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A 'Right Said Fred'-Style Pyramid Cookie Cake

eebee's picture

Allow me to shed light on that obscure title. In the midst of moving the entire contents of our abode down many flights of stairs and up many more (to bigger digs), my son had a book-review deadline looming.

The ‘project’ was to bring food items, loosely related to the story the student had read, to class for a nosh-up.

He read Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, and decided somehow to create some kind of pyramid-shaped edibles. While looking for ideas online, we found this article and were stupidly both convinced it’d be quick and somewhat easy, rationalizing that the ‘moderate’ difficulty-rating was merely to benefit the young and naïve.

I should’ve known when I saw ‘oven’ in the list of things I’d need, that perhaps this article wasn’t put together by some crafty domestic goddess, who had tried and perfected this recipe for kids’ parties. Indeed by the end of it all I thought whoever uploaded it had never even attempted it, but I was grateful to the contributor for inadvertently providing us with an evening full of hysterics.

The first mistake we made was to choose chocolate chip cookie dough. The second mistake we made was to follow the suggestions to the letter – or should I say inch – even after eyeballing the sheer size and weight of a cookie-pyramid with a 10” square base. The third mistake we made was to buy only one extra cookie sheet instead of four.

Here’s where Fred comes in. After recovering from laughing cramps brought on by our harebrained responses to things breaking, melting or failing, I started singing ‘Right Said Fred’. My son’s quizzical looks hastened me to flick cookie dough all over the laptop typing in a search for the old song on Youtube:


Lyrics to add to your listening pleasure:


So between hauling boxes and furniture creatively around about 650 sq feet much like a Safari Rush-Hour brainteaser, I fully identified with the line “’Ad bad twinges, takin’ off the ‘inges”. The confectioner’s sugar and cookie crumbs plastered all over the kitchen indicated we were getting nowhere, and so we ‘ad a cuppa tea. Many times, just like the geezers in the song.

I remember hearing this song as a child and thinking “How true! Workmen don’t really ever seem to make any progress, and do always seem to be on a tea-break”. Maybe it was a 1970s Union thing. And although I marveled at the catchy melody and succinct lyrics, I always assumed the singer, Bernard Cribbins, had written the whole thing. But this was still back in the days where honest-to-goodness lyricists wrote the witty songs, gifted composers created the strong melodies, and those endowed with undeniable vocals sang it.  

Credit goes to songwriting team Ted Dicks and Myles Rudge, with the talents of game-for-a-laugh producer George Martin - going by the name of Ray Cathode - a few months before those jokers the Beatles got a hold of him.  

Of course after all those cups of tea I was up half the night lugging boxes and getting nowhere. The colossal pyramid cookie cake stood proud until we hit the first speed bump in the high school parking lot at 6.30 am next morning, whereby the cookie panels collapsed. After class, my son and his ‘book report’ were mobbed in the hallway. Not a crumb remained. 


timv's picture

Gotta say it

Was he too sexy for his cake?

Quite amazingly the Fartbrass brothers (not actually named Fartbrass, that's just what it looked like at first glance) are still recording and performing two decades hence.

eebee's picture


Hah! 'Fartbrass' reminds me of what the Mark Zuckerberg character says about the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network movie. Here's a clip with Jesse Eisenberg and Rashida Jones (Quincy's daughter). 


timv's picture

Funny endings

I suppose that Zuckerberg would be part of my demographic cohort of socially-challenged techno-types, and it was good fun to inappropriately apply Latin endings we'd learned, probably in math or some science class, as in "The Flying Elvii" (although they came along a decade later) and such. I doubt I'd have really noticed it in the film--if I'd seen it--except maybe to note that it was more of a high school thing for us. I think--I hope--we'd have been beyond it by college, though maybe that's the point of having the Zuckerberg character do it.

There's a Quincy Jones biographical documentary that I've seen bits of here and there, and I'd noticed that he had a number of lovely and talented daughters. And also, and not by chance I'd guess, a number of lovely and talented ex-wives.

eebee's picture


I also meant to add I hadn't realized one of the Fairbrass brothers' names is Fred. I had wondered if they came up with their band name by just sort of making it up as they went along. Like "Right said Fred, let's make a dance song that includes something to do with sex".

Oh, I certainly don't lump you in with any socially-challenged stereotypes! But when I heard that line in the movie I was surprised more than anything, that this Zuckerberg caricature would have made that linguistic connection, so it stood out in my mind.

I'm always willing to jump in on language play.   

roadskater's picture

A Lego Take

Here's one with Legos and decent sound. Reminds me of some of Roger Daltry's singing, perhaps in Tommy. Or maybe it's Keith Moon in Quadrophenia. "Bell Boy!"


eebee's picture

Now that's a cup of tea

Those are my kind of tea cup proportions! Yes, clearer audio. I love how the li'l lego guys sit down. At certain times this past weekend while moving abodes, I felt like I was fixed to the floor after taking a rest, like these guys.

Bernie Cribbins does do a great job of an East End accent. Otherwise in the 70s he always sounded quite posh to me, in spite of hailing from Lancashire! The Who were mostly Londoners, right?

Resists the urge to lapse into Cockney Rhyming Slang... 

roadskater's picture

Go Ahead and Lapse Into Cockney Rhyming Slang

But you bettah you bettah you bet explain what it is and that might be a whole new article. Resisting the urge to talk a bunch about The Adventure of English, the BBC program(me) from 2002 or so. That would be a new article fer sher. So many off-topics, so little thyme. 

timv's picture

West End Boys

Acton, Ealing, Wembley, Hammersmith, Shepherd's Bush...

My knowledge of London geography is quite limited but I get the impression that they grew up in working-class surroundings with prospects that weren't much different from the East End, but not havng the Cockney identity that's so well known from literature and movies and songs

I'd say there's more than a bit of it in "I've got a good job and I'm newly born/You should see me dressed up in my uniform," but Moon aspired to acting and I've assumed that was him taking on a character--as if he ever needed to do that.

WIkipedia reports that the geographical extent of Cockney speech has been very carefully studied. It seems that there's more to it than having heard the sound of the Bow Bells in one's infancy--which no one born between '41 and '61 could have done anyway.

I'd also like to get your take on Cockney Rhyming Slang. I've seen references to it but really that's all.

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