13 January 2016

The Incident of the Cakes

Office workers In England will know about the cake tradition. If it's your birthday you buy cakes for everyone. And not just simple tarts or squares but lavish cream cakes. This is how the ceremony might unfold:

The young lad returned from the cake shop laden with goodies. He placed bags on a central desk and carefully began to unpack them. Even as he arranged the square white boxes, eyes swivelled in sockets and heads nodded purposefully across desks. Helpfully he lifted the box lids and stood back to admire his work. The first gluttons were already out of their seats.

Birthday boy was back at his post, repositioning his telephone headset and mumbling, 'cakes guys' to his colleagues but scouts were already cruising the area, like sharks scenting blood. The first two lunged instinctively at their quarry, reaching, cramming, chewing. Other diners joined the throng, fist over flailing, grabbing fist. The desk was slick with cream smears and a box was tossed to the floor. The feeding frenzy reached fever pitch.

The larger beasts sank back from the feast now, gorged on cream, on cake, on chocolate and icing. Smaller, more timid feeders crept up to select dainty fondant fancies and pecked nervously over the remaining crumbs.
The office was noisy with the hum of conversation mumbled through stuffed cheeks. Birthday boy ended his phone call and walked over to the cake table. "Is there one left for me?" He ventured, his bottom lip trembling.

It's a cruel world out there. Eat or be eaten.

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