Have you ever invented a password so magnificently clever that you want to tell everyone what it is? Not only does Google declare it ‘very strong’, but it is also somehow witty, fiendishly difficult to guess, and wonderfully easy to remember. The very nature of this sort of password makes you want to share it with everyone, which would defeat the object entirely.
Well, that roughly describes my feelings after drawing a bikini on myself in whipped cream. Accessorised with raspberries. God damn it looked good – so good, in fact, that I nearly reached for my iPhone so that I could post a picture of it on Twitter. But then I realised that I was naked, and covered in squirty cream. That split-second urge to share too much is surely one of the major perils of the internet age.
Now, I am what you might call ‘ideologically opposed’ to squirty cream. It is, in my opinion, the bane of modern eating, a disgusting non-food that actively detracts from whatever it adorns. It jumps out at you from the most astonishing of places – perfectly good coffee shops seemingly can’t resist a quick whoosh of it on the side of your home-made cake – and I have been known to interrogate waiters about the meaning of ‘cream’ on their menu.
This is the reason I have never covered myself in whipped cream for Herbert before. I just couldn’t bear for that cream to be UHT and out of a can. I have, in the past few months, wondered extensively whether there is a way around this. A piping bag? Or just a bowl and a spoon? I considered briefly whether it’s possible to get hold of those contraptions they use in Starbucks to pipe unwanted whipped cream onto your hot chocolate. But even I could see that this was too elaborate. I may make my own mayonnaise, but I acknowledge that squirty cream has a place in the bedroom.
Herbert, anyhow, actively loves squirty cream, largely because it comes in a handy dispenser that drastically cuts the time it takes to get it onto this mouth. Therefore, at lunchtime on Thursday, I find myself in Sainsbury’s buying the infernal UHT canister, a packet of raspberries (woefully out of season, but you can’t achieve such things with spring greens), a jar of chocolate sauce and a bottle of cava. And don’t think I didn’t consider making the chocolate sauce myself, either.
That evening, I wait until H has got into his post-gym shower, and then I swiftly arrange myself. I cover the bed first in the oilcloth that sits on the kitchen table, and then in two duvet covers. Then, I lay back and pipe the cream bikini on myself, garnishing it elegantly with raspberries. I decide to leave the garnishing with chocolate sauce to H, mainly because I will ruin my creation if I move too much. So I lay back and wait. He’s taking ages in the shower. The cream feels cold, and it beginning to slide off in places. I wish I’d poured myself a glass of the cava to pass the time.
Eventually, he comes into the bedroom, and I say, ‘surprise!’ He squints at me for a while. ‘I’m covered in whipped cream,’ I say.
‘Oh,’ he says. ‘I wondered. I’ve not got my glasses on.’
He dives in enthusiastically. The cream and chocolate makes us both taste like a profiterole. The raspberries are less popular, being a fruit and therefore non-kosher for H, but he willingly consents to a game of ‘hide the raspberry’. The best bit, though, is the way that the chocolate sauce clings to our skin, making us lick more insistently that usual.
We also, at my suggestion, trying dipping parts of us in the cava, an idea I got from Nancy Friday’s ‘My Secret Garden.’ This is a surprisingly bad idea. We try it first with H’s penis. The bubbles fizz madly, and then gather themselves around him like a tank of piranhas. ‘Ow,’ he yelps, ‘that hurts!’ Disbelievingly, I dip a nipple into the glass, only to find the same effect – the bubbles feel like hundreds of little needles, which is pleasant for the first few seconds, but then builds into something much more painful. Not to be recommended. It also leaves your cava tasting of penis.
After half an hour, we are both smeared head to toe in cream, chocolate sauce and crushed raspberries. For a while, this makes for deliciously slimy body contact, but there’s a distinct point at which both of us are ready to get in the shower. While we’re standing there, supervising the removal of chocolate sauce from each other’s hair, H looks at me with what can only be described as admiration.
‘I can’t believe you let yourself get that dirty,’ he says.
‘I can’t believe I bought UHT cream,’ I reply.