• Dami Afam Ade-Odiachi

Weetabix and Heinz Baked Beans "Just Right" says Afam

One of the best things about social media is the access it gives us. We’re connected to everything and everyone, all at once. It’s a hyperbolic way to put it but it isn’t dishonest. For the simple reason that I own an active twitter account, I have access to some of the world’s best talent and creative output. There’s a feeling, when you witness excellence in humanity; makes it seem that all of life is worthwhile. You drown out the noise, you ignore the cruelty, the sheer volume of nonsense and focus on that which is truly exceptional.

Bliss! But only for a minute or two. A couple of days ago, I saw a bit of content so astounding, so controversial, so unforgettable, that I was struck Dumbo, like I’d just seen an elephant fly… or something like that. And it came from the most unlikely source, Weetabix.

There’s always Weetabix in my house, somewhere. It isn’t anyone’s favourite cereal or meal or snack. It’s much too bland for that. But it’s everyone’s most necessary cereal. The house would not be a home, lived in, old and welcoming if there wasn’t a box of Weetabix somewhere. We just need to know that it’s there. It’s a talisman of good living. It says, no matter what goes on, even if the sky should fall, there will always be Weetabix. This too is hyperbolic, but it isn’t without an element of truth… a very very tiny element of truth. I suppose the real reason why we always have Weetabix around is that my grandfather loved the stuff. He used to drop by and stay the night a lot. He always had Weetabix in the morning, so the house couldn’t be without it. And now, we’re so used to having Weetabix around that it feels strange if it isn’t there even if my grandfather can no longer drop by as he did when he still smelled our air, tilled our earth, walked our plane. It’s a small comfort, a small reminder of a great man. It is Weetabix for the grieving spirit. That’s meant to be a pun of sorts. It’s meant to be a little funny but I’m not sure that it is. The reason why we have it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that somehow, we always do.

Weetabix suggested on twitter that baked beans would go very well with the whole grain wheat biscuits (that’s just another way of saying Weetabix). The very notion made my brain explode. My soul left my body (it wondered the universe for a second that felt like a century peaking at the secrets of the cosmos before returning). My heart said, “No. No. No. No. Not today Satan. Get thee behind me devil.”

I tried to dismiss it, the thought of it, the idea of it. But you know what they say about ideas. “Resilient, highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain, it’s almost impossible to eradicate.” That’s from the Christopher Nolan film, Inception; a good film. The pairing seemed unholy, but I couldn’t resist it. There was new ground to be discovered. Both of them -Weetabix and Heinz baked beans, fantastic in isolation, unheard of in collaboration, new territory. I had to try it out. I just had to.

The first bite was crunchy and dry. I thought to write it off, to condemn it to the place where misadventures go to die, the cemetery of youthful folly, but then the sweet softness of the baked beans filtered through, slowly, then all at once. It became in my mouth the most syrupy porridge. I was Goldilocks. I had found my ‘just right’. People have said to me, “No.” And if not “No” then some variation of it. “Calling the police as we speak.” “Nope. No way.” But I held the memory of its taste tight. It tasted like warmth, affection and safety. “Part of the secret to success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it inside.” I was living by Mark Twain’s doctrine and I’d never felt better.

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