MAN’S WORLD: Fruits of my labours

Last week I was flattened by a stomach bug; this week it’s the worst cold I’ve had foryears.

Every morning I stumble out of bed. Trek downstairs. Feed the animals. Take a large glass. Half fill it with orange juice. Top it up with grapefruit juice. Every single morning. If you prick me, do I not bleed Tropicana?

It is simply not possible that I can catch a cold.

And yet I am knocked over by every wretched bug that strolls down our street.

Well no more. I have taken delivery of the ultimate weapon. A juicer has arrived. A dazzling combination of stainless steel and centrifugal force.

So much for Jane’s cup of tea in the morning. I’ll be waking her up with a red onion, celery and cucumber zinger. Or something like that: I haven’t got round to the recipes yet…

“It’s fantastic,” a pal of mine said to me. “My wife makes the juice the night before.

“Puts the drinks in the fridge with everyone’s name on them. Have it first thing every morning. Never felt so well in my life.”

I refrained from pointing out that he had two angelic little girls. Wait until they’re teenagers, mate. See what your wife’s juicing then. A gin bottle and six limes, just like the rest of us. Assuming you’ve got the energy to drink it.

The juicer sat proudly on the worktop – while I bought fruit and veg at random.

Soon it was surrounded by a dazzling collection of carrots, pineapples, oranges and a melon the size of six rugby balls.

“Let’s do this,” I said to my beloved. “I can already feel the goodness coursing through my body.”

“You’ll have to wait,” she said. “I can’t work out how to take it apart. You’ll enjoy cleaning it afterwards.”

She was right. We couldn’t. We spent ten fruitless minutes trying to unlock the damn thing before a YouTube video came to the rescue.

“Whatever happened to the good old days of instruction books in English?” I said.

“Gone,” my wife replied. “And not coming back. Pass me that pineapple.”

I did. This was it. The moment had arrived. A new dawn of fitness and health for the family.

Jane condemned the pineapple to its fate and turned the machine on.

It was fantastic! Instantly pure, golden pineapple juice poured out of the spout.

Gallons of it. Sadly in all the excitement we’d forgotten to put the jug under the spout.

The pure, golden pineapple juice poured all over the worktop and onto the kitchen floor.

The dog eagerly lapped up our new dawn of fitness and health…

Take two. “Carrots, orange, ginger,” I said. “That’ll perk you up,”

I chopped a carrot and whacked it in. Nothing. Not a drop of juice.

“Are you pressing it down?” Jane demanded.

“Of course I’m pressing it down. Maybe the carrot is too hard?”

“How can it be too hard? Everyone juices carrots.” Not with our machine they didn’t.

“What’s that smell?” Jane demanded.

I tried to remain calm. “Possibly something to do with the smoke coming off the motor?”

“You’d better sort it out. I’m going to see my parents.” And with that she was gone.

Leaving me with a red-hot juicer, a pile of pulped veg and a lot of cleaning.

Clearly we’d done something wrong.

I stuck an orange in and tried again.

A trickle. I could get more juice by eating the fruit the juicer left behind.

I picked up a mangled piece of pineapple.

Delicious.

Exactly like going back to baby food.

Or as my children would point out, an appetiser for the old people’s home…