Page 56 – 57 / 1941 – 42

Left Hand Page

‘The Chunkel’ (draft), ‘The Intelligent Young Man’s Vocational Guide’ by George Sprod. Continued from page 55 / Right.

A young man faced with the choice of a career in these hectic days could do worse than become a pastry cook. Cake is eaten by a large section of the community; indeed for some people, such as middle-class housewives and Australian shearers, it may form the staple diet. Cake is defined by Webster as a porous edible substance which sinks when put into water. This however, is not true in all cases; some cakes are not porous at all.

Cakes and similar products date from very early times. Under the Coronation chair in the Abbey, there is, I believe, a very Ancient scone which the Kings of Scotland, having given up all attempts to cut, used as a seat. It says much for the bad cooking of those days that even the rats won’t nibble at it now.

I once went to a military wedding where the bridegroom, instead of cutting the cake with a sword in the time-honoured way, threw a Mills Bomb at it. Several pieces of spongy stuff were picked up afterwards, but it was never ascertained, to my knowledge, whether they were pieces of the cake or the bride.

The traditional cake of my boyhood days was so fancy it looked like one of those funeral wreaths they have in glass cases, but nowadays you get streamlined ones with bullet-proof icing. I once knew a man who celebrated his jubilee by having a fifty candle-power bulb on the top of his cake. All went well until he tried to blow it out and couldn’t. He hit it with a hammer and several of the guests died of ground glass poisoning. The whole affair might have ended tragically, but he confided in me afterwards that only an uncle and two aunts met their deaths in this way so it might have been worse.

An ingenious Dutchman having one day accidentally baked a batch of tarts in the form of a heart, was struck with a bright idea, and instead of throwing them away or eating them himself, he christened them ‘Love-me-for-ever’ Tarts. In no time the officers were gouging each other’s eyes out to buy these confections and the Flying Dutchman’s fortune was made. But why stop at this? What’s wrong with “Folies Fergere” Tarts (shaped like a leg). “P,O.W.” Tarts with barbed wire round them, or even patriotic Union Jack ones which should should have an enormous sale.

In London when things got tough cakes without icing appeared. This is indeed a retrograde step, and of which icing lovers might well ask “is it constitutional?” Who knows? Seed cake without seed may be the next blow; or doughnuts without any nuts, or even (horrible thought) rock cakes without any cake.

There is an old proverb that you cannot eat your cake and have it too. This is a fallacy, as any one well knows who has eaten one of the bean cakes from our cookhouse. You can certainly eat one and have it too – rattling round in your innards for thirty-six hours afterwards.

Right Hand Page

despair; despair of ever [unknown] into life the great masses who alone can make their dreams reality. The escapists – escape; with as much success as a goat on a tethered rope. Life continues to present its problems and in grappling with them the black pessimism of the intellectual is of no more avail than the fatuous optimism of the man who never scratches his head.

We sound a call to those who are not afraid to face the future. Keep thinking! Keep trying! The problems of the world must find an answer. When fools and idealists give up the ghost the devil gets a free hand.

Security and happiness will not fall from the skies. If we want a new world we shall have to work for it.

We can either be the hammer or the anvil.