Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Circling

I kind of can’t believe I am finally headed back to Davos after a two-year hiatus. We cancelled and rescheduled, and cancelled, and rescheduled, then moved location…and cancelled anyway. All because… don’t even make me say it—the dreaded you-know-what. All of which I found both maddening and embarrassing. Here we are, the smartest people on the planet… coming together to save the planet and… oops… let’s just cancel, and cancel, and cancel. Like schoolteachers saying there’s no need to teach. I know on this point I depart from my colleagues but let’s be honest; there isn’t a six-year backlog for Gulfstreams because we all sat home.

But never mind any of that… I picked up the slack. One of the projects of the World Economic Forum was to scale-up production of alternative protein sources… otherwise known as bugs. They had committed land and resources to this worthwhile endeavour—the proof of which was meant to coincide with our Singapore conference. But Covid had other plans and neither the conference nor the project got off the ground. Based on stories (with pictures!) from the WEF website, I had planned a series of high-end cocktail parties to introduce these mega-proteins to the glitterati. And only when I went to order, did I find the project had gone bust. It was a near-disaster, saved only by clever little farmers in Thailand and China who had apparently been farming and eating the critters for years.

Deep cleansing breath… and we move on. This year’s conference is so packed full of great ideas—I’m sure this is the reason I can’t get onto the website. I am needing to research because I am receiving one of the Schwab Foundation Awards, and all I can find is a news article saying we have collectively impacted the lives of 100 million people. Hmm. Impressive but truth be told I wanted to see how my picture looked on the site. Also I wanted to see just how many of the 100 million lives the other awardees have impacted.

Hostess with the mostest.

I surfed my inbox for the invite that praised my ‘dedication, and compassion to serve the most marginalised populations of society'. And then it hit me like a sock to the gut: how had I not seen that? The MOST marginalised populations?? Oh boy. Images of me on the cover of Paris Match flashed through my mind. St Tropez is only dwarfed by Monaco. Not exactly marginalised. This was bad. I rang Daddy in sheer panic.

"Yes, Jennifer’, he answered. "What—'

‘Never mind all that…’ I said. ‘I’m in a pickle, I’m getting an award for something I didn’t do’. 

‘Hmm. As a parent… imagine my shock’. 

‘Daddy!’ I yelled. ‘Not helping!’ 

‘Jennifer’ he shot back. ‘Helping! Anyway, what are you supposed to have done? I thought you were an environmentalist. Aren’t you saving the world every single day?’

‘Yes, but no. I’m a social innovator now’.

‘I see. So you’re a jobs creator then. Problem solved. But does it really matter what you say? The WEF offers so few details, it leaves little to oppose’.

Ugh! He had a point. ‘Okay, but we are the trustees of society’, I said, trying not to sound full-on wobbly.

‘Listen, sweetheart, call it what you like, but everyone over there has a planning mentality, and to those kind of people the natural order of the world seems irrational. So they will ram their ideas down our throats and into our policy but in truth, they often do the things before we need them’.

‘Which is a good thing!’ I said.

Saving the planet, one private jet at a time.

‘No', he replied, 'it’s a planning mentality. Flying came before airports. It could not have been the other way around, but if you’re Klaus, sitting around a table designing something, you might think you need airports first. Uber was meant to be a carpooling app… groups of people piling into a van to share one ride. But now we see Uber drivers actually need small cars that fit only one or two passengers. Some places are just now installing telephone cable—because they paid for it, and planned for it, but everyone is already using cell phones as cables are stretched beneath their feet’.

This was making my head spin. I had to ring off. Daddy had made some good points but I was committed to the planet, and to making a good representation for myself and my clients. Plus my dinner was served.

I fell asleep and didn’t wake up until I realised we were circling—some security issue and we couldn’t land. We had been warned security would be tighter than ever with a record $20 million being spent and more than 5,000 armed forces personnel on guard. The delay was something about safeguarding airspace that had us circling for the last hour. I glanced outside—it looked like an anaemic-airshow.

