Hold the ice cream please!

Roger Rabbits
with Jim Bunny

The cheese had totally slid off her cracker. Work Wife was having conniptions, going nuts.

All over a hot cross bun. Not an ordinary hot cross bun admittedly. An adulterated one, a bastardised one, a vomit-inducing one.

“This is sacrilegious, deeply disrespectful,” she blazed on – all florid, spittle flying, arms flailing and seriously testing their hold on their sockets.

“Breathe deeply,” I offered. “Think of something positive, something nice, something funny –like the Crusaders going five and none – losing their first five Super games. That should bring joy.”

The picture

That’s when she thrust a picture of the offending bun under my nose – a hot cross bun ice cream sandwich – a split hot cross bun, filled with ice cream and nonpareils, drizzled with melted chocolate. And dripping with calories.

“See!” she yelled. “See!” I thought she was about to arrest over a hot cross bun.

But yes, I was starting to ‘see’. There are some things that should not be fiddled or meddled with. Like hot cross buns. They should be inviolable. There should be no need. They are a simple, humble and symbolic pleasure.

I was kind of hoping hot cross ice cream sandwiches weren’t real. Could it be that Kate Middleton was messing with photo shop again?

“A hot cross bun is sacrosanct,” said Work Wife. Well, screamed. “Just leave them be.”

Sacrosanct – like endangered Hector’s dolphins Sir Russell, like freedom of the press and music copyright don’t you think Winston? “Chumbawamba! Chambawamba!” Like school lunches David Seymour. There are some things that should not be messed with.

Work Wife wasn’t finished.   

“And how will we lever the kids off the ceiling once they’re all sugared up on these abominations. Do they come with a manufacturer’s warning?”

A verse for the times

Let’s all wind down, sing a traditional song and clap our hands in unison.

“Hot cross buns, hot cross buns,

One ha’penny, two ha’penny, hot cross buns,

If you have no daughter,

Give them to your son,

Hot cross bun ice cream sandwiches.  

Stick them up your b*m!”

You can sense the deep upset here because we prefer our ice cream in a cone.

History supports us. Hot cross buns sans ice cream, sprinkles and chocolate sauce, are symbolic of that significant day in Christian faith when Jesus was crucified at Golgotha. Golgotha from the Latin ‘calva’, meaning bald head or skull. Golgotha is a skull-shaped hill just beyond the walls of Jerusalem.

Amazing what you learn when researching hot cross buns. The bun is adorned with a cross made of tasteless flour paste, symbolic of the cross on which he died. The spices in hot cross buns are said to represent the spices that were used to embalm Christ after his death. No mention of ice cream, sprinkles and chocolate sauce...

But then when the toasted aromatics are drifting up the nose, the butter is dripping down the chin and speckled dried fruit and mixed peel are raking at the taste buds, I wonder how many people actually give thought to the symbolism of it all?

Do they stop mid-mouthful and ponder the Easter message. Or whether they should be scoffing hot cross buns on any day other than the designated Good Friday. Maybe not.

Slap’em in jail

Queen Elizabeth 1, the ‘Virgin Queen’ who ruled husbandless and therefore childless, would not have been amused by hot cross bun ice cream sandwiches. She issued a royal edict, declaring hot cross buns would not be eaten every day of the year – just Good Friday, Christmas perhaps and burials. Those who transgressed ended up in the slammer. Quite right! She also declared there would be no cheese and onion in hot cross buns, nor hundreds and thousands, ice cream and chocolate sauce. I made that bit up. But she should have enshrined it in law.

This all gave rise to a personal conflict of loyalty. Because when Cadbury’s closed its operation in Dunedin – my hometown, where the heart lies – and moved holus-bolus to Australia I took a stand, a petty one. I would not buy Cadbury and support Australian jobs, companies and economy to the cost of New Zealand.

I shifted my loyalty to Whittaker’s. But now I am left torn after it issued a limited edition ‘Choc Cross Bun’ cake of chocolate – added natural mixed spices, raisins and orange oil to its creamy milk chocolate. How can I bang on willy-nilly about exploitation of the humble hot cross bun then go out and buy hot cross bun-flavoured chocolate? Quite easily I suspect.



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