Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Mailbag #2

Welcome back dear reader. Barry Chindouche here with the latest round of letters I have received.

Dear Barry,

Could you settle an argument between me and my girlfriend? We haven’t spoken in over two weeks now - only you can help us. Which is the correct term: Cupcake or Fairy cake? Yours Desperately,  Patrick O’Dwyer

Dear Patrick,

Like everything in life, the answer is complicated. However, as with all complicated answers, you came to the right man.

The original term was cupcake. The cakes were invented in 1492. A baker by the name of Francis Cúp decided to reinvent his usual bland bread based teatime snack. In the process, he accidently knocked some contraband sugar1 into the mix, and the cúp-cake was born. Within weeks, Francis Cúp was a local celebrity.
I am sure you are well aware of the (now) infamous sugar shortages of the time. Francis had to go to extraordinary lengths to procure the vital ingredient, including murder and small time pillaging. When he was finally brought to justice, the Henry VII had him baked into a series of his own invention, and the court dined on "Cúpcakes" – he was a cruel and murderous King.
Americans continue to use the term cupcake, seemingly unaware of the bloody connection. In Britain we now use fairy cake to disassociate from the horror. So both are technically correct, but only one is correct. I’ll let you decide which.

Dear Mr Chindouche,

I love your blog, it cheers me up when I am gloomy. Can you answer a question for me? Which country is the most dangerous? Yours questioningly, Barbara Blenheim

Dear Barbara,

Your question is vague. If you meant which country contains the most danger (for instance poisonous animals) the answer is Luxembourg - where 648 deaths per 1,000 are recorded as “accidents”. Compared to this, the safest country is Malta, where only 1 death in 10,000 is attributed to a cause other than “old age”2.

If you meant which country poses the biggest threat to world peace, the answer is France. Historically, France has been involved in the most bloody conflicts on earth - and history has a nasty habit of repeating itself3.

Dear Barry,

Is intelligence inherited, or can it be learned? I am currently not very bright, I just wish I was as clever as you! Joe Strench

Dear Joe,

Sadly for you, intelligence is about 90% inherited4. I of course inherited a massive intellect, and as such you will never catch me up. However, you can do something about the 10% that you have control over by continuing to read my blog.

1sugar had been decreed illegal by Henry VII since 1485. He felt it was the devils work.
2Though the 1 in 10,000 death that ISN’T due to old age is more often than not due to spontaneous combustion - the only country on earth where this has been proven to have happened.
3for more information on French history, see future blogpost “Le Catastrophe! 101 French Mistakes.”
4for more information on inherited traits, see future blogpost “Lazy, thick and drunk - Don’t be angry, sue your parents”

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