1. It would be extensive. Like the Bible. Or War and Peace.
2. Cooking would be at the top.
When it comes to fannying about in the kitchen, I am both unable and unwilling. A conscientious objector, if you will. I would say that I don't see the point, but the persistent hunger that troubles my innards reminds that this is first degree cow-shit. It's just that the process of food preparation is simply too much trouble: there are too many steps involved and it seems like such a mammoth task that I lose all interest before I start. Also, over the years, I've discovered that I can placate my hunger with a bottle of red wine. Once the first few sips pass my lips, my hunger realises that the party is over and simply goes away, leaving me to get rat arsed on a couple of glasses. Some guru-sage person once said that eating is cheating. My chakras agree, especially when one considers the fact that there are about 600 calories in a bottle of wine, which is actually quite conservative for a, erm, meal.
Step one: buying the food.
Difficulty rating: IMPOSSIBLE. It is for me anyway. I pick up my sad little basket, remove the litter (polo wrappers, old lists, etc) and walk around my little Tesco Express, smacking my lips together like some dragged-up heathen as I try and work out what it is that I fancy to eat, other than wine. Back and forth I go, usually to little avail. On the occasions that I do manage to buy something to eat (pre-packed sandwich? Scotch egg twin pack? Tragic ready meal that looks nothing like the picture on the packet?) what tends to happen is that the chap at the checkout takes out his life's frustrations on my shopping. He will perform a quick, perfunctory scan of said item before launching it into the carrier bag as hard as he can. Soft items first (eggs, chocolate buttons, that sort of thing) and then the hard items on top (wine, tins of beans that I won't eat but will come in handy in case of nuclear fall out or if I need a weapon in times of burglary.) A quick row will ensue that goes something like this:
Me: Excuse me, but I have to eat that.
Checkout person: Vot?
Me: Can you be more careful, please? I have to eat that... wine.
Checkout person: (Continuing as though I have asked him the opposite) Cub-car, peez?
Checkout person: CUB-CAR PEEZ. You a stupeed?
Me: Oh, Clubcard, right. Do I get extra points for SMASHED FOOD?
Checkout person: NEXPEEZ.
I will then exit stage left, feeling murderous, resentful and gone-of-appetite. All thoughts of cooking will fly out the window, like some kind of errant pigeon. And even if I was hungry, I no longer want to eat the pre-packed sandwich: it was tragic enough when it was reduced and slightly limp-looking as it's sell by date drew dangerously close. Now it's been BATTERED by a tin of corned beef and a bottle of cooking wine (all tastes the same after a couple of swigs, no?) it looks like road kill. So it's a no from me. I will place it in the fridge with the eggs, yoghurts and rancid ready meal before finding solace in wine.
Step two: cooking the food.
Difficulty rating: IMPOSSIBLE. Wash, chop, slice, baste, blanch, dice, parboil, peel - who can be bothered? Life is stressful enough without having to skim, scallop and fricassee. I don't even know what these things mean anyway. The only method of cooking I like is the stab-stab-ding-ding microwave method. But that means that I have to look directly at a ready meal without it's sleeve to cushion the blow. You just know that someone on that production line gobbed in it, don't you? Better just put it back in the fridge (or not take it out in the first place) and ruminate upon a poor diet while sipping wine. Directly from the bottle.
Step three: clearing up afterwards.
Difficulty rating: TOO TEDIOUS TO CONTEMPLATE. Another reason not to bother, in other words.
Step four: Throwing things away / recycling.
Difficulty rating: EASY, BUT DESPAIR-ENHANCING. By now I have a fridge full of food, way past its sell by date and six empty bottles of wine, sitting idly on the side. The food will go in the bin, untouched; the bottles will go in the recycling. And I will open another bottle to remedy my anger at spending lots of money on food that I have effectively just chucked away. Next time I go shopping, I will transfer it directly from the boot of my car straight into the wheelie-bin. Cut out the middle man that is the pantry.