Friday, 25 September 2009

Menu madness

This week I’m pleased – no, proud – to report that the story currently exercising the population of Wales isn’t the forthcoming retirement of First Minister Rhodri Morgan but the lunch menu of Flintshire County Council in Mold.

It is truly impressive to note that, after a tedious morning spent shuffling papers and combing through planning applications, some of the workers at Flintshire CC still feel sufficiently frisky to flirt with the catering assistants over the desserts section.

It was alleged that some of the workers were making risqué comments about the Spotted Dick and one or more of the dinner ladies complained. Yes, you did hear that correctly. Can you imagine being that dedicatedly humourless and politically correct? God, they must lead sad and lonely lives.

Anyway, the powers that be gave the go-ahead for the Spotted Dick to be pulled from the lunch menu to avoid embarrassing the poor dinner ladies and this incident made it onto BBC Wales Today (much to the obvious amusement of Jamie Owen), following which Flintshire County Council received a mountain of abusive letters, presumably by irate Welsh people aggrieved by being portrayed as a nation of miserable boot-faced old trouts.

Not surprisingly a u-turn was undertaken and Spotted Dick is back on the menu in Mold. One can only hope that the workers continue making lewd remarks, although I feel obliged to point out that the “Dick” in Spotted Dick has absolutely nothing to do with Richard and still less with penis. It is a corruption of “dough” which leads me to suggest, after a period in which alternative names such as Sultana Sponge were mooted, that the authorities might consider an alternative.

My writing partner’s grandmother was from Yorkshire and used to call it Spotted Dog, a name also quite obviously derived from “dough” which at least evokes nothing more suggestive than Dalmatians.

Reports that another favourite is to be remarketed as Bakewell Whore are said to be entirely false…


  1. In Lübeck in the 60s I stayed with a friend whose father was a philosopher. His speciality as far as I could grasp, armed then with only German ''O'' level (at least I could speak the bloody language after two years study) was Immanuel Kant.
    Those who speak German with a half-decent accent who know me can see linguistic disaster looming over the horizon.
    In German the 'a' is pronounced tantalizingly close to 'u'.
    So I was tucking (not tacking) into German breakfast when philosopher entered and declared:
    ''Today we haff a Kant festival with coffee and tarts''.
    I was only seventeen and it proved too much.

  2. It is alleged that Tony Parsons once almost had a schoolboyish fit of the giggles one Friday night when appearing on the Newsnight cultural review, owing to Germaine Greer's determination to pronounce Kant authentically.

    I don't know if it's true that his final descent into immaturity was prodded by her remark that, "You don't know your Kant from your Hegel".