Sunday, 27 February 2011

Competition time

Oh, children's birthday parties. 360 euros for 3 hours of 20 child strong torment this morning, only leavened by Fingers's glazed expression of ecstasy, and Lashes winning some plastic tat in an "endurance bouncing" competition. Three hundred and sixty euros! Why, that's half my unpaid tax bill for 2009!

Whilst lovely individually, and great at running around cheerfully without injury or argument in a windowless coverted ice rink full of health and safety defying bouncy castles, seven year olds en masse, required to sit in one place for more than thirty seconds, are FIENDS. Doubtless my enjoyment of the windowless converted ice rink and the screeching and hitting was heightened by being moderately hungover. Also, we over-ordered pizzas at the modish prize of NINETY OF YOUR EUROZONE EUROS HOLY MOTHER OF GOD (this was part of the 360, I am not Louis Quatorze, but somehow 90 euros of pizza seemed particularly outrageous, more so than 250 for "running around a cold shed", for some reason), and because they were there and we had bloody well paid for them, I ate most of them. The nine pizzas. Because I wasn't fat and prematurely aged and despairing enough already.

"Je n'aime pas la pizza" the small children said, looking at me, challengingly, judgmentally, or so I felt in my paranoid and hungover state.

"Eh, ben" I said, dead eyed and twitchy, drooling stringy, gross catering mozzarella "C'est pas grave. Il y aura du gateau".

There was gateau. I did not make it. My part in the gateau making marathon that is Fingers's birthday starts tomorrow. He has disdained the Women's Weekly Birthday Cake book, in favour of, uh, this:

.. which he has made up. I suppose it is an improvement on the Ragigigas of two years ago, which was a complete fucking ball ache.

"Well that should be easy!" said the CFO breezily, with the misplaced confidence of a man who has never taken up a palette knife in anger. I refrained from taking up my palette knife in anger.

ANYWAY. I am not here merely to whine. I have a competition for you. Because, see, I went to the Asian supermarket yesterday (pre Winegate) and bought a selection of snacks, that included some extremely fine animal biscuits. Actually, it was a rich and varied walk that produced many other delights that I will save for another time, including a bizarrely full selection of Taylors of Harrogate teas in the asian supermarket, some eccentric audio book filing in Waterstones, and an owl handwarmer that I would marry if it were legal. For now, though, let us limit ourselves to the animal biscuits, which come with the animal's name written on them in - I suppose, theoretically edible under the laxest food safety rules - black ink. You may wonder why naming them is necessary, I am here to show you:

I have stared at this for a long time. A very long time, I'd say. I've actually reached a point where I think this biscuit is EXACTLY what a panda is, and have entirely forgotten what the original creature actually looks like.

I quite like "Fur seal" too:

It looks how I feel: flabby and misshapen, with poor posture that whispers of total resignation.

In comparison to these two, "Horn Owl" and "Pea Fowl" are masterfully executed:

Elephant, I feel, has a distinctly John Merrick face, which is I suppose some kind of indicator of accuracy:

The packet promised many more treats including "Tapir" but by the time I got home from the heart of anniversaire darkness, the weepette had eaten them all. HOWEVER. That was not before I had set up the following exciting competition for you.

Take a close look at the following photograph which I have ineptly altered in a tantalising fashion:

Your job is to work out which of these is "Leopard", which is "Tiger" and which is "Cat". I would like you to know that my youngest child managed 2 out of 3, so you have that impressive score to beat.

Since I STILL owe Aye Aye lady a present (Aye Aye lady, you feature in my to do list every week, I think your present may well be a packet of these amazing biscuits, they are quite tasty actually, very like Nice biscuits), I don't think I should suggest there will be a prize. Just the satisfaction of a completely pointless task, er, done.

I am going now. I have floors to wash with my tears, and bizarre hand drawn aliens to reproduce in fondant. Have fun.


kath said...

leopard top left? errm cat top right and majestically of course the tiger at bottom.

