Christmas in the Independent canteen
While job security must be top of a lot of people’s Christmas lists this year, there have been a fair few smaller but not insignificant annoyances which have gone hand-in-hand with the more reported ramifications of the recession. The one which has affected me the most has been the recent cuts to the Indy canteen. If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, they’re doing little to woo the staff.
Last Christmas, there was a full dinner with all the trimmings downstairs in the Indy canteen, and a few days later there was a party, with waiters carrying oversized fake-silver trays of little pieces of sweet toast, and free wine. This year, not only is there no party, but there are only small mince pies for sale, in packs of four, and they’re so extortionately expensive that I haven’t even tried them.
It was a pleasant surprise, though, to see the full Christmas dinner laid on in the canteen today. I would go so far as to say I was excited.
"The swedes are extra, and the roast potatoes and parsnips", the lady said, when I went up to collect my portion.
"How many pig-in-blankets can I get?", I asked, in desperation, skating over the many difficult grammatical problems thereof.
"One", she replied.
At the tables there were crackers, but not only did I lose those that I pulled with my dining companion; after we’d done the deed we realised that the safety warnings were inside them. And the joke was so terrible that it wouldn’t bear repeating, though I will report the punchline to give some impression: ‘a toad with a machine gun’. We still wore the paper hats though, because it is Christmas after all.
The positive for journalists in the recession has been an easy angle on almost any social, political or economic issue you can think of, and a fair measure of amusing fluff into the equation. But I draw the line at one pig-in-blanket.
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