“Cling-Film, Potatoes and I”: A Tale of Procrastination


Earlier this week my flatmate was being a bit of a shit, so I enacted an age-old prank involving a roll of cling-film and an unlocked room. Usually I wouldn’t stoop to their level and, above all, I actually had an essay which, in hindsight, deserved more attention. But like I say, she was being a shit.

After shrink-wrapping all high demand items, including make-up, laptop and toilet rim, I retreated to my room where I continued to procrastinate essay writing by sticking 300 drawing pins into The New Testament (sorry Jesus; hope the connotation doesn’t evoke bygone memories.) About 30 more minutes of Bible-maiming elapsed before the front-door latched. Not wanting to venture from my room for safety reasons, I stayed put, unsure on who had actually entered the flat. 15 seconds or so passed, in which the anticipation swelled like the coming of a baddie in a Hitchcock movie. As drama-queen as this sounds, it was a genuine throbbing moment over her reaction determining the make or break of my gag. Given we had been out last night until 4am and had both risen at 9am for a show-stopping 2 hour lecture on Middle English, it was understandable when she went Hulk. My full 3 names echoed around the flat with the resonance and velocity of Peggy Mitchell.

So, having established my banter went down about as well as a cup of cold sick would, I turned my attention from Bible decimation to planning a 24 hour lockdown in my room. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not that scared of my flatmate. On a scale with Bambi at one end and spending a night in a cattle class hotel in Bangkok with Piers Morgan and a big tub of Vaseline at the polar extreme, she’d be a daddy-long-legs with a limp.

However, if Bear Grylls could survive a week only by squeezing “water” from camel shit, then I surely could survive a day by living off the cans my mum had provided as freshers’ food. I had so many that there wasn’t enough space in the kitchen and consequently, had dedicated a shelf in my bedroom to assortments of soups and canned vegetables. I deduced that I could last 4 days if I considered a single can of any item to be the equivalent of a “square meal”. Water and waste facilities were on-tap; the benefits of paying an extra £40 a week for an en-suite were starting to shine through. Chiefly though, I just didn’t want to do my essay.

Stupid shit documented
Stupid shit documented

And indeed, the limited supply of utensils in my room perfectly occupied my time, at least initially. Cans are, as I now know from experience, made from titanium, reinforced with Kevlar and diamonds. Lacking a can-opener gave way to a creative streak that resulted in attempting to use the pointy end of an umbrella to pierce a can of new potatoes. Positioned on my bathroom floor as measure of precaution against any potato juice leakage, I stabbed the can, resulting in a perfect bullet hole, unfortunately too small to draw any potato from. The second potato shank created another entry wound but also an exit wound, which lead to the demise of my umbrella (see picture.)

Having made a slightly larger hole and having also vaguely mashed the spuds, I decided I’d quite like the luxury of having my meal served warm. I first turned to trying to use my lighter on the can, but when the paper label set alight that was abandoned. Then I was hit with my second stroke of genius. My bathroom tap is usually hot enough to melt sand, so I thought of boiling my spuds, using the can as a make-shift saucepan. This did not work either.

I went hungry. After completing the entire Left 4 Dead 2 campaign and spanking the monkey 3 times, boredom was rife. So I took a risk that backfired. After checking the peep-hole thoroughly (the first time I’d ever used it for its actual intended purpose) for a potential banzai attack, I went shopping. On my return I discovered my schoolboy error: I had left my room unlocked. The joker became the joke, and I spent the best part of 45 minutes unravelling Sellotape from all my things. Next week I’m going to Homebase to buy a bucket and several hundred nails. Then I’ll do my essay.


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