There’s a bowl of choc orange balls, a generic version of the reknowned Jaffa which, apparently, is no longer attainable, that’s been sitting on the kitchen bench since Saturday morning.
It would be understandable that one would think “How has it been there that long? If it were my house, it would have been gone in seconds!” as this seems to pretty much standard practice in most households I am aware of (or have been told about).
It’s not a full bowl.
It’s only got three choc orange balls in it. That’s it. Just three balls of chocolate, coated in a hard, sugary, vibrant orange shell, that allegedly tasks like orange.
There’s nothinig wrong with them. They haven’t been licked by the cat, for example, and that wouldn’t stop them being consumed under normal circumstance.
The cat hasn’t vomitted, peed or pooed on them, either; actions which are more likely to render them untouched.
They haven’t been dipped in poison, been spat on by a camel, or had some horrendous curse placed upon them.
Instead, they were the subject of one of those tantrums a mother must have in order to be listened to, and to convey the seriousness of her requests. By ‘her’ I mean ‘me’. Obviously.
I’m well aware this scenario is not unique to me or my household, however.
It was simple, really. I was baking the cakes for my now thirteen-year-old’s (eeeep!) birthday parties. As he had requested a “Portal cake”, this required the use of choc orange balls. Jaffas, really, but unless you’ve a contact in some undergroud, black markter confectionery seller, you have no hope. It’s easier to get your hands on some meth than it is to get your hands on Jaffas. And I wouldn’t have a clue where to even start looking for meth (please don’t comment, letting me know – but if you can get some Jaffas, that’d be awesome).
I put the balls into a bowl, with grand ideas of carefully placing 13 balls, evenly spaced around the top of each of the two cakes.
My mistake, clearly, was not stashing the packet deep into the far, bottom corner of the pantry, in a house three blocks away. Entirely my fault.
The fact the bowl was surrounded by baking and cake decorating paraphernalia was clearly lost on everyone else in the house, and before I know it, I was left with 17 balls.
Or, 17 after I had requested, then strongly recommended that death was imminent if anyone at any more balls. Clearly a deficit of balls for the idea I had for the cakes. We all know I need as much assistance as possible in this department, so someone eating the ingredients is not desireable.
So when Grumpy came home and ate a ball, I carefully explained the situation and the need for the balls to be left alone.
Or, as the rest of the family saw it, I lost my shit entirely.
Grumpy was sent off to obtain more balls, an activity that if anyone was going to win at, it was going to be him. It was a dismal failure on his part. Jaffas, as I’ve already mentioned, are in considerable deficit at this moment in time.
Therefore, thirteen choc orange balls were gently placed upon the top of one cake … and the three remaining balls just sat there.
Not ignored, necessarily. But untouched.
They are not covered in toxins, kale, or mixed with quinoa.
They have not been subject to any substance that may render them inedible.
They merely went from being a Forbidden Food, to being rendered the Unforbidden; a factor we know takes any food from being consumed without any thought for the consequences, to unwanted, unloved, and uneaten.
(As an aside, it is how I got my first born to eat spinach; I advised him he wasn’t ever allowed to eat it … so he did.)