Monday, June 22, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake

Let Them Eat Cake

I think I'd been living in Streatham for 24 hours or so when Director Boy first made the announcement that there was going to be a cake competition as part of the local food festival. I wondered for a second if I'd stepped into something out of Private Secret Diary. We shall be keeping chickens next.


"We all need to make cakes" Director Boy said.


I pulled the 'I'm far too busy card' which is currently my favourite card for lots of things, not least as to why I keep forgetting to do stuff. Dean just went for 'no' without the need for any kind of card pulling, because that is the power of his no. 


Unpeturbed by our lack of enthusiasm for integrating ourselves with the cake baking yummy mummies of south-west London, Director Boy plowed on. Even the discovery, forty five minutes before deadline time, that there was insufficient icing sugar did not hold him back.


"It's just like Challenge Anneka!".


And, in an icing-sugar type way it kind of was. Which was, needless to say, how we ended up outside the cafe on the common looking at cakes.


"Yours is the most different" I say, surveying the table which is laden with cakes of the generally sponge variety with neat rows of decoration on top of them. Director Boy's cake is certainly the only one to be enveloped in butter cream icing. It's probably the only one too which could give you caffine shock.


"Mocha cake" The lady with clipboard and score sheets says. Only she pronounces it Mo-cha as if it is some kind of dance. I am not sure this is necessarily a good start.


The judges locate Director Boy's cake and take a slice. The Only Marginally Scary Italian Lady who runs the cafe lets out an 'Mmmm'. Maybe a victory shall be clasped from the jaws on defeat.


As the judges quietly give their marks to Clipboard Lady the remains of the slice go round the audience.


A man to our right, picks off the buttercream icing and gives the cake to his three year old child who happily munches it.


Director Boy turns to me.


"I wouldn't be giving that to a child".


I look back at him.


"There's four cups of espresso in that".


I feel a flash of pity for the man as he continues to feed the cake to his daughter though neither Director Boy nor I make a move to stop him. Sometimes lessons have to be learnt. There is, after all, a clue in the word 'Mocha'.


When the results come through Director Boy's cake, scandelously, remains unplaced.


"If there'd been an Adult Male Category you'd have won" I offer. It is a small matter that he is in fact the only adult male to have entered. But we will not let such small trifles get in the way.


Director Boy promptly rescues the cake before it is devoured by Streatham children. Its chocolately-mocha goodness is not for them after all.


Back at the flat I finally get to eat some cake. I decide this is a successful afternoon.

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