Now and again, we were lucky enough to have tea up at the house - with a Toothpaste Cake (it has to be written with a capital 't and c', made by Peggy Vaughan, the housemistress. Said Cake was so called because of the gloopy icing, or topping - which did resemble toothpaste, especially when it was the white version. Shiny, thick and ... gloopy - straight out of a Roald Dahl story.
On this occasion, said Cake arrived, and lo! It was the chocolate version, a pile of brown toothpaste/poo on top. It sat on the table in the little dining room at Dolrhyd, while some half a dozen of us tucked into whatever else was provided... (no idea - my imagination conjures up sandwiches and buns... biscuits...and cups of tea served in green plastic cups, but that may be a composite of all other teas ever at DWS).
Six or so gels, and more than one imp - as we eyed the cake, eyed the enormously high pile of brown whatever on top. Someone - who, can't recall, might well have been Jane Semple, or even me, said 'I wonder - would the cake stick to the wall if we...' and once voiced, the idea was so irresistible - and one of us, don't remember who - might have been Jane Semple, might have been me, or someone else - picked up the cake, squared up to the wall and threw said cake hard across the room.
It stuck! The cake stuck to the wall perfectly, at eye height - a large round brown decoration. Lovely. Point proven, Toothpaste Cakes DO stick to the wall. We would go down in history, having unravelled one of the most mystifying conundrums known to man.
At that point, as we all gazed lovingly at our handiwork, the door opened. Peggy Vaughan walked in. Cake was on the wall just to her right...behind her line of sight.
'Gels! Have we had a lovely tea?' she chirruped, looking at the detritus, the empty plates - specifically the completely empty cake plate.
Pause... as we did our best not to look at the Cake on the wall.
'Oh yes. Thank you Mrs Vaughan' we chorused.
She beamed. 'And the cake - it was...' but she never finished the sentence.
The Toothpaste Cake's adhesive qualities were not permanent. It began to slip, infinitesimally slowly, down the wall, leaving a snail's trail of brown poo behind it. Oh lord. Peggy Vaughan had not seen. She continued beaning at us, waiting to be told how wonderful her latest Cake was.
Said Cake then began to slip faster, and as it did so, emitted a sound closely akin to a squelchy fart. Shhllllluuuuuupppp... Peggy Vaughan turned...as the Cake fell, splat, onto the dresser.
Her face was a picture. Actually, the picture was one of utter betrayal, and hurt, poor woman.
She never asked us for tea at Dolrhyd ever again.
I wonder why?