On cauliflower

You learn unlikely things doing a one-man show. Like don't mess with cauliflower. There's a scene in How Deep Is Your Love? where I talk to a guy who can't stop raving about cauliflower. In winter it's everywhere in Dhaka. In shops and on barrows, fridges and plates. My friend delighted in telling me how many wonderful dishes could be made using this prince of cold season vegetables. And for effect I have this man, Mr Ratan, show me a cauliflower in the performance. So every night I need to get a fresh half cauliflower, the smaller the better, to put in the desk I have on stage. (The set is like The Lion King and then some! I even have a chair) The scene lasts only a couple of minutes and it can be easy to forget about this piece of organic material at the end of the evening. So. After a show in Brisbane I left the cauliflower, one at the larger end of the range, in the drawer, and left it there for some time. Like three weeks. In summer. The results were eventually impressive, in quite the wrong way. As a hands-on parent back in the day I know what stink is. Toddler poo, its colour spectrum and arrays of toxic odours are familiar to me. Compared to month old cauliflower, though, it's really nothin' at all. It's the bottom of an industrial garbage bin after a grand final. A malodorous chem-trail to haunt your olfactory dreams. The lesson: whatever you do: never leave a cauliflower to its own devices. You don't need that kind of knowledge. Trust me.