A Hot Potato


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I was asked to give another table topic, a short impromptu speech.

Great, a chance to prove myself. The last time I’d given a table topic, I’d gone off topic; I’d used a short anecdote and tried to work my speech around it. This time, I vowed I would use the topic of the speech itself.

And what was the topic?

I was asked by David to act as a reporter, but to report on an event of the past – the introduction of the potato by Sir Walter Raleigh.

Well, I started off on good ground – after a brief talk about drug smuggling (i.e. tobacco), I started talking about the huge impact potatoes have had on Scottish cooking – how we’d be lost without them.

And then….

And then, I floundered. I started talking about how I wanted to talk on-topic this time. I was talking about talking, about keeping on topic but not about the topic itself.

And I babbled on and on until the time was up.

While I may be the least informed appreciator of food, I see now that there were many things I could’ve talked about. I love chips, and baked potatoes are great. How about potatoes wrapped in tin foil and cooked in a log fire? Or the one meal I can actually cook, corned beef hash. Where would that be without potatoes?

As my Mother-in-Law is fond of saying, “We’re all generals after the war”.

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