A Sign of Good Taste…

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

28 thoughts on “A Sign of Good Taste…

  1. Thank you for this revealing look behind the scenes at the hyper-competitive world of confectionery mavens. I had no idea!

    • My pleasure, Dinah 🙂 It’s nice to have a trip down memory lane… although 5 years later and I still can’t write the end of this post as I’d like!

  2. Speaking of signs (see what I did there?), why are the front license plates on UK vehicles white and rear license plates yellow?

  3. My heart goes out for Simon, a limp Lion bar, this’s tragic … Darren made it into the limelight, he can be proud, he should be proud – yes, he made it ! All the testing with Mars bars, even the egg disaster – it all payed out, he stood tall and presented his ware, his golden balls, the essence of his earthly existence, dedication I say !
    Perhaps he could try his hand on WIndbeutel next year, cream filled and powdered they are always en vogue, round and golden they would mirror his ball’s theme.
    But there’s always next year, Littlehampton stays with us, we have an aim ! You gotta love them people *snirfl* … ach !

    • There is always next year, Mr Mags, and I think it might be time for the big balls… yes, it’s time to call in the Cadbury’s Creme Eggs….

  4. AH that competitive edge. I sense a murder in a future episode, followed, of course, by a commemorative feast where sweets of unheralded glory shall be consumed whilst the local mayor offers a toast to “World Feast” or some other inspiring cause

      • Game of Thrones is on my list of shows it would take too many snacks to get through, so I’ve had to give it a miss in favour of W1A, which is a little less bloodthirsty and full of great career tips 🙂

      • Game of Thrones should be renamed Carry On Up The Hobbit, and then I might take it seriously as a comedy… meanwhile, YES, I too have been enjoying W1A.

  5. It reminded me of my own golden balls. Once gleaming and polished, now withered and little-used. Thanks, a lot, for the memory.

    Their clothing and hair is the best. Reminds me of a lost episode of As Time Goes By.

  6. Never mind Darren, I’m far more interested in Gavin from Gateshead and his 12 inch Twirl! It’s easy to go too far with chocolate erections – They can so often look unwieldy and out of proportion, but Gavin managed to pull it off. How this didn’t win I’ll never know.

    • Mr Devine, you are spot on regarding the aesthetics of unwieldy erections – tasteless on occasion, but thankfully Gavin pulled a masterstroke with his pyramid.

  7. Would this be considered a short story, a serial, or a soap opera (in the works)? I will wait for the flan, but you may have the noodles.

    • Grouchy! Hello and Welcome!! I feel I should burst into song!! But before I do that I will consider your question, and perhaps write a pertinent post about it.

      • Thank You!
        I have decided to be a snob and only sing Shape Note, with Appalachian accent. But only secular as I don’t want to be mistaken for a Snake Handler!
        Very excited for your next post.

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