99 YEARS OLD AND STILL BAKING BISCUITS...
BEACHCOMBER: A statement. Following the announcement of the result of the Chocolates or Biscuits mid-morning snack referendum in the Daily Express office, Beachcomber addressed the nation from the steps of Number 10 Lower Thames Street. Here is a complete transcript of what he said:
“Good morning, colleagues and friends. This office has just taken part in a democratic exercise of which the importance cannot be overestimated. It concerned the all-important matter of mid-morning snacks and the result, by a narrow but significant margin, has been an endorsement of chocolates in preference to biscuits.
“For a long time there has been a rancorous split between the two sides. As the supplier of both the chocolates and the biscuits, I stayed out of the in-fighting, though my own support for the pro-biscuit side (also known as Choxit) was well-known and led to some ill-judged and hurtful comments against me by some Bixit supporters.
“The people have, however, voted for Bixit, abolishing our mid-morning biscuits in favour of chocolates. Whatever my personal feelings, I fully accept that their will must be respected and carried out.
This is, however, no time for hasty action. Article 47 of the Tea-Break Arrangements specifies a period of a minimum of two years to make the necessary arrangements. Only after that time has passed will biscuits begin to be phased out. In the interim, discussions will be held on such vital matters as ensuring a proper supply of chocolate to fulfil the wishes of all and also resolve the no less important question of whether the chocolate should be dark, milk or white and what fillings they should contain.
“This will require strong, determined and committed leadership and as the sole supplier of both the chocolates and the biscuits, I feel it is incumbent on me to continue in charge of snack distribution at least until the new arrangements are in place.” [Cheers, stomach-rumbling and prolonged drooling from the crowd].
“I have supplied these nibbles to my catchment area and beyond for as long as anyone can remember and will do everything I can to steady the biscuit ovens and chocolate moulds over the coming weeks and months to try to steer our newspaper forward. It has been a great pleasure and privilege to serve in this role over a period which has seen our consumption of both chocolates and biscuits more than double, an achievement in which I feel justified in taking great pride.
“As I have said before, I firmly believe that we are all strong enough not just to survive without biscuits, but to prosper, eating only chocolates during our tea and coffee breaks. I just feel that we would have done better with biscuits. Especially my almond, orange, cardamom and maple syrup biscuits with a sprinkling of chocolate on top. I hope that the Bixit supporters who voted against them will not have cause to bitterly regret their decision.”
Defiantly dunking a biscuit into his mug of tea, Beachcomber took a bite and disappeared back into Number 10.