Fatberg… Nauseating, disgusting, revolting, sickening repulsive, ghastly and obnoxious,

burger-mark post1Nauseating, disgusting, revolting, sickening  repulsive, ghastly and obnoxious, it was hard to judge which was the worst, the Fatberg in London’s sewers, or the Frankenburger, made from meat that was grown from stem cells. I gagged at the sight of both of them, but in the end I gave my number one to Fatberg for having the better personality.

Fatberg had a personality a bit like one of those obese guys you see on the telly, who can’t go upstairs.You feel like consoling him by telling him that Mariah Carey doesn’t do stairs either, but in her case, when she says “I don’t do stairs,”its because she’s being a diva, while our man is just an overweight wretch, who looks like he ate Marlon Brando and consequently can’t do the narrow stairs.

gillian mckeith 1It’s almost a shame that Thames Water broke it up. In the right hands, so to speak, Fatberg could have become a brand, with merchandise, t-shirts,Fatberg Is Full Of S..t, or Fatberg-Go WithThe Flow.or Fatberg A Sewer Thing. It would have been a hoot to take the monstrosity on the road, to let the litterbugs and anti-social elements see the damage they do at first hand, with Special Guest, Gillian McKeith. What a show. It might just stop the daily flow of diapers and other bulky objects that can block your domestic sewage like live cats and Teddybears.

A Fatberg Rap Video would also draw young peoples’attention, better than all the radio ads in the world.

The effluent society

Sprung their own trap

Everytime they go swimmin’

 They are covered in crap

“Schmeat” is the name they have chosen for the new meat that was grown using umbilical stem cells from two cows. Professor Mark Post, who led the team that achieved this extraordinary result, prefers to call it “cultured beef” and the tabloids went for the obvious and called it, Frankenburger.

burger - mark post-peetre dishThe sight of the cultured beef, sitting on a bare white plate, triggered a flashback to my school days at Westland Row Christian Brothers. The pupils were a mixture of lower middle class kids, like me, from the suburbs and inner city kids from places like Pearse Square and Sandwith Street. At lunch time, these poorer kids were entitled to a free sandwich and a third of a bottle of milk.

The sandwiches would arrive in a large aluminium box  and when the bell sounded for lunch,  the kids would scramble for the sandwiches There were only two choices, spam or brawn. Spam is disgusting, but not half as bad as brawn,which is a thin slice of meat, provenance unknown, held together mostly by a gelatinous material. I couldn’t look at it, never mind eat the slimy stuff.

burger-mark post-in vitro burgerThe Professor found two guinea pigs for the inaugural tasting, Hans Ruetzler, a nutritional scientist and American journalist Josh Schonwald.

“I “miss the salt and pepper”said the Austrian nutritionist, who had difficulty swallowing the schmeat . Nonetheless, he didn’t dismiss out of hand. “Its close to meat”.

BRITAIN-BIOTECH-FOODThe American journalist Josh Schonwald confessed “this is kind of an unnatural experience and I have a difficulty in judging a burger without ketchup or onions, or jalapenos or bacon.

Food was not discussed as George Haliwood supervised the operation to shift Fatberg.It took three nights down in the sewer before they could shift the lump from pipes under Kingston, in Surrey. George was a bit less timid than the rest of us when he said “we’ve never seen a single, congealed lump of lard this big, clogging our sewers.”

Lard! My mother used to cook with lard. I hope she didn’t get it down a sewer and yet, I know I’m being dramatic here, but some day in the near future, the scientists may possibly find a new enzyme that turns fatbergs into high protein “schmeat.”

Personally, I don’t think I am quite ready yet for a “close to meat”flavoured burger, but already they are talking about feeding it to the starving masses in Africa and the “environmentallers”are overjoyed at the prospect of lesser greenhouse gases being generated, to give the planet a chance to revive itself.

burger -mark post labProfessor Post was happy with the outcome of his “schmeat” experiment and the favourable reviews that came his way. He believes it would have been even more admired had he been allowed add his favourite topping, aged gouda cheese.

“That would have enhanced the whole experience tremendously,”

So where does that leave the professor and his schmeat? “It’s not perfect, but it’s a good start”

As for Fatberg, it is no more. Dissolved and washed away, will we ever see the likes of it again? If we were ever going to make a run at the Guinness Book of Records for the biggest lump of lard, we should have kept all the paper from our slew of Tribunals. Hundreds of thousands of pages, combined with the domestic output of our bunch of newly obese citizens, could have ensured we had a crack team making lard by the yard.

Article Written by Shay Healy
First Published in The Irish Daily Mail,
Saturday 10th August 2013  
 
Shay Healy’s latest eBook ‘The Danny Boy Triangle’ is Out Now on Kindle 2.99
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About shayhealyblog

Shay Healy is a multi-media artist from Dublin Ireland, who has been in the music business all his life. His song “What’s Another Year”sung by Johnny Logan won the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest. He has written two musicals, The Knowledge and The Wiremen. As a television host, Shay is famous for a cult chat show, Nighthawks and on the other side of the camera, he has made over 12 documentary films, including “The Rocker-A Portrait of Phil Lynott” ,“First Lady”-A Portrait of Tammy Wynette ” and “Roy Rogers-King of The Cowboys. The Danny Boy Triangle (3 Books in 1) is now available to buy on Amazon
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