The other night, as I walked home, I was gripped by a sudden, inexplicable urge. For reasons that are difficult to articulate, I felt an overwhelming desire to ingest a doner kebab.
The doner kebab is an out-and-out masterpiece of gastronomic achievement. There is clearly a lot of craft involved in constructing the perfect kebab. It’s a fascinating process to behold. Once you’ve placed your order, they switch on the grill to heat the outer surface of what looks like a disembodied elephant limb, then they take a contraption to shave off said outer surface, before stuffing the shavings into a pitta bread alongside an assortment of breath-fouling salad and sauce. Mm-mm.
I know some might be concerned about the length of time that the meat has been sitting unheated in the shop window. There is also the urban myth that the grade of lamb in doner meat is inferior to that used for dog food. I tend to brush such concerns aside with a flourish of my plastic fork. Get stuck in.
As well as the taste, I rather enjoy the act of eating a kebab. Especially when one is trying to walk at the same time. Each piece of meat can be about three feet long, so a certain amount of furling is desirable. In the absence of cutting implements, it can also be necessary to get in touch with one’s inner caveman.
I once conducted an experiment into the limits of human pleasure. I was keen to find out whether separate pleasurable activities, indulged simultaneously, would increase the overall experience of pleasure in additive or multiplicative fashion. To this end, I consumed a doner kebab in the bath whilst watching The Office. It was pleasurable, but perhaps not as much as you might expect.
Anyway, now that I’ve sampled the delights afresh, I can confirm that I’ve got it out of my system. But only in the psychological sense. Metabolically, it still very much resides within.