Just then my phone buzzed. ‘This is Jennifer’. I answered even though I knew it was my father.

‘Maybe delete your tweet complaining about circling for the last hour, sweetheart? It’s not the best look for the carbon-conscious…’

UGH!

‘You see? Helping!’ he said.

‘Yes, Daddy, helping. Thank you.’

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Living

I’m taking full credit for suggesting Annabel start the season off with her own, soon-to-be annual event. Truth be told I just couldn’t bear another year of last-minute Covid cancellations, and boy did they stack up. Even the brand-new Badminton Horse Trials failed to launch in its inaugural year. How utterly embarrassing. And they couldn’t get it together the next year either despite not having anything to live up to.

I was happy the planet had been given a breather but I was determined to push forward and LIVE. And by the turnout it was clear I wasn’t alone. Like any good overnight guest, I am always keen to find the best gift for the hostess—even if she is your best friend and wants for nothing. Annabel truly has everything—including the annoying habit of pretending to be overjoyed by every gift when you just know the lot is going in the bin or home with her housekeeper. Daddy’s suggestion is always a bottle of something and Judith would suggest a scarf, but then she hasn’t seen the excesses I’ve seen.
 
The Faber-Castell twins, (also houseguests) did bring a bottle of something which sort of surprised me because wouldn’t you expect—pencils?  They’d been crowned this year’s  Corviglia Club glamour girls which likely accounted for the hoards of young chaps milling about Annabel’s garden. I’m sure Judith (mummy) hoped I would have chosen to be more of a society darling but the planet was always my first love—even if it means some of us are going to have to eat bugs. 

Corviglia: if you have to ask, you don't belong here.

I struck up a conversation with Raj Tanna because I was keen to get his input on ESG.  His theory is we really need to focus on the ’S’ (social) in that grouping of letters as it has been ‘the previously ignored middle child’. My motivation, having come so very close to serving on HSBC’s board, was to make sure to sufficiently leverage my stakeholder credibility next time around. My work for so many of the green oligarchs, and in the environmental sector in general, had made me an attractive addition to their board. In the end, they decided the bona fides they cared about most were BIPOC and gender identity--meaning the belief that illuminating previously-marginalised races, or sexes, would bode well for the company’s bottom line. 

I was discouraged after a chat with my father (‘these are not actual qualifications’), and the insights of Warren Buffett (‘I did not receive even three letters last year from shareholders asking for [ESG] disclosures'),  but they were what HSBC wanted. Optics. I just didn’t have enough of them. So I sought to learn from Mr Tanna in hopes of improving my chances on future boards. Sadly,  he was so much less helpful than I’d imagined. After I introduced myself he seemed only to want to talk about his real love… a glass house on the water.  He said the ‘ecological element had been so important to him and his wife’, adding, ‘We wanted the house not to interfere with nature—we wanted it to disappear’. All I could imagine was birds crashing into all sides and leaving bloody splotches all around. He went on saying, ‘Glass reflects the light and the sky and the water, so the house at times is much less visible than others’.  Wow. Snore.

I told him I’d been fascinated by his tenure in the sector and the research his company had put forth but he was unmoved. I tried stroking his ego with what I knew to be his tightly-held belief… when good companies do good things  share prices follow, but he didn’t take it up. I’d watched a recent interview in which he said the pandemic was a catalyst for change  and with that he said… ‘Oh I wholly agree’.  Agree?? They were his words! Odd. I was about to play my very last card and tell him that Annabel (our hostess) was my very best friend but his wife came by and whisked him away. Annabel’s husband James must have seen my utter shock as he came to my rescue with a glass of champagne. 

‘Interesting fellow isn’t he?’ James asked. ‘Do you know him?’

‘Do YOU know him?’ I responded.

‘Well of course’ James laughed, ‘he owns what we are calling the futuristic Versailles.  Made money in Russia—as folks tend to do. You should see the house. Very nature-y. Is that what you talked about?’.

