see how he rates the goulash against fish eyes, camel guts, raw snake...

  8. i can't see that that thing was worth breaking the eggs for poor thing.

  9. wrong fred. oh well :)

  10. Bob Ainsworth - he can't provide our troops with any decent equipment so maybe he can take home a few doggie bags, post them to Afganistan and poison the Taliban with them!

  11. Andrew Zimmern, presenter of the TV show "Bizarre Foods". There's not much this guy hasn't already tried, so I think he can give you an objective assessment of where it sits in the grand scheme of things. My guess is it will be rated somewhere between chitlins and cow-urine tonic.

  12. Ant and Dec of course. Where better to film 'Bush Tucker Trials' for the next "I'm A Celebridee Get Me At Any Cost On TV."

    Patricia Hewitt also. Though she has retired from causing pain and suffering to all, she was quite the most loathsome Health Secretary we've had in a long time. Watching that eternal condescending smirk vanish from her face as she was force fed hospital food would make me very happy.

    Hazel Blears should come too. Might actually be nice if she were part of the menu. She'd fit onto a plate rather well. Stuffed, roasted, served with an apple in her mouth. Tasty.

  13. Traction Man Hello from Canada !

    I know you have to remain incognito so that you don't get exposed by some NHS flunky for your ungrateful attitude towards the free NHS food but could you tell us when you might be getting out of hospital ? How much more time do you have to serve ?


  14. I think another six weeks in traction and then I have to start the process of learning to walk. It's a lot harder than you might imagine. I'll be happy if I can get home for Christmas but I'm not betting on it.

  15. invite Jamie oliver - maybe he can start up a campaign similar to the one he did for schools - if he doesn't run away in fright first.

  16. "I’ll ask him to bring a friend… if he’s got any." Hahahahah, made my day.

    Dick Cheney, as long as he brings his shotgun.

  17. Please invite and grill Lord Archer of Weston-Super-Mare !

    Invite Don Foster to bring seagull pie.


  18. Hey Lansdowner... We're almost neighbours. Don Foster can come to the party but I think he might bore everyone to death.

  19. i really liked this post! totally laughing through it... (well, not aloud, because then someone else would be laughing at me) but anyway, it's been really fun reading what you've written!

    guests for your dinner party... maybe the hospital's director? or whoever's in charge of food and nutrition? hmm, that would be interesting.

  20. Sadly you are going to have to forget Jamie Oliver. Curiously, not long after his name started being repeatedly mentioned on your blog, he was interviewed complaining how little time he has to spend with his family nowadays. Methinks he realises this battle is beyond even His superpowers.

    You're on your own mate, best of luck.

  21. Hairy bikers to the rescue, then!

  22. Hairy bikers ? No, James Martin !

    Don Foster has a unique gift in that he also manages to empty the chamber ;o)


  23. Hello from Australia. Love your blog. Thank you for the mention of Australian wine. Wish I could send you a dozen.

  24. Thanks, Lynne. I love Oz wine -especially Heartlands Shiraz Director's Cut. The great thing about wine from Down Under is it's consistent, smooth, fruity and so drinkable. I haven't been able to drink wine for ages because of medication but I do intend to make up for lost time when I finally get better.