Beth and Ian were stale. These are grown adults by the way not pieces of bread, thought I'd clear that up. Anyway after what seemed many months of making do, budgeting their food and using that wheel thing they put on all the packaging at Sainsbury's. Beth came home to her husband who had lovingly prepared a meal of vegetable rice with a single chicken goujon and some Ritz crackers. He even took a picture of it. Bless. Needless for me to tell you Beth looked like she wanted the goujons to be multiple, some wine that's plentiful and her husband in a cardigan less dreadful.
She politely deposited both plates in the dog, dug out some cab fare, got herself changed and ironed Ian's one decent shirt.
“Tonight, we dine in Instagram!” she bellowed, channelling her inner Gerard Butler.
A damp cab journey later, our intrepid heroes arrive at London's hippest new restaurant. A hostess greets them. Her name appears to be @cosykittenlover1992 (what were her parents thinking?).
“Welcome to Instagram, how would you like your menus?”
“Beg your pardon?” Ian is bemused.
“We offer a whole range of menus, in various fonts and borders.”
Beth and Ian gave each other that look. The mutual look couples often make when faced with an annoying other couples or the distant sound of Justin Bieber.
Taking a random choice they are seated. Something seems off, it feels like a restaurant, gingham tablecloths, napkins and pictures of food on the walls. Lots of pictures of food on the walls. In fact almost nothing but pictures of food on the walls. People are wandering around their tables at leisure studying them.
“Hash tag amazing salmon,” one side-parted, chino-clad cretin is overheard saying.
“Totes,” his frail girlfriend replies, with glasses big enough for her face and his combined.
“I think I've made a terrible mistake Ian.”
“Well we're here now come on, hopefully the food is good, it smells good,” Ian reassures.
Their waiter comes over dressed like an IT technician, smelling like a Dell motherboard. He tells them they can have whatever they like.
“You can have whatever you like.”
See? Told you.
Ian wants a steak, Beth wants Mushroom Stroganoff.
“How would you like your steak?” says @jeffbetts88
“Medium,” Ian replies.
The waiter giggles to himself, as if Ian has made a sly retro joke. “Come on, this is Instagram
what'll it be?”
Ian looks lost, Beth is just as clueless but she sees he is incapable of making a choice “What would you recommend... @jeffbetts88?”
“OK erm, one Hudson and a Kelvin coming up.”
They undergo their short wait for their meal and try to catch a glimpse of the meals of others. Cloches come out with regularity but they can never quite see what people are having. After what felt like a minute their cloches arrive via two beaming waiters named @enya4life and @mynameiskfbffj.
There underneath in glossy A4, was their dinner. Paper, flat as a pancake, except it's an inedible paper pancake. There's no calories, but no cutlery either. They look around, people with weird hair and funky jumpers are sniffing paper, admiring distressed borders. One particularly disturbed man in the corner is rubbing a picture of a jacket potato on his crotch. In Sutro format.
“This is madness!” Beth cries.
A man bursts out from the printing kitchen, with a can of air freshener labelled 'gravy' “Madness?” (wait for it...)
“This IS INSTAGRAM!” he had robbed her of her inner Gerard Butler.
Everybody stops, except the jacket potato man who is still rubbing away in a sweaty haze.
Ian leaps to the defence of his wife, defiant and realizing he's forgotten his wallet.
“NO! This isn't Instagram, it's a pronto print for hipsters, disguised as some healthy eating fad.”
Beth interjects, pointing at jacket potato man “Look at that man, look at him, is that what you people do here? Is that civilized? I bet you're all at it you hipster twats, waltzing around rubbing yourselves like it's some two-dimensional food orgy. Now I'm going home, my husband has cooked me a …... lovely meal, and I love him.”
“Hash tag boring,” is heard.
“You need to pay,” orders @jeffbetts88
“Ian, pay the man.”
“Fuck my life,” moans Ian.
“You can FML all you like, but FYI this is a restaurant and you have received a service and you should pay for it.”
“I've left my wallet at home. What about an IOU?”
"SMH," @jeffbetts88 shakes his head.
“So am I paying for everything tonight?” asks Beth.
A hipster mutters “Do you mind, you're putting me off my risotto!”
“Piss off, it's paper.. you prick,” Beth replies.
A series of expletives and raised voices struggle to be heard amid the din; to the point where it's a more modern non-violent saloon brawl of words, paper cuts and hipster slap fighting. Nobody remembers why so Beth and Ian make an unnoticed exit.
“Well it's good for the diet,” says a sheepish Ian.
“I wonder if the dog could regurgitate that goujon.”
“Not sure what dog vomit is worth in Weight Watcher points.”
“Well it's better than paper,” Beth concludes.