We are sending the puppy to stay with a stranger, borrowing my dad's car (ours is held together with duct tape since an unfortunate incident at Longleat and pours water on my head following rain) and going to Germany in order to avoid holding a 6th birthday party.

Katy said...

Umm. I go for cat top left, tiger top right and leopard on the bottom.

These may be my favouritest biscuits ever. I love the laid back approach to creating a likeness. And the challenge of the typed description.

It puts me in mind of this Calvin and Hobbes strip:

Sorry the picture is so tiny

Katy said...

Ooh. I may have spotted a flaw in my original answers. I think you can tell by the size of the spaces what text will fit

So, my modified guess is cat on the bottom, tiger top right and leopard top left.

Damn you competitive streak. I am really this anal. Its your use of the word competition that sparked me off. Pity me.

Waffle said...

Nice thinking Katy, but NO.

Fat Controller said...

This is a trick question. The shapes are clearly: Lemming, Capybara and Reclining Horn Owl. In that order.


I have submitted the specimens (a.k.a. your photograph of the feline biscuits) to the French-Canadian veterinary histopathologist with whom I share my life (and fleas), and am hoping that his 'insider knowledge' will win me the first competition I have won since coming first in the Best Donkey In Show class, Kinross Show, 1975 (number of entrants: 1). I will also ask him to answer the question in French which will, I hope, add an extra little "frisson" (as they say in some French-speaking countries) to the whole affair.

Waffle said...

Fat Controller - YOu have made me actually laugh out loud. After spending the day with 20 7 year olds. THANK YOU.

NWM - do your worst, though I think you know that is cheating, don't you.


I know it is cheating, but is it possible to resist the second answer? I am NOT SURE.

Le chat est celui du bas. Pourquoi ? Parce qu'il est couché, et les chats sont toujours couchés - enfin, les miens.

En haut a droite c'est le tigre - on sent au premier coup d'oeil la tension prédatrice dans son corps athlétique.

En haut a gauche c'est le leopard. Parce que c'est lui qui a le flou photoshop le plus long.

Waffle said...

Eh ben, singe, malgré ton approche pas du tout réglo, tu as TOUT MAIS TOUT TOUT TOUT FAUX.


Ça sert à RIEN de tricher. Let that be a lesson to da chiwdwen of da werwld.

Madame DeFarge said...

If you squint very carefully, they almost look like something vaguely animal like. But I wouldn't want to risk my Girl Guide nature spotters badge on it.

Katy said...

I'm back again. The suspense is killing me. Even the shame of NOT BEING THE BEST didn't keep me away.

So, if cheating is now allowed *looks pointedly at non-working monkey* can I have my first answers reinstated and marked?

oh please oh please oh please can I can I?

Ah. I have just realised that I am still a 7 year old child.

I guess that takes your count up to 21 then.


jonathan said...

I was using the 'length of the erased word' method also but see that Katie has tried that already to no avail. I'm still convinced it's the cat on the bottom though, so am going for tiger, leopard, cat.

Here at Crinklybee Towers we aren't having one single extravaganza for Frankie's birthday this year (you may recall he and Fingers are very nearly exact contemporaries... instead, the boy's seventh birthday has become stretched out over fully two weeks of cake-making, friend- and-relative-entertaining, and train-excursion-coordinating. Suddenly it seems rather daunting- maybe at the end we will conclude that blowing the housekeeping on pizza for every small child in the postcode would have been a better option.

GingerB said...

Well fuckity, fuck-fuck. I saw the title "competititon" and hoped that we could have a whining "my first world problems suck more than yours" competition. Must I do it myself?? I don't have as many readers as you and they are all on a "my life is filled with joy despite the difficulties" kick and I can't bear to bring them down, as many are moms of special needs kids, and really, it is too nasty to drag those folk down. I wanted to complain, or perhaps confess anonymously? Please?

You owe me a present I believe, for making you a Madonna and child from high quality salami sometime last year. And I made you laugh once, a few months ago, with a funny picture. So let me win even if I don't. I want to get arse biscuits sent from La Belgique, just to get the folks at my mailbox store place a wonderin' about me.

