15 August 2012

The Dog-Eat-Giraffe World of Competitive Biscuit Assessment

When it comes to blogging, there’s often a fine line between reality and fantasy; between the concrete and the absurd. Sometimes I blog about real world issues and things that actually matter, at least to me. Other times I just blab out whatever nonsense seems like a good idea at the time. And sometimes when we look at reality closely enough, it turns out that it’s more absurd than the fantasy to begin with.

But does it ever work the other way around? If I spend enough time writing about something ridiculous, can I make it real?

Probably not.

Take Oxfam Girl for example. It didn’t matter how many situations I wrote her into, she remained steadfastly made-up from the day I adapted a random encounter with a chocolate sales girl into a fully-fledged imaginary girlfriend until the day she jumped the shark in Santiago de Campostela. She hasn’t been back since, in this reality or any of the others I inhabit. And on cold winter nights, when the fresh snow is falling over Leanyer and the caribou are singing to each other in the parnsip trees, I really miss that woman.


So imagine my surprise when I discovered that a different figment of my disturbed imagination had come to life and started wandering around, handing out prizes.

Biscuit lady is real!

It all started, as these things frequently don’t, at the Royal Darwin Show. My friend had entered a few plates of biscuits into the biscuit baking competition and we were all gathered in the Foskey pavilion for the official judging. The assembled competitors took their seats, and the show councillors introduced the judge.

Not even in my mixed-up delusions of being criticised for ungentlemanliness could I ever have imagined that there existed a person who was as so enthused by baked goods. I mean, I have a passing interest in them, in as much as I enjoy eating them. In fact, it turns out sometime a few years back when I was bored and started editing my blogger.com profile, I even listed “biscuits” as a blogging interest. I’m not sure what I was thinking there.

But oh my sweet carotid arteries, this woman could define an objective (well…) standard for the assessment of ANZAC bikkies, using such properties as flavour, shape, relative crunchiness (a controversial area, to be sure), syrupiness and even colour. She could tell you just by looking at them which biscuits were ineligible for the competition because they weren’t biscuits at all but were, in fact, cookies. Although, when pressed by a certain outspoken stunt linguist there present to explain exactly what the difference between a biscuit and a cookie was, she did struggle to articulate it, which leads me to suspect it might all be a complete sham. Apparently one of the assorted biscuit plates was disqualified because they were actually meringues.

Meringues? What the hell? That’s like being disqualified from best-in-show because it turns out your German Shepherd is actually a giraffe. Anyway, the real live biscuit lady judged each plate by slicing off a hilariously small piece of each one and trying them all, and then supplying various comments on the inherent biscuitful quality of each one.

Seriously, if they were paying this woman in anything other than biscuits, then it’s the greatest con since the time me and ten of my mates stole everything out of the vault of the Bellagio Casino.

Or was that…? Never mind.

As far as I’m concerned, the only difference between a biscuit and a cookie is what continent you’re eating it on. One of them goes “OOOOOOOOOOHM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM, OOOHM, NOM NOM NOM NOM,” and one of them doesn’t.

I don’t even want to think about what noise the Meringue Monster would make. Make of that what you will.

Garry with 2 Rs

P.S. She came second. They were some nice biscuits.
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