I took another bite of the lasagna. It was no good though - as hard as I tried, I just couldn't chew through the thick sheets of pasta. Surreptitiously, I separated the sheet from the rest of the food and scraped the sauce of. It was as I thought - a thin sheet of plastic coated the pasta. Home made, they'd said.
"So Ann, you made this whole lasagna yourself then?" I queried.
"Oh yes," She replied. "All of it's home-made. The eggs are fresh too - from our own hens, out front."
I had been out front for some time earlier, and I can assure you there were no hens there. However, Ann wasn't the only liar here, so I let it pass.
"Yea!" Exclaimed Chuck in his thick Welsh accent, "We don't have none of that store crap here, no Sir. Just good, honest food. Tell me Son, do you like them shop meals? Just stick them in your microwave and bam, ready made devil food! Then, I suppose a modern queer like yourself doesn't have the time for cooking or women, yea?"
To be honest, Chuck's homophobia was getting rather annoying. However, I would up with it for Mick's sake.
It's always hard to meet your partners parents, I suppose. Throw in the fact your partner is gay, and his father is a right-winged homophobe, and it gets worse. The whole situation was compounded by the fact Mick wasn't my partner and I wasn't gay. In fact, I'd only met him today, at the bus stop. However, he'd offered me £500 to fake my way through this meal. I hadn't anything better to do, so I'd accepted.
"Right boy, want to see my gun room? Of course, they're not the sort of guns I imagine you like to look at. Not that I imagine that kind of thing."
With this, Chuck gave what should have been a joking nudge to his wife, sending her flying into the wall.
Chuck took me to the gun room. It was quite a display of handguns - this being Britain, there were none. In fact, the room appeared to be a study, completely devoid of guns.
"Right, the game starts any minute lad!" He exclaimed excitedly. "Of course, you'd rather ballet, of course. But some sweaty men on top of each other should keep you amused!"
He took me into the tv room. It was a large room, with a tiny television in the middle. It was full of waxworks of Oswald Mosley, many of which were dressed in tweed suits. I took a seat next to a waxwork dressed in traditional Cossack clothing and reflected that I should have asked for more money.
When I look back, I often wonder if Chuck though he was an American Cliche. It's a strange old world.