towel magic



You might think towels are boring, but a little theatre can make them fun! As this email from Toby demonstrates:

Further to your discussion in AMT202 about the use of heated handtowels in Indian restaurants, I have a tepid towel-related question that I am sure will blow your minds…

Eating in an Indian restaurant recently, a bowl of what I thought were mints was placed on our table at the end of the meal. Just as I was about to gleefully pop one into my mouth (an action which would have, unbeknownst to me, surely led to a slow, suffocating death), a waiter appeared and poured hot water into the bowl. The small, white, spheres which were NOT mints suddenly expanded and revealed themselves to be rolled-up handtowels.

Answer Me This: what the Heston Blumenthal was going on?! Was this magic?

ENCROYABLE! Is that restaurant staffed by waiters, or SORCERERS? It’s the greatest towel-based show on Earth!

I don’t think it detracts too much from the towel-fun to explain that you can pack fabric down to very small volume when all the air is forced out of it: that’s the magic JML has been trading off for years, similarly those pellets you can buy at Muji that turn into a very wrinkly T-shirt.

That restaurant is very smart for choosing this towel showmanship, though: firstly, because it’s an impressive thing to do right before you hand somebody the bill; secondly, they can fit the entire evening’s towels in a shoebox; thirdly, it gives the diner the reassurance that their towel is virgin, freshly hatched in front of their eyes, never to have frotted the crevices of another curry fan.

The downside is, as you hint, the trail of death. Being suffocated by a towel you mistook for a Mint Imperial is not a noble exit from this plane.


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