In praise of good junk food

Like most women of middle age, I can't throw down a block of chocolate like I used to.

Not only would I need to vomit, but I'd wake up the next day with a chocolate block-shaped addition to my belly.

It's that fast (and pretty much the only thing my metabolism does quickly any more).

So when I indulge myself (infrequently, I swear), it's that much more important for the quality of the junk food to live up to my dreams.

Back in the day, when ice creams were standard fare, I could absorb a dissatisfying gelato experience and move on, knowing a better one was (sometimes literally) around the corner.

A package of flabby, semi-cooked hot chips was annoying, but not the disaster that I feel it is today.

So it was with great despair that I greeted the Great Milkshake Disaster of Friday last.

I was in unfamiliar territory but had the most overwhelming and unshakable milkshake thirst.

I took my chances on a small milk bar (which I generally find to be better than your average fancy cafe), and ordered my usual vanilla (boring to some, bliss to me).

When it came, my heart sank. They had topped it with that awful whipped cream that comes out of a can and - the final insult - sprinkles.

But the worst was yet to come. I took a tentative sip and discovered it was thin, un-aerated and lacking in ice cream. And to top it off, the milk was too cold and had ice crystals in it.

Michelle Haines Thomas

Michelle Haines Thomas

The level of disappointment I experienced bordered on rage. How dare they? How dare they ruin my longed-for treat?

They have one job! (Well, they probably make things other than milkshakes, but you know what I mean.) And it's not rocket science. They stuffed it up both ways: neglecting the basics, while simultaneously over-complicating the presentation.

I demand excellence in my junk food and I know I speak for all of you when I say: lift your game, you chip fryers and milk shakers.

We won't stand for this any more.