I am editing something at the moment that has a bibliography so long it stretches out like the explanation in Star Wars, to some galaxy far far away. I have to check every entry, and so far, on my way to Betelgeuse Minor, I’ve only got to Basingstoke. (Metaphorically speaking, because everybody knows that if you get to Basingstoke, you never get out again).
So naturally, I have turned to cake. Fellow blogger Naptime Thoughts was so astounded by the fact that I didn’t know what a Twinkie was, that she sent me a packet. In return I sent her Cadbury’s mini rolls and Jaffa cakes (which are what God has for his elevenses).
The Twinkies arrived yesterday, after a two-week journey, but there are no worries about them going off because, according to Naptime Thoughts et al, they are:
- mostly made of plastic;
- designed to survive Armageddon.
It was a hot day, and we were all in the yard lounging about, drinking tea and watching husband and son-in-law mending bicycles, when Julia the post lady arrived. The parcel caused the kind of excitement not seen, I suspect, since the people on Hawaii looked at Captain Cook, saw past his gaudy wrappings, and thought, hmm, dinner.
Everyone watched as I wrestled open the packet and extracted the brightly coloured box (containing 10 individually wrapped golden sponge cakes with a creamy filling). There was writing on the box next to the sell-by date, saying ‘LIES’ and an arrow pointing out the Twinkie cowboy (some kind of cultural icon?) and a note saying, love from America.
The reactions were roughly:
Julia the post lady – ‘What’s a Twinkie? Oh, cake. All the way from New Jersey? That’s a lot to pay for postage. Still, that’s America for you. You’ve got two bills and some junk mail. No. I can’t throw it away before I give it to you.’
Husband (swallowing one whole) – ‘Mmmph. Nice. Bit sweet. Can you put the kettle on?’
Son in law – ‘Nice but they’re not as good as I thought they’d be, considering how people are always going on about them in films. I thought they’d be orgasmic. Like chocolate hob nobs. Is there tea?’
Daughter – ‘The inside is just like a Tunnocks Tea Cake. Do they have Tunnocks tea cakes in America? Shall I put the kettle on?’
Teenage son – ‘This is what they eat in that zombie film.’
Teenage son’s best mate – ‘They’re lovely. I love them… I’d love another one.’
So, thanks, America, (and Naptime Thoughts) and here are my conclusions on the cultural cake exchange:
- we’re quite familiar with the names of your stuff, but that doesn’t mean we know what it is (Kool aid? Grits? A sedan?);
- offering to put the kettle on will get you in anywhere;
- Twinkies are all right, but chocolate hob nobs rule.
And Captain Cook, this advice is probably a bit late, but you’d have been way better off not landing on the beach looking like the Twinkie cowboy.
Picture of Captain Cook via Creative Commons, courtesy of