‘No. Well maybe he did. I’m not sure. I thought he was the Raj Tanna who’s trying to put the S in ESG. Environmental, Social, Gov…’

‘Environmental?’ Ha ha. ‘No. Wrong chap, same name. Well, no harm done. By the way, did you see what someone gave us? It's like a toilet for the kitchen counter.  You put food scraps in, you flush it, and overnight it turns into dirt. Can you imagine?’ he asked, laughing hysterically.

‘No. I can’t’ I said. My face turning ashen. The gift had been mine. 

‘The only good thing is maybe we can put all the rest of the crap gifts in there’, he said, chuckling away. ‘Can you imagine?’ He laughed again. ‘In a house this size? Oh meet my little friend kitchen loo…’  

‘Hilarious', I said, downing the glass of bubbly.

I made my way up to the house and called my father. No answer. I texted. Nothing. Everyone was talking about St. Moritz which sounded  like the best St. Moritz season in the history of ever. I couldn’t go. Perhaps Judith was right. Perhaps this working thing was overrated. And just then someone rushed over to ask if I was the famous eco-hostess from the cover of Paris Match magazine. Why yes I was! In fact I’d circumnavigated the globe four times this last year. Perhaps there was more than one way to skin a cat. 

Bugs: They're What's for Dinner

A billowing concern of some on the left is the exhalation of CO2 and the expelling of methane by cows. The Klimate Kult is concerned by the effect of cow burps and farts on the oft-disproved “greenhouse” effect and the warming of the planet. Keep in mind that even if the planet is warming (and no uncorrupted global temperature data supports this), scientists are looking for a planet about five degrees C warmer than earth for future human habitation because a warmer planet has more food, less extreme weather and is a better home for humanity.

The solution to cow flatulence by some, including Bill Gates, the owner of more privately-owned farmland in the United States than anyone else, is for us to eat insects instead of food. Let’s say we replace food with bugs. To appease the Klimate Kult. To pretend against all evidence that Anthropogenic Global Warming exists. To signal our virtue to the universe. How many insects would we need to eat to replace beef... real food?

We would need to slaughter around 363,000 crickets to get the same number of calories that comes from one slaughtered cow. But we slaughter 1.5 billion cows every single year, meaning that to get the same number of calories that we get from all the cows we slaughter would mean around 550 trillion crickets would need to be slaughtered instead.

[I]t would be basically impossible to quantify how many insects would need to be killed to replace the other 70 billion land animals, and around 1.2 trillion marine animals, that are currently killed for animal products every single year.

But there's a problem. Something of which many are unaware, evidently, is that insects feel pain. Those same folks asking (demanding?) we reduce the human population of the planet to save it, are worried about the moral considerations of killing bugs. Oh, the humanity:

[I]n the case of crickets, they have been shown to react to receiving morphine, staying in a box that was getting progressively hotter for a longer period than the crickets who were not given morphine. After five days of being given morphine, they even started exhibiting signs of addiction when they were no longer given the opiate.

So whilst scientific knowledge on insect sentience is still in its early days, what we already know about these animals makes their lives morally valuable, and makes creating a system that would end up slaughtering an entirely incomprehensible number of them, a serious moral concern that we are ethically obligated to avoid.

Hmm… And how do we feed and water 550,000,000,000,000 crickets? And house them in such a way that they are healthy and that they successfully reproduce? And care for their pupae? And dispose of the waste of half-a-quadrillion crickets? How many concrete (which releases CO2) buildings would need to be built for housing and nurseries and abattoirs for these bugs? What would be the impact to waterways of this huge amount of concentrated waste?

Bon Appétit!

What would be the electrical cost of maintaining an insect habitat for hundreds of trillions of insects? Would the carbon footprint of these huge bugatoriums be larger than that of the food they are “replacing?” Does anyone know? It’s vanishingly rare for the left to do a cost-benefit calculation on their various emotional cults.

