There can be no doubt that the subject of baguettes is, at the moment, a contentious one, certainly in Paignton the other day when the police helicopter was called and an emergency declared. Reports of a man with two machine guns and a grenade turned out to be, on inspection, a man with two baguettes and a brioche.
With this in mind, yesterday in Exeter, I chanced upon an unprepossessing delicatessen, the most interesting item on the menu being a chicken mayonnaise baguette. Ever the gourmand, I ordered an example.
On granary bread.
The first bite of this lunch-time treat put me in mind of all kinds of myths, both secular and religious, modern and timeless. The expert blend of its creamy goodness mixed with bread with bits in it filled me with an instant sense of good fortune. I could not envisage how this baguette, this very example, upon which I was noshing with much relish – (a little delicatessen joke there for you) – could not fail to have its own entry on Wikipedia.
Yes, I mean the very baguette itself. The very one I was eating. So monumental was it in my psyche, so well proportioned, excellently appointed, that it must surely represent the heights, the nadir of baguette development and construction. Swooning, I felt the ages roll in, history in all its variety, time itself bent beyond recognition by this one chicken mayonnaise baguette on granary bread.
How could it not be on Wikipedia? How could it not exist on university websites, doctoral thesis, dissertations, whole departments worshipping and in awe of this one baguette?
I had a second bite, and it was all right. Nothing special.
I wandered into the street. The police helicopter hovered overhead.