Tag Archives: Jaffa Cakes

Life is stranger than fiction but Jaffa Cakes can be far, far more terrifying.

The strange, sinister and terrifying texture of a Jaffa Cake.

Some time in the closing years of the last century, I had dinner with two workmates – Suzie and Simon – at a Uruguayan restaurant in Amsterdam. I have changed their names.

I mentioned that I had once worked at a Soho facilities house in London with a girl who was terrified of Jaffa Cakes because she found their texture frightening.

“It’s the texture.” she told me. ” They’re dark and it’s the way the light reflects off the dark curves of the chocolate.”

 I  had thought she must be joking until someone innocently brought some Jaffa Cakes into the office and she had to flee the room.

“I can understand that,” Suzie said, “I don’t like the look of Jaffa Cakes either.”

Simon and I looked at her.

“It really is the texture,” she continued. “I don’t like things like Aero chocolate bars and bathroom sponges. It’s the little holes – the circular shapes. There’s something sinister and un-natural about them. Even though I know some sponges are natural. But they’re un-nerving.”

I mentioned to Suzie and Simon that one of the Dutch videotape editors at the TV station where we all worked had appeared as The Artful Dodger in her school’s stage production of Lionel Bart’s musical Oliver.

“Oh!” said Suzie, suddenly interested. “I played the Artful Dodger in a school play, too. When I met my husband years later, I told him about it and he said he wasn’t surprised, because he was always physically attracted to the sort of girl who could play the role of the Artful Dodger.”

Simon said he knew he wasn’t gay because recently, in Dublin, he had had his twice-a-decade dabble and knew he wasn’t.

Suzie and I were slightly taken aback but tried not to show it.

It was a strange dinner.

Leave a comment

Filed under Comedy, Food, Sex, Surreal, Television

The very worst visual horrors of life – from Jaffa Cakes to nipples

Last night, I went to a very belated birthday party thrown for Scots comedian Janey Godley by a central London private members’ club whose name, much like Lord Voldemort, cannot be spoken out loud. By “very belated” I mean that Janey’s birthday was actually in January.

There are always interesting conversations to be had at the ‘Voldemort Club’.

Last night, it started with Jaffa Cakes.

Janey’s new agent Triona Adams, a former nun, told me that actor Ian Richardson’s father had created the Jaffa Cake when he was working for McVitie’s in the 1920s.

There was then talk of people laying Jaffa Cakes on graves because artificial flowers turned white, which I did not quite follow.

And I mentioned I used to work with someone at a Soho facilities house who claimed she was terrified of Jaffa Cakes, which I took to be a joke or a mild eccentricity until, many months later, someone actually brought a plate of Jaffa Cakes into the room and she had to leave in quite considerable emotional distress.

She told me afterwards, still upset: “It’s the texture. They’re dark and it’s the way the light reflects off the dark curves of the chocolate.”

Comedian Meryl O’Rourke – who annoyingly told me she has the ability to eat loads yet stay thin – something I miserably fail to do – was able to top this story last night with the tale of an ex-boyfriend who was frightened of buttons.

Not Cadbury’s Chocolate Buttons but the ones on clothing.

Quite how he managed to function in everyday life I cannot imagine.

Apparently he developed the idea as a child that babies came out of the belly-button and I can only imagine as an adult he had visions of a straining button on a shirt suddenly exploding into a new-born baby, much like the chest-buster scene in Alien.

It got worse because he found the visual appearance of women’s nipples reminded him of buttons and, the first time Meryl took her clothes off in front of him, he vomited.

Surprisingly, the relationship carried on for a while and Meryl has now been happily married for twelve years (obviously not to that boyfriend), though her upcoming Edinburgh Fringe show is titled Bad Mother.

The show is about Meryl’s relationship to her daughter and to her own mother. Apparently her mother, whose first memory was being beaten by a Nazi officer (she was a German Jew), used to stalk minor British showbiz celebrities with young Meryl in tow. I heard some of the stories last night. The show itself should be a cracker.

Perhaps appropriately, Bad Mother is going to be in the Underbelly.

You certainly meet interesting people at the ‘Voldemort Club’.

1 Comment

Filed under Comedy, History, Psychology, Strange phenomena, Theatre