James Complains About Seven Delicious Biscuits

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If you’re good at maths you will see seven biscuits in this picture. If you see eight then hang your head in shame.

 

I enjoy a good biscuit as much as anyone. Pre-pandemic, when I used to have to attend meetings in person, I always felt slightly less hostile towards the meeting organiser if there were biscuits available. Not that biscuits could ever truly redeem any meeting, but when they were available they could help to ease the pain a little.

And while I would never actively encourage visitors to Chez Proclaims, you can be assured that if you manage to dupe me into allowing you past the threshold of my house, then I will provide you with a biscuit. And it will be a nice biscuit. Something from the ‘Tesco’s Finest’ or ‘Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference’ range. Or maybe, if I’m feeling particularly generous, it could even be an offering from Marks and Spencer.

But probably not from Waitrose. Not any more. Not after what they did.

“But James”, I hear you cry, “surely Waitrose do some very nice biscuits?”

Oh yes dear reader. Waitrose do some exceptionally nice biscuits. Some of the best I’ve ever tasted. But you shall not find them in my house.

“But what have you got against Waitrose?” I hear you plaintively protest.

I have nothing against Waitrose. I like shopping there. Even during the pandemic, when going to the supermarket has often felt akin to diving for treasure in shark-infested crocodiles, only to find that someone has already taken the treasure and left some weird lentil-based pasta twirls in it’s place, I haven’t hated shopping in Waitrose. Apart from the cost, because it’s a little more expensive than other supermarkets. But I do like a lot of the stuff they sell, in spite of the mild inconvenience of not really being able to afford it.

But let’s get back to my problem with the biscuits.

It might seem like a little thing. I’m sure some people will call me petty. But those people would be wrong.

A few weeks ago I purchased a packet of chocolate-orange cookies. And they were absolutely delicious. I thoroughly enjoyed them. They were near enough biscuit nirvana.

The trouble was that they came in a packet of seven.

Seven!

What kind of inhuman monster sells biscuits in packs of seven?

OK, I’m sure I’ve already got the mathematicians on board, but it is possible that some people might be lost, so allow me to explain in greater depth, why I believe this be such a heinous crime.

Seven is far and away the worst quantity to sell biscuits in because seven is a prime number. It is only divisible by one and seven.

This means that if you buy a packet of seven biscuits, it’s impossible to share them evenly with anyone else unless you are sharing them with exactly six other people and you all have one solitary biscuit each. And when does that happen? How often are there exactly seven people in a room partaking in biscuit consumption? It’s quite a specific scenario. And if that ever does happen, then, as I said, everyone only gets one biscuit each. And surely no-one ever only wants one biscuit.

Any other scenario and you can’t divide the biscuits evenly. Someone will end up with more than everyone else. And I’m sure that marriages have broken down over less serious matters than ‘uneven biscuit distribution’.

The other option is to scoff the lot yourself. But whereas the smaller prime numbers, two, three and even five are acceptable numbers for solitary biscuit consumption (five I’ll concede is at the limit of acceptability but hardly hedonistic), seven biscuits is really too many for one person to eat on their own. Of course I could easily put away seven biscuits in one sitting, but I shouldn’t and I resent Waitrose for putting me in that position.

Biscuits should be sold in even numbers because then you can always share them with another person. I can, however, accept a packet of nine because that can at least be split three ways. Little Proclaims is too little to be given an equal share of the biscuits at the moment but one day I might be glad of a packet of biscuits offering a convenient three-way distribution.

Eleven or thirteen would also be quite bad quantities for biscuits to be sold in, but when you get to that amount then it’s surely implicit that you would need to save some for another day. And anyway, thirteen is permissible on the grounds of novelty value because it’s the traditional ‘baker’s dozen’, so it’s really twelve plus a bonus biscuit.

No, the worst number to sell biscuits in is seven.

And I am absolutely correct to be angry about this.

 

 

 

 

 

James Explains Jaffa Cakes Amongst Other Things

James Explains

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Welcome back to another ‘James Explains’ – the home of knowledge. But not the home of wisdom.

Or knowledge really.

This is a place where questions will be answered. Not always, admittedly, with the correct answers. But it’s the thought that counts.

And so on with the questions:

Glen who previously asked about combs and then asked about tools and who still resides in Australia asks:

While cookies are baking can it be said the cookies are loading?

I think you’ve mixed up your cookies there Glen, but that’s OK. You can say they’re loading if you like. I have no objections.

But I would ask in return, while cookies are loading can it be said the cookies are baking?

And of course the answer is definitely probably yes.

Haylee who previously asked about lions and bears and hot dogs and is still from the UK but somewhere different in the UK to me asks:

Jaffa, cake or biscuit? (Standard, centuries old dilemma!)

A dilemma indeed, although as they’re called Jaffa Cakes I think it’s obvious they are cakes. Cakes that seem to be quite a lot like biscuits admittedly.

I don’t think it matters. They are what they are and what they are is delicious. I had some cranberry and clementine Jaffa Cakes over the Christmas period and they were tremendous.