My entry: upper left is the cat because it is looking away, in an aloof manner; upper right is the leopard who is thinner and ready to pounce; and the lower is the tiger, peacefully digesting a fine and meaty meal.

Please tell me I won, and that you will be sending bisuits.

Laurel said...

I've read all the comments and thought about it and such and it only just occurred to me that by "animal biscuits" you mean "biscuits shaped like animals" and not "biscuits made to be eaten by pets, and coincidentally shaped like animals". I was wondering why a dog would want to eat a panda-shaped biscuit, anyway. I guess the British "biscuit" (not cookie) terminology threw me off.

ANYWAY. My guesses were the same as Katy's first non-Photoshop-based ones.

Also, if your son got 2 out of 3 didn't he, by process of elimination, get 3 out of 3? I just want to get a better sense of my competition, here.

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Waffle said...

Er, thanks "Dan", but what are your thoughts on felinoid biscuits? Come on, a bit more of an effort on the targeted commenting, please.

paola said...

OK, focus.
leopard, cat, tiger

Fat Controller said...

Glad to help. I,too, have known the hell that is children's parties in soulless, poorly lit warehouses full of fraying scramble nets and grubby ball pools. I, too, have stayed up past midnight constructing a Thunderbird 3 cake out of swiss rolls and ice cream cornets and which toppled spectacularly as it was being bought triumphantly in, and Batman cakes which required black icing all over (Have you any idea just how much food colouring it takes to produce icing that is black and not just muddy grey?)

frau antje said...

Aside from being completely fine with not being the best, and there would be no need to send a prize as we're still happily enjoying your run off, but if you get two correct doesn't that mean three by default?

Early on I came to the conclusion that it was better to send a well-executed pinata, than make the cake. said...

Ummm, cat, leopard, tiger. (BTW, the 'panda' looks like the outline of a large Cheshire cat.)

Laughed aloud at the image of you finishing off the remains of 90 Euros worth of pizza while suffering a wine-induced hangover at a cold, noisy children's birthday party. You are one lucky gal! (Winegate - if it's worthy of a name, it's worthy of a post!)

Dara said...

lion, leopard, cat.

you make lovely cakes, waffle.

Dara said...

Tiger, leopard, cat, duh.

Anonymous said...

They're all cats - just in different moods. Ready to pounce, posing for the camera, and sleeping in the sun.
Heather (NZ)

Waffle said...

HE GOT CONFUSED AND SAID CAT TWICE, OK?? Fingers, I mean. That's why he got 2 out of 3.

One of you has won. That is all I am saying.

And Paola, you need to clarify where your 'clockwise' starts from. This could be important.

Alison Cross said...

The competition may be over, but I shall compete nonetheless.

Top left is cat, top right is tiger and bottom one is leopard.

They all look like they've spent too much time in Chernobyl though.

Happy birthday to the wee fella!!!

Ali x

kath said...

oho ooh who has won? I said leopard top left because it has the smallest ears

kath said...

and tiger at the bottom with its long tail

Just in case you wanted to see my workings.

Waffle said...

Kath, I am concerned for your sanity, innit.

Not long to wait, my dears. Give me twenty minutes to get this motherfucking cake of hell out of the oven and I will post the results.

Unknown said...

Leopard, Tiger, Cat.

Anonymous said...

I am glad your biscuits are crap, not in a mean-spirited way, just in a sisterhood-kind-of-way. Because mine do that puffy misshapen thing and I wonder how does nigella do it? Is it me? Is it the butter? The cutters? The rusting baking tray? The oven that leans to the side? And I despair. Or I used to, until I saw that you, who made that BLOODY BRILLIANT MASTERPIECE of a birthday cake, does crap biscuits too. *highfives*

Waffle said...

Um. Harridan. I did not make those biscuits. I bought them. In a shop. For money.

(my biscuits would be far worse)

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