The icing on the cake
As the judges approached table fifteen the Patissier and Chef both paused, looking at the three-tier wonder on the table. The cakes had been carved and artfully glued together with sugarpaste and layered over with white fondant. Snowmen partied, some falling over one tier to land, sometimes breaking apart, on the one below; penguins chuckled behind raised flippers, and a couple of ducks — yes, wearing little booties that looked knitted! — stood looking forlorn on a frozen lake made from a shard of sugarglass.
Calvin Thomas, head of the judges for this cake-decoration competition peered at it intensely for several minutes, and then looked up. Damien Harris, a muscular guy in a rugby top and a smudge of engine oil on one cheek looked back.
“Your daughter has produced a wonderful entry,” said Calvin.
“It’s my entry,” said Damien politely, his voice rumbling loud enough for the room to hear.
“What? Are you gay?” said Calvin, visibly surprised, and more so when Damien hit him.
“No, my wife would kill me.”