How would we consume these trillions of bugs?

Now, you can order insect protein bars and cricket flour on Amazon. For those with a sweet tooth, there are cricket flour chocolate chip cookies.

The beef industry in America, calf-to-table, employs about 900,000 Americans, is the 47th-largest industry in the U.S., producing $30.2 billion of fresh beef, $4.8 billion of ground beef, $11.6 billion of sirloin steak, at a growth rate of 3.2 percent annually in 2022.

As someone who has worked in the birthing of calves, who has herded, roped, cut, thrown and branded calves and yearlings, has milked cows and slaughtered beeves, I have a bias toward steaks and burgers. The iconic American cowboy never will be replaced in the mind of a boy or girl, or on a Hollywood screen, by a cricket wrangler. And, no, that independent lifestyle that much of the world admires and which those who have tried it find hard to give up, cannot be replaced by cricket ranches. But mine will be deemed an emotional and adolescent response to a global crisis…. that does not exist.

Will Bill Gates and his pals at the WEF get their tyrannical way, destroying the beef industry? Here’s an interesting thought: Elon Musk just offered a significant portion, 16 percent, of his billions to change an industry. Makes one think of Bill Gates and his desire for us to eat insects and fake meat.

Did somebody say "fake meat"?

In America in January of 2019, we had about 94,000,000 cattle. The average price In April, 2022, for a 750-lb steer was $1,150. Assuming about one-third of those 94 million cows are three-year-old, 750-lb steers, Gates could buy the entire 2022 American beef production for $35 billion, or about 27 percent of his wealth, leaving himself a paltry $100 billion to live on. If he also bought the entire crop of yearlings and 2-year-olds at half that price, he would spend a total of $61 billion, just under half of his wealth of $132 billion.

This is a future desired by Gates and his WEF cronies. Making us eat fake meat and insects instead of food. For no reason other than they can, we’d have no more beef.

Bill Gates Says He Will Force You to Eat Fake Meat

Bill Gates states that rich countries should give up all beef in favor of synthetic fake meat, a transition that can be supported by changing people's behaviors or enacting regulations to shift demand.

Think about that.

"... or enacting regulations" to make us eat bugs....

Then ask yourself this: Who or what is going to stop him?

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Styling

It’s official! According to Judith (mummy), their phone in St John’s Wood has been ringing nonstop with calls from my former school chums, (and some I wasn’t all that chummy with) ever since I was on the cover of Paris Match. I’m not sure how that ranks higher than my place on the Olympic Equestrian Team but perhaps they share a keen interest in the environment. Although frankly I doubt it.

One such call really got under Judith’s skin as it was a reporter asking if she too ate bugs, and if it were a habit she’d picked up in China. According to Daddy she corrected them and hung up. After all, it was British Hong Kong (not China) and I doubt mummy ventured outside of the shops where she saw other Britons in Karl Lagerfeld or Prada. It was quite the fashion parade according to the pictures she kept and well… if you knew Judith she doesn’t even eat Chinese food here in England. After that, Daddy took the calls and deftly provided my email. His is the kind of voice one knows not to ask probing questions.

Bugs aren't really animals, are they?

Out of a half dozen or so emails I’m now set to appear on This Morning with Gino D’Acampo and the morning programme Breakfast out of New Zealand. This I will do by video conference as New Zealand has decided not to let me in unless I’ve been fourteen days in Australia or the Cook Islands, (as if) and there certainly isn’t time enough for all that. Oh the nerve of these people! Maybe they should have a look at their very own flag and realise the Union Jack figures rather prominently. I’ve just had it with draconian restrictions that make no practical sense, especially given I didn’t contract anything during my actual travels… it was when I was holed up in Annabel’s country estate that we both took ill, and recovered just as quickly.

