Dom is a qualified ski instructor. This means we do a lot of skiing. Every local Spice group organised a ski trip for their regional members and on top of that Dom would host 2-3 of the many national ski trips organised by Spice UK. We ski mostly in Europe, with St Anton in Austria being one of our favourite resorts.
In those days, ski companies employed ski hosts to guide groups around the mountain, and having no sense of direction I was happy to follow one of these hosts around all day long. Dom was then free to ski with the different levels of skiers; one day he may be out with the racey reds, the next he might be with the cruisey blues or the beginners. Every day he would organise a lunch stop accessible to all the different levels so friends could meet up with those in lessons, or change groups for a tougher / easier afternoon’s skiing.
On one particular day we met up at the designated venue, but Dom’s group was late. He’d hooked up with the roughtie-toughtie group and they were all having so much fun they’d lost track of time. His usual form of greeting on these occasions was to ask what everyone had eaten, allowing him to make a snap decision and order quickly. The Mark Warner rep told him the house speciality was an authentic Austrian stew, which suited Dom perfectly and he placed his order.
The food arrived promptly and the table fell silent as the latecomers hungrily devoured their meals. Dom’s stew was served in a rustic tureen with a basket of bread and a small dish of grated cheese. With the type of hunger you only encounter when you’ve been out in the snowy mountains all morning, he piled the cheese on top of his stew and heartily tucked in. What followed next was an astonished gasp of surprise, a lot of distress and some very bad language.
“What on earth is that?” He cried, tears streaming down his face.
“Horseradish” replied the Mark Warner rep.
“I thought it was grated cheese!” exclaimed Dom, becoming ever more uncomfortable. At this point I’m convinced he had steam coming out of his ears.
“I thought you were hard-core, putting the whole amount in!” replied the rep, trying not to laugh.
Dom then proceeded to scoop out the offending vegetable, but it was in vain; the offensive additive had permeated through to all the delicious layers below and his meal was ruined. Luckily he had some bread left and his fellow skiers offered up an assortment of chocolate and snack bars to keep him going, but all he could taste for the rest of the day was the foul horseradish.
I guess the moral of this story is; don’t put anything in your mouth that you might live to regret.