It was a Sunday afternoon and Trip had the baking bug. The only problem was that he didn’t have any of the ingredients. He needed to go to the supermarket but his car was at the garage. There was only one thing for it, he would have to call a taxi.
Trip reached into his pocket and found a slightly grubby and dog eared business card for ‘Mystic Cabs’, but no sooner than he had looked at the card, Trip heard the feint screech of brakes and there was a knock at the door.
Trip had a good idea who might be at the door, and sure enough, when he opened up he was greeted by the short fez wearing taxi driver he had met several weeks previously.
“Hello Mr. Hammer,” the driver said bristling his bushy moustache.
“Hi,” said Trip, “Could you take me to the supermarket please?”
The driver fixed Trip with a long stare before replying.
“I will take you where you need to go.”
The driver gestured towards his car and Trip entered. It was just as he remembered. Pink fuzz covered every surface bar the black velvet seats. Once he was comfortable, the driver turned to face Trip and smiled, bearing a single golden tooth as he did so. He drew his mod and blew an enormous cloud that engulfed the car and blocked Trip’s vision.
When the cloud thinned, Trip saw through the window that he was in the middle of the field and the taxi driver was nowhere to be seen. A few hundred yards in front of him was a very large tent. Trip headed toward it.
As he entered the tent a tall woman with short dark hair approached him.
“Trip we are about to start please, take your place.”
Trip looked to where she was pointing. On either side of the tent was a row of cooking stations. Each had a person behind it except one. He went and stood behind the oven. Looking around Trip noticed that all of the other people were vaguely familiar to him.
Two people suddenly walked through the door to the tent and introduced themselves.
“Hello contestants and welcome to the Grand English Bake Off, My name is Elsie Berry and this is my co judge Geoff Holyhead. Your challenge today is to make the perfect cream tea. Geoff and I will judge the finished product and decide who the winner is.”
Elsie crossed her hands and smiled.
“On your marks, set, and go.” Said Geoff.
Trip was flustered. It was very warm in the tent and unlike the rest of the contestants, he was not prepared for this. He looked down and saw that he had all of the ingredients he needed, they were presented nicely on the work surface.
After a deep breath, Trip got to work and started making the dough for his scones. He looked around while kneading his small mound and saw that the other contestants were doing something similar. Before long his dough was in the oven and he began to make his strawberry jam and clotted cream.
The tent was now heavy with the thick, heavy scent of boiling fruits. Trip had just finished his clotted cream and was putting it in the fridge to set. One of the other contestants who looked the spitting image of his friend Mavis was doing the same thing. They put their bowls of cream next to each other in the fridge and went back to what they were doing. They smiled at one another.
Time was passing quickly and Trip had just about finished with everything, all he had to do was get his cream from the fridge and present everything nicely. Trip knew something was wrong before he opened the fridge door. The other contestant, who Trip was calling Mavis in his head, was looking at him suspiciously. Trip opened the door to find that his cream was missing, there was still a bowl in there but the cream inside was watery and not at all clotted. He turned to look at Mavis.
“Have you taken my clotted cream?” he asked
“I don’t think so,” she replied “I’m sure I picked up my own, sorry have I made a mistake?”
Trip was seething. This woman had deliberately stolen his cream because it was better than hers, of course she would never admit it. He decided to take the moral high ground.
“It doesn’t matter, it was an accident,” he said, not quite managing to keep the irritation out of his voice.
Mavis was smiling as Trip returned to his station which further enraged him. He decided to make the best of what he now had and began to put his cream tea together.
Before long it was time for the judging. Elsie Berry and Geoff Holyhead came back in the room and looked appraisingly at the array of cream teas in front of them. One by one they tried the dishes and eventually came to a decision.
“We have a winner,” Elsie said.
Trip looked around and noticed that everyone was looking as nervous as he was, only Mavis looked confident.
“The winner is Trip,” Geoff said, “The scones were great, the jam was perfect. The cream was a bit runny but as I understand it, this is not your cream.”
As if to add emphasis, Geoff dipped a finger into the cream on Mavis’ dish and tried it.
Trip was awarded with a winner’s apron and a small trophy.
Out of nowhere a thick fog descended on Trip and when it cleared he was back outside of his house, sat in the taxi with the driver.
“Do you still want to go to the supermarket?” The Driver asked.
“No, take me to my lab please,” said Trip, “I’ve got work to do.”