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Paper Monitor

11:44 UK time, Friday, 14 January 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

"Scotch eggs are set for a big comeback this year," insists a breathless Sun, prompting Paper Monitor - an enthusiastic and diligent consumer of said snack - to wonder where, exactly, they had gone.

The paper's Captain Crunch column, dedicated to helping readers navigate the financial pratfalls of the post-downturn era, offers a forensic examination of a foodstuff which is not generally afforded close scrutiny, other than by drunk people in all-night garages who suddenly find themselves gripped by a reflective urge.

Lee Zaleski, an "executive chef", is commissioned to review a variety of pork and breadcrumb-encrusted eggs in the clear-eyed, dispassionate manner of a Michelin chef weighing up whether to allow Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester an additional star.

"Nice meat, a bright crumb and a good crumb surround," is the approving, if terse, verdict on Sainsbury's offering.

"Looks good but tastes of raw pasty and is stodgy," says Mr Zaleski of the range by Bowyer's, a verdict PM will endeavour to bear in mind next time this paper finds itself, inebriated and pensive, confronting the refrigerator cabinet of an all-night garage.

PM's stomach starts to growl, especially after the previous day's warnings of the decline of marmalade. But flicking through the papers, further gastronomic stories array themselves like so many vol-au-vents.

John Walsh in the Independent tells of the Durbar, a well-regarded west London Indian restaurant whose adverts boast an unfortunately-timed celebrity endorsement from a recently-deceased actor: "A rogan josh to die for."

And Alexis Petridis of that reliable PM favourite, the Guardian's Lost In Showbiz, tells of someone called Kenneth Tong - apparently a former Big Brother contestant - who has been tweeting in support of "managed anorexia", urging followers to heed such advice as "Get thin or die trying" and "You have eaten enough for a lifetime. Stop. You are disgusting."

Tong's charming injunctions duly provoked the righteous wrath of various celebrities on Twitter, prompting Petridis to observe:

It was at this point that Tong began reminding Lost in Showbiz of a woman it regularly encountered when it lived in north London, who occupied her days by walking up and down the Holloway Road shouting "I WANT HITLER BACK" at the top of her voice: both their lives seemed to revolve around expressing an idea over and over again that anybody in full possession of their faculties could see was terrible. The big difference between Kenneth Tong and I Want Hitler Back Woman was that I Want Hitler Back Woman wasn't followed around by Simon Cowell and Rihanna, shouting LOOK AT THIS TERRIBLE WOMAN WHO WANTS HITLER BACK! SHE CANNOT HAVE HITLER BACK! HAVING HITLER BACK WOULD BE VERY BAD!

Now PM is starving. Anyone fancy a Scotch egg?


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