I’m also rather put off after reading so many horror stories—like that of the footballer who got stuck in an Indian airport for three months or the Australians who were basically arrested for finding a clever way back home and I just don’t want to have to call Daddy, or Patrick, or (God forbid) my fabulous new client to wrest me free from some horrible lockdown.

The main question now is what to wear. I’d had several Dahlia Macphee options overnighted to me which are known to be (mostly) vegan clothes but unfortunately they were all gowns…and not appropriate for a morning show. Umasan sent me loads of ‘ethical’ separates—none of which became an ensemble, and thankfully one other ethical/sustainable/vegan designer who fit the bill perfectly—bright colours and reasonably flattering… or at least nothing that a good clamp in the mid-back wouldn’t fix for the camera.

I just needed a good forty-five minutes with Daddy to explain to me just what was going on with China’s new push to non-Bitcoin cryptocurrency. One of the talent bookers asked me some questions about it and I needed to be ready in case it came up on the show. He mainly asked why China is now moving away from the eco-disaster that is created by mining iBtcoin and if I believed my exposé had any effect. Daddy answered:

‘Jennifer’s press secretary how can I help you?’

‘Very funny’ I countered. ‘But I do need to ask a few things.’

‘She was always a wonderful child… helpful, kind… walking and talking at six months…’

‘Daddy! I need to ask about cryptocurrency. More specifically China’s departure from mining Bitcoin in favour of something more eco-friendly.’

‘I should think you’d be thrilled. Clearly China’s gone green.’

Going green for fun and profit, Chinese-style.

‘Do you really think so?’ I asked.

‘Do YOU?’

UGH! Two minutes in and I’ve asked a stupid question.

‘No, not really I guess. So why then?’

‘I’m not an expert on China’s but it’s always safe to say if China is doing anything, it’s because it benefits China.’

‘So…’ I began again, ‘Can I just frame this as China being in step with a green future?’

‘If you can say it with a straight face—then by all means, yes, say it! But if you are looking for my advice, I would suggest you don’t frame it at all, and in this way you don’t have to backtrack when China continues to find new and worse ways to destroy the planet you love so much.’

I wasn’t sure if I felt better or worse but he had saved me from looking as foolish as Greenpeace falsely extolling China’s green virtues. With this in mind I felt prepared for my video conference which was fast-approaching due to the ten-hour time difference between Saint Tropez and New Zealand.

Just then I got a call from my oh-so-ethical wardrobe supplier. It seems ’after consideration’ they will to ask me NOT to wear their clothes as their PR focus had been animal organisations, and ‘couldn’t risk being seen supporting blatant animal cruelty’. WHAT!? ME? I literally held the phone away from my head as I pondered what absolute rot she was on about. Apparently she was under the very misguided belief that eating bugs was eating animals, which OKAY technically it is, but it is the more green option.

I wanted to scream I’M THE GOOD PEOPLE but I just let her adenoidal rant continue. That was until she said the word ‘standards’ —meaning she was questioning mine and at which point I just hung up. What cheek! If they sent anyone to collect their clothes I was going to tell her I’d recycled them with the other trash. And little did she know I’d never actually eaten one of the crispy critters but then I wasn’t exactly advertising that. It was far too late to get any other clothes shipped to me so I just fumed for a few minutes while deciding what to do. I went back to the Dahlia MacPhee gowns and decided to make a full go of it— glam hair, earrings, lipstick and dramatic lighting. Done.

Home sweet home, fraught but bug-free.

I was ready with plenty of time to spare and took a tip from Judith in her debutante days… I lay perfectly still on my back with a silk scarf under my head and set my alarm for one hour. She would have been rather proud of me as I woke up—hair and make-up still impeccable and then sipped on lemon water until we were live. Frankly I looked fabulous. And thank God for that because five seconds in I found they did not want to talk about China’s crypto-at all. It was the bug show all over again. “Our International bug hostess… Jenny Kennedy!"

