Over here. You are supposed to be a hyper-sensitive sniffing machine and you’re going the wrong way. That’s better, now dig. Thank God I’m not going to rot here in this ground. I’m going to be eaten, savoured, perhaps married to an egg, or enveloped in some fluffy Italian rice. Not far away now, God I hope it’s not a pig. Oh the ignominy to be wolfed down a smelly snout when one is so close to the plate.
Ah that’s better, snug in an egg carton for protection, bumping along towards … it’s not, it couldn’t be, it is! It’s Édouard Loubet’s place, the Bastide du Capelongue, a palace of perfumes, a tower of tastes, I couldn’t have fallen into better hands. I’ll be massaged, delicately sliced and served on bone china to a discerning palate, someone who can appreciate the subtle flavours of summer truffle.
“Pizza to take away.”
What’s this nonsense I hear coming from reception? No matter, who I am to tell Edouard he shouldn’t run a pizza business on the side. Everyone has to make a dime.
What me? It’s a mistake, can’t you see what I am, I am a truffle, not some cheap piece of pepperoni you can dice up, smother in mozzarella and shove in a takeaway carton. I said take your hands off me, get away…
The idiot who ordered me has not even thought to bring a bag. I’m sliding around on the floor of his car, one more hairpin like the last and I’m done for. Still I have to say Eddie didn’t do a bad job. Part of me feared he couldn’t be as good as his reputation, but no, there’s genius in those hands, it was a pleasure to be held by them. And the pizza base is so light and fluffy, but most of all I’ve got to thank him for the sauce, it’s the only thing that’s keeping me going. As I spin round these bends, I’m focusing on dissolving into a cheesy bliss. Slow down – idiot!
Where are we now? Avignon, judging by the smell of dogs, the distant sound of the river and the glint of gold that can only be the spire of the Palais des Papes. I’m beginning to think that this is no ordinary takeaway. Who orders pizza and then takes it to Avignon? I’m destined for great things after all, perhaps I’m the whim of a pop star. Oh, to be slowly masticated by Christina Aguilera. We together, me and Christina, “are such stuff as dreams are made on”. Now you wouldn’t get a malodorous winter tuber melanosporum quoting Shakespeare. Black diamonds my a**.
Oh my word, I can barely contain my excitement. Here we are in the Place de l’Horloge, and there are cameras. Sorry Christina, it wasn’t meant to be. I’m going to be a star in my own right. Eat your black heart out melanosporum, the world is going to discover the joys of the summer truffle. Lights, camera, action, blusher, bring it on, bring it all on, right now.
So I’ve been put down in the corner of the outside broadcast truck to wait my turn. That’s fine, truffles are patient, particularly summer ones, we sit for hours, days, weeks, underground, just hoping to be found.
“Someone order pizza?”
Get your filthy mitt off me, you unshaven, hippy, boom-wielding soundman. Even chorizo is too good for your ilk, stick to Hawaiian, oh God, somebody save me, he’s got his hands around me, and I’m heading towards his mouth, it’s dark and smelly and full of fillings. I guess this is it then, so close to stardom, “farewell fair cruelty” – yes that’s more Shakespeare.
Salvation. The producer has arrived. My moment has come. We’re heading towards the camera. Oh to be eaten live on air by a TV anchorman. I can’t think of a better way to go, the world will never forget the moment when the summer truffle stepped into the limelight.
The stage lights gently warm the cheese sauce and some of my precious perfume escapes from the lid of the box which is slightly ajar. This is my time.
It can’t be. Pigeons. Get away vermin. Somebody save me. I’m the star. I’m going to be pecked to death. You’ll have no show, you self-centred egotistical meglo-maniac TV people.
I thought Canadians were supposed to be nice. Save me. One more peck and that dirty beak will be through the box.
“Shooh, get away …. so here we are, broadcasting live for Canada AM from Avignon, Provence, France, and today we are going to be tasting all sorts of Provençal delicacies including this delicious truffle pizza.”
The warm hands of the anchor man envelope me in a cosy embrace. I strain my fungal glands to emit my sweet perfume. Let the wondrous darkness take me, I the fortunate one, the last of the summer truffles begin my descent, and as I do so I hear these last words:
“Let’s get the clip of the chocolate pizza on the internet as soon as possible.”