So Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson have had a tiff (Chas’s word) on the terrace of a London restaurant, and it resulted in him grabbing her by the throat. This, of course, is very bad and wrong, (and positively insane, when you think that paparazzi might be nearby), but tiffs - or full blown warfare - over dinner are not exactly a rarity.
When I was growing up, all the worst fights I had with my parents took place across the kitchen table, and if my wife and I are going to have a barney it’s more than likely to be across the sprouts and pork chops, so it becomes a self-lacerating event. Everybody’s unhappy and you’ve ruined a good dinner that somebody, with greater or lesser degrees of love, has prepared. However, in none of my own cases has throat grabbing occurred. And there was definitely no nose grabbing.
Sometimes people don’t even get to the table. Around Easter time this year there was a terrific story floating around about the Downey brothers, William and John, men in their fifties who were doing prep for an Easter meal at a relative’s house in Bridgeport, Connecticut. They came into conflict because John thought William was making too many potatoes. No throat grabbing here but a punch and a blow with a cooking pot. They were charged with disorderly conduct.
Again one has a certain sympathy – family holiday dinners are pretty damn stressful - but punches and blows with cooking pots are also very bad and wrong. I’m not even sure that a grapefruit in the face is actually acceptable these days.
Anyway Chas Saatchi got a police caution for his assault, which seems fair enough to me, though I’m sure many would think he should be put behind bars. Frankly I don’t even know what first attracted Nigella Lawson to multi-millionaire Charles Saatchi: maybe it was his love of gangsta rap.