The h2g2 Short-Short Story: Marmite Jim

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Marmite Jim

My friend Jim recently wrote a ten thousand word piece about a jar of Marmite.

'A cure for your insomnia perhaps?' he said with a cheeky grin as he handed me the script.

'Let's put it to the test then, dear Jim,' I whispered to myself, as I settled in for the night with his ten thousand words.

After reading the first two paragraphs I was anything but sleepy. In fact I developed such an intense craving for Marmite, I walked all the way to the late night grocery store, only to find that it had closed five minutes before I arrived.

I always thought I was one of the people who hated Marmite. I hadn't eaten it in years. Who could love this dark brown yeast extract in the dark brown glass jar with the yellow lid, this sticky salty spread which had been around since the early 1900s and tasted like it?

Love it or hate it, people have strong opinions about Marmite, few are indifferent.

Eventually, after a further twenty minutes' walk, I found my sought after product in the 24hr garage.

At last! I said to the cashier, placing the jar triumphantly on the counter, as if it was perfectly normal to be searching for yeast extract in the middle of the night.

She was particularly indifferent to my cause. I wanted to ask her if she was indifferent to all yeast extracts, or was it just this particular brand, but I decided to shelve the conversation and took a taxi home.

After three slices of toast spread with Marmite I felt well nourished and renewed.

In fact I was in such good spirits, I decided to make a slice of toast (spread with Marmite of course) for the mouse which lived in my house.

This mouse was the reason for my loss of sleep. It appeared from nowhere, and had been scuttling around my house all night, every night, for at least a month.

Why I decided to offer it toast I shall never know. Perhaps Jim's script had gone to my head. For days I had been naively hoping that one day my mouse might leave for reasons of its own, so I didn't have to face up to a more permanent solution. Feeding it fine foods would surely tempt it to stay, and even encourage it to bring its relations to the feast.

However, I laid out my offering and waited. It eventually appeared, nibbled at the toast and then, to my surprise, it ran away so fast it was but a blur.

And that was the last I ever saw of the mouse that lived in my house.

Maybe it was the Marmite. Love it or hate it, few are indifferent; perhaps even my mouse had a strong opinion.

And now I sleep soundly all night, every night.

Dear Jim, I love what you write, and, unlike my mouse, I will always love Marmite.


A mouse.

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