The Apparitional Gamekeeper blew in this evening, hoping that we would extract him from a pit he had dug for himself, which alas, we could not. The back story of this episode relates to our friend Glenlockie, lawyer, erstwhile shipping tycoon and man of taste. Glenlockie’s finances have been somewhat liable to change without notice over the years, but his latest wheeze strikes us as having the hallmarks of genius – together with an Iranian friend he has perfected the Apple Crisp. These are achieved by freeze-drying in some esoteric fashion; so that each packet, the size of an ordinary packet of crisps, contains the equivalent of two apples, and nothing else. No fat, sugar, preservatives, antioxidants, or E numbers. Nothing. They are incredibly good for you, and also very nice, and they are trading under the name of Snapz (http://www.snapzcrisps.com). At the moment they are available via healthfood shops and the Web, but Glenlockie and co. haven’t quite broken the glass ceiling through to Supermarket World – possibly just as well since they’re already scaling up production as fast as possible to meet demand (mostly in Hungary where apparently there are many, many apple orchards and not enough distribution to make good use of the product, so the whole thing is beneficial all round). Anyway. The last time Glenlockie came by, he met the Apparitional who was clearly greatly taken by him, on account of a frank and man to man conversation about the hazards of running an ailing shipping line when you’re not allowed to sink the rust buckets in question. This seems to have sown the seeds of a sort of on-principle loyalty to Glenlockie Enterprises, so when the man of blood in question sent us a couple of cardboard boxes full of Snapz to see what we thought, the Apparitional One, having sampled and approved, hurled himself into the propaganda war with touching enthusiasm. He has been propagandizing vigorously about Turriff, and though he loathes public speaking (indeed, on the whole he’s not too keen on speaking at all, except to a small & select audience) he apparently volunteered to do a Presentation on the aforementioned Snapz – he has has broken into the school reprographics to do a questionnaire on the lines of ‘would you rather have crisp crunchy apples or greasy fat laden spuds?’ and charged it to the English Department. But, having agreed to present the Snap, or Snapz, to the deeply sceptical and choloresterol-laden audience which is the fifth form of a rural Scottish secondary school, a search of the home kitchen revealed he was down to two packets, and so he charged down the hill, only to find that we had quite taken to the things ourselves, and were down to one. Ooops. Deep shit; hysterical teenage giggles. I took the opportunity to be sententious: ‘****’, I said, ‘you will find as you become older that bluff is the principal thing you learn in the process of becoming an adult.’ So off he has gone with three packets of Snapz, two apples, for demonstration purposes (’See. Two Apples. One packet of crisps. Shazam’, etc.), and all the packaging. The Apparitional Gamekeeper is quite persuasive. I’m sure it will go all right, and in any case, one way or another, it will be a learning experience.