• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 08
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Pop Tarts

At breakfast, the Americans ate the full English and the Brits tucked into Pop-Tarts. Something was wrong. Lunch was the same. Buddy Snr and MaryLou refused chips with their plain salad, while Lalajay and Quentin tucked into a super-sized Mac.

Both couples had vegan children, Buddy Jnr and Maud. No problem for them at dinner. While one set of parents ate roast beef and yorkshires, and the other hominy grits (guess which), the kids munched on nut roast with tahini sauce.

In the last election, when the two teenagers had been old enough to vote, they agreed a right wing agenda was preferable, the only way to keep a strong economy and to prevent terrorism.

Lalajay and Quentin were life-long Tories (no surprise there) but Marylou and Buddy Snr, evangelical Christians, had voted for Obama.

Both families owned miserable dogs who were forced to avoid meat. For Buddy Jnr and MaryLou, it was to do with environmental concerns. Quentin and Lalajay, (content to use the phrase pooper-scooper) wanted to save money. Maud and Buddy Jnr said, on principle, they refused to care for meat-eating pets.

Everything would have been okay, if they'd met in 1964 when those first 'prebaked toaster pastries' hit the shelves in the US supermarkets. Back then, the Brits hadn't discovered pizzas. Yogurt was confined to Bulgaria, and supermarkets didn't exist.


Pop Tarts

What the deuce are they?' Quentin would have said, sniffing the flat, beige rectangles with the stripes of jam-like substance in the middle. He'd peer over his Daily Telegraph, in his three piece suit and spats, a boiled egg with soldiers on his breakfast plate.

Lalajay might have discovered Pop Tarts in a just published Raymond Carver story but she was more likely to have been reading Muriel Spark and drinking a small gin and tonic at 6.00 pm

As for Buddy Snr and MaryLou, like George Bush, they would have thought Europe was a place without Ladies' Rooms or decent steaks.

I suppose Maud would be eating Vesta Curries and Buddy Jnr peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

There'd be no special relationship between them.