One of our more fastidious columnists refers to his fear of germs contained in the plastic bags which surround home-made cakes for sale at school fetes, co-op shops and the like. His fear is occasioned by the conviction that someone has blown up the bag before closing it with an elastic band thus exposing the naïve purchaser to all kinds of bronchitis, halitosis or garlic fumes or worse. He can’t bring himself to buy them. This reminded me of when my mother-in-law, in a stout effort to bolster her youngest child’s successful bid to go to university - the only one of her large brood to do so - spent four years baking 23 sponge cakes every day for the local fresh produce shop in the small town in which they lived. It fell to Dad (a heavy smoker) to blow up the surrounding bags. Popular myth has it that mom’s cakes were always a sell-out: certainly no-one ever complained - not even on the day when one sank in the middle and mom shored it up with a piece of cardboard before putting the icing on. She was going to keep it for her own family. But she forgot and it got mixed in with the others. They all sold out as usual, and no-one said a word. The other thing I read this week said that if you are serving a dip to a crowd of people and someone puts their half-eaten biscuit back into it - they are adding another 10,000 germs to those already present.
I’ve decided to forget all of the above in order to remain sane.