I smiled even wider knowing it now made perfect sense for a hostess to be dressed for entertaining until they asked if (OMG not again!) I’d eat a bug for the camera. I felt that familiar bile creeping up the back of my throat. Luckily, I mean ‘Sadly’ I corrected…  'we’ve set up our entire spread for an after party that I’ll be hosting later.’ It was a small lie but it beat the heck out of losing it on international television. Just one last smile and we were out. Whew! I clapped shut my computer and opened a hard-earned bottle of champagne. It’s possible it goes well with crickets but cheers to standards.

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Mining

As is (almost) always the case my hard work has really paid off. I say almost because nearly everyone knows how my Olympic equestrian gold was stolen from me, but today I can proudly say that all my hard work—hunkering down in the Bahamas, has landed me a big, fat, juicy, client. SO big that, were I tell his name everyone would certainly know it. Shall we just say tech baron?

As it turns out, my bug soirée was a much bigger smash than I’d imagined because despite a paltry twenty-five guests, the event was lauded as “exclusif” and got picked up by Paris Match, Semana, Hello!, Tatler, and Vanity Fair.  Oh and obviously also by my new “Baron”. Frankly I shouldn’t be surprised, because I was way out in front of this whole bug-eating trend. I mean the WEF had talked a good game but when it came down to it, their pet source was SO not ready for prime time.

So when “Baron” went looking for someone to head his personal push to lessen reliance on traditional protein sources, all paths led to me. At the same time the U.S. is experiencing a once every 17-year infestation… or rather burgeoning... of cicadas! These too are edible, and an excellent source of protein but Americans are understandably loath to try them because an unfortunate bit of press came out rather early… warning against allergies to the cicadas when it turns out only those with shellfish allergies need to take heed. 

Hostess with the mostest.

My baron hopes that together we can turn this bounty into a sort of ‘gateway' to eating more bugs. The good news for me is I am the hostess who served them (instant credibility), and the good news for the planet is that with more people eating bugs we will rely less on large animals that create more greenhouse gases. Also the sheer sound of the cicadas in some parts of the East Coast is deafening—and who wants that? Surely less is more. 

I’ve already contacted the Boy Scouts of America, 4-H,  and the Future Farmers of America to see if they can begin some sort of hunting/harvesting exercise. The Boy Scouts already got back to me with a definitive NO—owing to the fact that they apparently ‘do not have a cicada patch’ and cannot get new patches approved in less than a year’s time—which if you think about it, is truly intolerable given that the cicadas will be gone by then.  And second of all, I didn’t ask for a patch, I asked for a programme.

I coordinated to get so very many publications to run recipes that feature cicadas.  Among the best was  Spicy Popcorn Cicadas  fish soup with chicken and cicadas   and Cicada Cookies. Things were going well until I went to upload these pictures onto my website and started to gag. This time it wasn’t the thought of the crunchy legs getting stuck between my teeth but seeing the juicy insects floating in the fish and chicken soup—I just imagined them alive and swimming on my tongue and down my throat and that was it for me. Vomit-central. I only made it to the trash bin near the bar. 

It was a good ten minutes before I wasn’t flop-sweated and felt I could control my need to gag. The pictures were not getting uploaded—at least not by me. I closed my laptop and went down to the port in search of a cocktail.

To start my employ I flew to meet the baron’s yacht and then stayed on until we docked at Port de Saint-Tropez where I checked into the Byblos. I don’t know his plans for the next three days but at the end of the week I’m meant to host another insect cocktail party, this time for a hundred and with an even greater variety of bugs. The thought of which was making me queasy; the stacked hard shells, the squish, the crunch, ladies with leg-bits stuck to their lip gloss… I began to hurl again. Good Lord, please tell me there are people one can hire to just… OMG.

If it's good enough for Mick Jagger...

I called Daddy and he suggested when in bug distress I place a large silver coin on my tongue near the back of my throat, claiming it helped him through a few excessive drinking situations at Oxford. 

‘But how am I supposed to talk?’ I asked, nearly swallowing the coin.

