In a startling reverse that occurred entirely in his own mind, recently made redundant Surbiton householder Peter Woodburn managed to reduce foul-mouthed celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay to tears following a blistering, carefully choreographed, outburst of fantasy dialogue.
Conscious of how clumsily he was chopping a red onion, Woodburn imagined an irate Gordon Ramsay looking over his shoulder as if he were a participant on one of his ‘tough love’ TV cooking shows. The 43-year-old unemployed programmer imagined the chef berating him mercilessly for the amateurish way he sliced vegetables, before disparaging his entire approach to life because of it.
In response, Woodburn surprised himself by spinning on his heel, threatening the unseen and imaginary TV chef with his poorly chosen blade, and telling him that maybe if he paid a bit more attention to keeping up his own culinary and business skills, and a bit less time mucking about in Ferraris with David Beckham, his own restaurant empire wouldn’t be so quickly going down the toilet. He then reminded the stunned Michelin-starred restaurateur that he didn’t care if the onion slices were of irregular thickness as he was only making himself a sandwich, not preparing a royal banquet, and warned Ramsay that he was in Peter Woodburn’s house now ‘so you can mind your fucking language, and get the fuck out of my kitchen. Yes?’
The Surbiton man’s reverie concluded with the contrite imaginary Ramsay sobbing his apologies and fleeing the house with a final stinging rejoinder about his abilities as a footballer ringing in his ears. Woodburn then settled down to watch Loose Women with his ham and onion sandwich, a little happier with himself.
The rest of Woodburn’s afternoon saw him open a celebratory can of lager left over from the night before, while he enjoyed less profane, yet no less imaginary, verbal victories over Tony Blair, his 6th-form maths teacher, and his ex-wife, Penny.