The Third Leader: Sausage eaters

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The Independent Online

We in the commentary game, I can tell you, become pretty adept at spotting trends and divining their wider significance. You should imagine us with heads on one side, lost in thought, or holding up a finger to test the wind, or examining some pretty interesting entrails.

Ah, yes, entrails: did you see that the sausage is enjoying unprecedented popularity across all classes? It is: exotically stuffed or seared it may be, but the banger is sizzling and soaring away, equally at home on the table of the humblest and highest. A test: can you imagine, envisage anyone, apart from, perhaps, Brian Sewell, not enjoying a sausage? Precisely.

The sausage is jolly, in the broad, loud way that goes back beyond Punch and the rest of our rude revellers at least as far as Epicharmus (c500BC), who wrote a play called The Sausage. Only a fragment survives, but I think we can safely conclude it wasn't a tragedy. Another test: can you imagine anyone writing The Seared Swordfish and the Drizzled Salad? Exactly.

The Babylonians had a passion for sausages and beer, which caused some difficulty when trying to pronounce Nebuchadnezzar. The Romans had such a good time with them that the early Church made it a sin.

So what to make of the sausage redux here and now? Well, I see it as a triumph for fun, simplicity and suspicion of the fussy and fancy. In short, although I don't want to alarm you unnecessarily, it might be that we're not only beating the Australians, but joining them, too. My advice: check for rising sentence endings, and, particularly, watch pies.