“I’ve been eating too much beige lately” comments Alan, more to himself than to the assembled congregation.
“Bread and pasta, that kinda beige?” I enquire, falsely believing that I had a firm grip on the concept.
“No, no, no… Beige is like, a food group, not just food that is beige in colour. In fact, there’s many non-beige coloured things that would fall into the beige category. It’s sort of a mood, a sense of… Occasion! It tends to be, like… Lots of little things.” He pauses. “Popcorn is beige, for example, even though it’s not beige in colour.”
“Popcorn can be beige in colour” I interject. “Like, toffee popcorn.”
“Yes but toffee popcorn is sweet. Beige can never be sweet. It’s really just a manner of ingesting salt, that’s what beige is.”
“Ah! I understand. So, like, crisps and chips and the like?”
“Crisps, yeah. Very beige. Chips would be more of a meal though. Beige isn’t a full meal, more of a snack.”
“So a chicken fillet roll is out of the equation then?”
“Yeah, definitely. Unless maybe you took the fillet on its own, and sliced it up into little bits. Have a nice B&B…” continues Alan, with a slight (but noticeable) glimmer in his eye as he utters the last few words: “Beer and Beige”.
At the mention of this concept, Anthony chips in, enthusiastically. “My, this could be big.” He speaks slowly and gently, as though considering the weight of every word. “Like, are you beige-ing? No, that sounds too much like Beijing. Do you beige? Yeah, that’s it…” he repeats slowly; “Do you beige?”
And so, not so much out of any desire (I mean who has ever really desired such bland things in life), but more our of economic necessity, and to satisfy some sense of indefinable longing for salt and bitterness and despair… For all these reasons, and more… I beige.