‘You aren’t’, he said, ‘that’s the point, you don’t lift your uvula, you don’t take that breath in, and you don’t lose your job. That was the point, wasn’t it?’ 

‘I don’t know.’ I said, spitting the coin into my hand. This was a disaster. The press would like nothing more than to tear down the girl they just praised. She can’t even look at the stuff, they would write. 

‘I think the press will have a bigger issue with your environmental conflict if they were to find out your robber baron paid you in Bitcoin.’

‘How? Bitcoin is about fairness,’ I explained.  ’It allows the people to have power at long last, instead of only banks and a few families. Also, they say…’

‘Ah yes, THEY. The famous they… I think best you ask your robber baron to pay you by check, or wire transfer, or actual coin.’

‘Actual…no.  it’s no risk.  I already got my first payment and converted it to cash.’

‘Well that’s great except ‘it’ is exceedingly bad for the environment and as he’s your green baron, you should be giving him better advice.’

‘How?? It’s mined on computers. It was basically a peaceful revolution that brought the power to the people, even people who previously had no access to banking systems.’

Talk about a carbon footprint!

“But that’s not your client is it? And these people of whom you speak are not owning their own banks, or data mining centres or even computers. The power my darling girl, is mostly coal power because most of these are China-based mines, and they use the cheapest electrical generation, most of which is derived from coal-fired plants.’

Ugh, another disaster! ‘Why is it always China!’ I wailed.

‘Why is the left always focused on something like making us eat bugs?' he replied. 'And tell me, how was the boat ride?’

He just had to get the last jab in.  I pecked away on my computer for a bit longer finding that Bitcoin consumes more energy than Malaysia, Sweden and Argentina combined, and causes more carbon emissions than Conoco Phillips and American Airlines. Not looking good. 

I couldn’t undo the transfer but at least Bitcoin activity is under the radar—or at least I assume it must be given it’s the choice of illicit trade.  Oh, boo. I would indeed have to tell him to pay me by traditional methods—for his reputation as well as mine.  And even if I might not be able to down a juicy cicada for the camera, I would be able to help him not look like an obvious hypocrite. Surely that’s what he’s paying me for. 

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Entertaining

I called Daddy to discuss a few details of my upcoming party but to no avail. It goes without saying that Judith (mummy) is more the person to consult when it comes to parties but this is meant to promote both my newly expanded life coaching business, and to incorporate my love for the planet.

I’m not mocking those who push to ‘do what you love’… but taken literally… my job would be reviewing posh resorts and spas. Practically speaking though, the planet does matter to me, and I’ve taken up the Great Reset Agenda in tandem with furthering my work. Some of which was Daddy’s idea… unfortunately Judith answered.

‘Yes, I’m still in the Bahamas… yes, all going swimmingly… (OMG!) YES I’m wearing sunscreen… is Daddy there?’ (as if I’m twelve). ‘Yes, I’m working, loads of clients on the horizon… is Daddy… no not technically on the horizon, some are actual clients, I just need to ask him some questions about a party… a BUSINESS party.’ 

Always be closing.

Then she went on about invitations, and how themes generally fall flat before eventually telling me that Daddy was out.

‘Out? How can he be out? You’re in the country.' I insisted.

‘I think he’s gone duck hunting,' she said, in an uncharacteristically high voice.

‘In spring?? Unlikely. This wasn’t going well. I checked my watch for no reason and asked, ‘Can you just have him… NO, MOTHER I’m fine… I just…’ Oh my double god! ‘Can you please just… thank you. Goodbye.’

Truth was, it had been Daddy’s suggestion that I do some real promotion while I’m here amongst the leisure working class, and that I get a jump on the Great Reset folks, why wait for the WEF to dictate a timeline. He’s suggested instead of just posting videos and admonishing like they do… that I really implement. So I’m doing cocktails for a hundred and serving the most sustainable options: Cocktails that come packaged in barrel pouches, paper straws, eco-friendly everything, cheeses from farms that convert buffalo waste into clean energy, and of course bugs—the greenest of all proteins.

