The other Monday, I trudged home from work, incredibly tired - it had been a particularly long and heavy weekend and I was feverishly looking forward to slipping into the warm embrace of my oldest chum: bed. As I retired at about half 10, I entered my room and pulled back the duvet, but through the haze gifted me by my weary, half-closed eyes, I glimpsed what could only be a large blood stain on my sheets.
My lids aggressively retracted to the back of my eyeballs, and a panic set in - am I ill? Am I bleeding in the middle of the night? Am I going to die?
Then I remembered. Sunday night when I was feeling particularly sorry for myself, I dragged a large bowl of noodles up into my bedroom and ate them between my sheets. It was Sriracha sauce that had skidded my bedding, not blood. My fear of imminent death dissipated, and I climbed into the pit, back fully resting on that visible representation of careless gluttony. As I drifted off to sleep, the memory of the previous evening warmed my heart and I realised: I am never quite as happy as when I’m eating in fucking bed.
Of course, to some this may sound vile, prehistoric even, but please realise that I washed my sheets the next day. Sometimes, you do fun things in your bed which mean that you have to clean up afterwards - it’s the circle of life. You also clean after a house party, you clean after a game of football - you do something enjoyable, then you clean up.
But what comes before the cleanse? What comprises the ‘fun’? Well, the great thing about eating in bed is that there’s a multitude of ways in which to do it, and they are:
Sitting up under the covers
This is perhaps the most enjoyable of all of the culinary bed-routines. Bunching up all your pillows by the headboard, pulling your duvet over you, then laying an absolute platter on your lap, legs and by your sides. Clearly, this position is best used with a big pizza and its assorted sides - pizza is the most decadent foodstuff, so eating it in your actual bed heightens the wanton depravity and greatly increases your chance of gout, the rich man’s disease. It’s a wonderful cocoon of debauchery - this is truly life in the fast lane, and I cocking love it.
If there’s a downside to this method, it’s that the chance of getting sauce on your bed sheets - like, properly under them and everything - is high. But as I mentioned before, just wash them afterwards - it’s worth the orgasm.
Sitting on top of your duvet
This is the more cautious bed-eater’s realm of lechery, but it’s still good. Maybe you’re eating something with gravy on it and you can just about deal with it staining the top sheet, but seeping through into the mattress is a bit much, really. Best to sit there, cross-legged, eating like you’re at a private picnic, watching the telly, lights off. Fun and not too dangerous, a bit like a Nando’s. Particularly if you are, in fact, eating a Nando’s.
Lying down with your elbow propping up your head so you don’t choke
This is lazy, and one of the greatest pleasures of eating in bed is that it is lazy. Manners are out the window, because nobody can see you - so eat with your hands, crunch with your mouth open - just really fucking go for it, smashing your big gob into your toasted cheese sandwich like a blind hippo.
You’re lying down and eating, does it get better than this? I do not think it does - you are a Roman emperor, on a chaise longue, being fed grapes by your staff. You are a foul, hungover failure, in a wet bed, being fed cold chips by your own greasy hand. The difference is unclear to me.
Completely lying on your back, staring at the ceiling with the plate on your chest
This routine should only be reserved for when you’re really feeling sorry for yourself, but as you’ll know, sometimes it’s duly needed. Here, you are so lax that you can’t even be bothered to prop your rouge head up, you don’t even need to watch TV, you are happy to lie back while your eyes glaze over in the direction of the ceiling, eyelids slowly blinking at different times, shoveling chud into your oral quarry, lackadaisically rotating your jaws like a cement mixer on the lowest setting. You’re an ape, a dead ogre, and I will champion your cause until my early death.
In fact, if you fancy doing away with a plate altogether and simply picking crisps off your bare chest, then I’ll be your campaign manager. I have a wealth of experience in this area.
The four variations on a theme above are what makes it such a joy to eat in bed - you are inhabiting a closed-off chamber of delicious lewdness, and nobody can judge you, because they can’t see you. Unless of course they can: there is always the small chance that you may be caught, which is regrettable, but it’s a natural part of the risk.
For example, my flatmate once burst into my bedroom without warning, to discover me: a bedridden, wide-eyed deer in his headlights, two fingers raised unceremoniously aloft, centimetres from my mouth, coated in peanut butter, the half-empty jar in my other frozen hand, an aura of guilt throbbing around my startled visage, absolutely ashamed at the discovery of my transgression. I honestly would have rather he’d caught me having a wank.
But it’s par for the course, just like washing your sheets if you smudge a sluice of Sriracha across them - dismantling the stages after a massively successful festival is worth the joy that precedes it.
And I must stress this: seriously, do wash your sheets if you spill shit on them, you are not a monster - I’ll give you one night sleeping in your own seasoning before you metamorphose into the human filling in a giant stinky burrito, and we can no longer be friends. Always have back-up sheets, ready and washed, like me - they’re the bed-restaurant equivalent of a napkin, sitting in your wardrobe, ready to wipe away the sweet sin of the evening before.
Eating in bed is nothing to be scoffed at, you cannot look down on me for doing this - it is a treat, an occasional gift to my weary self, a chance to be alone, to revel in the pure unbridled joy of eating, the threat of decorum unable to stem the enjoyment of my cosy one-on-one with my bunk room cuisine.
So Keep Out, I am fingering a jar of peanut butter and I do not wish for you to see me like this.
(Image: Toa Heftiba)