Another short interlude…
Here we see Darren. He is hoping to be selected as an ambassador for the Littlehampton Confectionery Display Team. He is submitting one of the finest examples of his work in their annual ‘Exposure’ competition. It is a grand affair. It is held in a disused caravan park close to Southend pier, and display enthusiasts come from far and wide to exhibit their elaborate confection. For example, competitor Annie has flown in from Amsterdam and has done something gratuitous with a fudge finger fan, whilst Gavin from Gateshead [the winner in 2006] has been imaginative with a Toffee Crisp and an artfully adapted 12 inch Twirl; Maggie, a mother of three [the winner in 1908, but never since] has chosen a minimalist/conceptual approach – her piece is entitled ‘Red Smartie with Toothpick’.
So far the judges have been less than impressed with the entrées, but Darren is confident that he can lick his rivals. Darren has a secret. Darren has balls, golden balls, and he knows how to arrange them. He waits in the wings as poor Simon, a professional kitchen fitter from Stevenage, sobs and stumbles from the judging panel after his Sherbert Fountain fails to font, and his Lion Bar goes limp.
Darren feels the tension rising – his moment has arrived, he takes a deep breath and walks into the spotlight. His golden balls are piled pyramid high upon a silver platter creating a sophisticated yet captivating display that brings the essence of Egypt to Essex. Darren stands proud. It has only taken a smidgeon of superglue to keep everything erect.
Alas, Darren is unaware of the envious Maggie who will do anything to win, and from the wings she gives Darren an almighty shove sending his nutty nibbles into orbit to splatter down upon the judges heads. Horrified, Judge Erica picks golden nuts from her hair, and exclaims, ‘With your display you are soiling us!’.
Darren hangs his head in shame, but he is not downhearted. There is always next year when he is planning an ambitious assemblage with Annie, they are hoping to cause an extravagance of good taste with a giant curly wurly and a custard cream flan.
First published on the Scarlet Blue Archive 8th January 2010 12:45 BST