I just wanted to ask if he really was in favour of serving bugs… I certainly didn’t see anyone serving them in Davos and the idea made me shiver but I thought… maybe he’s right and I needed to really dig in, but every choice created a dilemma.

Tastes like yakitori!

For instance the cocktails in recyclable barrel pouches… forget that they would have to be shipped here especially, but unless I made a big deal about it, I mean really point it out… who would know? I run the risk of virtue signaling, which is the exact opposite of what I’m trying to do.

It was a dilemma until I realised this crowd wasn’t going to want anything other than known commodities anyway (Veuve, Monkey 47, French reds…) If I were going to introduce the eco packaging, I’d have to just send everyone home with a sample of the pouch cocktails, which again they’ll likely never drink so… hmm.

I called the third sustainable cheese farm on my list and was told, "People don't think a lot about poop when they think about sustainable cheesemaking, but they really should.” And I knew I’d reached the right place. But best keep that slogan off a cocktail napkin though.

I was going to need backup, so I flew in an assistant I’d used in the past. Straws, too, were creating a huge dilemma as everyone knows the paper ones just don’t work. I’d personally had good luck with pasta straws but they weren’t gluten-free.

Meanwhile my assistant had been making a mood board on whose authority I didn’t quite grasp, but which she says is ‘essential to really nail down the concept’. Ugh! She had researched “everything from movies, to fashion, to art”, and after half a day spent, it looked like a party in which I was marrying myself.

‘GREAT RESET!’ I yelled at the top of my lungs before realising I sounded like I needed a Xanax.

But Xanax I did need when I found out that the much-touted bug supplier…for all their preening and wailing, actually didn’t have any bugs at all! None I could serve anyway. Their “current line” catered only to agricultural needs (fertiliser) and pets. PETS?? Now I really wished I’d saved my scream.

How dared they go on chastising the rest of us, bragging about a higher protein source and more sustainable and no greenhouse gases and getting the rubber stamp of the WEF! Little creatures, big change my ass! I was livid. Twenty years ago Harrods had sold chocolate-covered ants which were considered a novelty but it actually existed. I wanted this bug supplier kicked out of the World Economic Forum and beaten with sticks.

The Chinese just love scorpions-kebab!

Just then Daddy rang and I had all I could do to not start crying. He listened and then said, ‘So if I understand the problem… your eco-food isn’t fit for human consumption… do I have it right?’

I was too pathetic for words. He had it right, which momentarily made me laugh, and then I did start sobbing. He just let me go on and on while he googled and found a solution.

‘It’s going to sting a little…’ He began… ‘but if you agree to overnight delivery there’s a company out of Thailand that sells cooked and dehydrated bugs—seasoned with salt! It says right here, edible grasshoppers, crickets, silk worms and sago worms’.

I was silent. ‘I thought for sure I had you with sago worms.’ He added, trying to cheer me up. Just then the idea that I truly was serving bugs hit me and I started to vomit. I thanked him and rang off.

After sorting myself out, I returned to find my assistant on the phone chatting up a DJ. Maybe. It was hard to tell with all the ‘totally’ and ‘kif-kif’ going on. It was then that I decided SHE ALONE could be on bug detail and I explained to her just how important this particular component was, and that she should create an ICP (ideal customer profile). Listen, I had just learned the term myself but I needed her to take this seriously.

It was party time and while I thought it would be the men clamouring to crunch down on one of these edibles, it was the women, who somehow conflated high protein with lean, and saw these critters as the fast-track to a flat stomach. I had to keep drinking because every time I thought about crispy cricket legs breaking away from a body and being pressed back by someone’s tongue I started to hurl. I couldn’t even face my guests. Had I seen any food stuck in anyone’s teeth I’d have lost it.

It was indeed too soon to leave my own party, but a hangover couldn’t come soon enough.