And definitely cakes.

That seem a bit like biscuits.

Bryntin, who is from the UK but somewhere different in the UK to either me or Haylee asks:

James, please explain Jacob Rees-Mogg and how he can possibly still not appear aged after leaving university in 1838.

Now this is a mystery and there really can be only one explanation. And that is Jacob Rees-Mogg is a vampire and therefore immortal.

But, I hear you cry, Jacob Rees-Mogg seems to be perfectly happy going out in daylight.

And that is true, he doesn’t mind daylight. But that’s because he’s that rare thing in the world of vampires, the ’Daywalker’.

In fact 1998 movie Blade is actually based quite heavily on the life of Jacob Rees-Mogg. It’s a great film but it did raise some eyebrows at the time because some people thought the casting choice of Wesley Snipes was an interesting direction to go in. But I think Snipes captures the essence of Rees-Mogg fully in that movie and the, frankly brilliant sequel Blade II. I was less sure about his performance in the third Blade movie, but he did his best with a poor script, and it was still probably  better than the forthcoming ‘Blade Brexit’ is going to be. Not much is known about the script but the premise seems to be that the title character becomes the unlikely leader of the Conservative party and in doing so also becomes a Prime Minister without a mandate who leads Britain out of the clutches of the European Union and into economic uncertainty and isolationism. Many think that it’s too far-fetched.

And that’s it for another James Explains. Tune in next week to see if anyone has bothered to ask me any more questions.

If you’d like James to answer a question on James Explains, then why not ask it in the comments below?

 

Cookie Cravings

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Dear Internet, please stop showing me
All the stuff I could acquire
It’s not that I don’t want it
For you know that I aspire

To wear those funky trainers
And play with that new phone
But I’m sure I can’t afford
All these things I’d like to own

And while I do agree
That that discount is obscene
I’m certain I don’t need
A Karaoke Machine

And while I’m sorely tempted
To spend my hard-earned cash
To buy a robot vacuum
Does seem a little rash

I know it would be easy
It’s just one click to pay
But I should really save my money
For a rainy day

And no that doesn’t mean
I need a brand-new coat
Although that is rather fetching
The blue one gets my vote

But no, I must resist
I don’t need extra stuff
When it comes to useless junk
I already own more than enough

Oh Internet, I really hope
We can get past this blip
But you can keep your cookies
I prefer mine with chocolate chips

Scraping The Barrel

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Is there any problem in the world that can’t be solved by a nice biscuit? Maybe a Chocolate-covered Digestive, or perhaps a Jammy Dodger?

I mean obviously obesity.

It stands to reason that you aren’t going to solve obesity by eating Shortbread.

But, aside from that, is there any problem in the world that can’t be solved by taking time out to munch on a Malted Milk?

Ok, admittedly, it’s unlikely to solve some of the bigger world problems. The UK’s ignominious separation from Europe is still going to be mishandled by Tory infighting regardless of how many Oreos you stuff into your mouth and the septuagenarian toddler in the White House is still going to spout ridiculous, regressive rhetoric irrespective of your Hobnob consumption.

But on a personal level, is there any problem that can’t be overcome by eating Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Well yes.

Eating excessive Viennese Whirls is not going to make your job any more interesting, your bathroom any more decorated or your utility bills any lower.

Bourbons are certainly not going to finish that novel you’re trying to write.

Or start writing it for that matter.

Consuming Custard Creams, gorging on Garibaldis or polishing off Pink Wafers will not lead to long-term happiness.

But they do make a lovely addition to a cup of tea or coffee and may put a smile on your face for a few minutes.

Which is something.

Jaffa Cakes are nice too, but people are often unsure whether they are biscuits or cakes.

And the answer is clearly cakes.

The clue is in the name.

But regardless of that, they do the job of a biscuit well enough.

And whatever your biscuit of choice, or hot beverage for that matter, you should go and have one of each now.

It would be a better use of your time than reading this.

It might have been better for everyone had I not shifted myself away my own biscuit tin in order to write this banality.

But, for the sake of ongoing blog content, I decided to switch scraping a biscuit barrel for a metaphorical one.

I’m truly sorry.

Have a bourbon on me*.

*I won’t actually be providing the bourbons – you’ll have to buy those yourself. Feel free to switch to another biscuit of choice instead. But do have a biscuit. You’ll feel better for it. Unless that biscuit is a Rich Tea. Because seriously, what is the point of those?

Jammy James

James Proclaims (4)

Once again I find myself to be the last person in the building as my colleagues have all departed for the day. Much paperwork to catch up on, and emails to reply to, have delayed my escape. The pain has been somewhat eased, however, upon inspection of the old ‘Celebrations’ tub from Christmas, that sits on top of the kitchen cupboard and now serves as a makeshift biscuit tin. To my delight, I found therein, the remaining spoils from Tuesday’s team meeting, which included but was not limited to, half a packet of Jammie Dodgers.

Alas (for my colleagues at least) they are no more…