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<   No. 4077   2019-09-10   >

Comic #4077

1 Receptionist: CAN I GET YOU A CUP OF TEA?
2 Charity Collector Guy: I cannot accept any goods or services from those being audited.
3 Receptionist: IT’S JUST A CUP OF TEA.
3 Charity Collector Guy: Hmmm. Does it come with a biscuit?
3 Receptionist: ER. IF YOU LIKE.
4 Charity Collector Guy: A chocolate one?
4 Receptionist: OR A CUSTARD CREAM.
4 Charity Collector Guy: This is definitely a bribe.

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I tried searching the net for canonical types of biscuits[1] served with tea to find something perhaps a bit more international than how I would describe what I would suggest, namely a "cream biscuit". I believe most Australians would understand what that means, but I'm not sure of any other English speakers. Anyway, my searching turned up custard creams as "the eighth most dunked [in tea] biscuit in the UK" (according to a survey of 3000 people), and although I'm not familiar with the name "custard cream", this is exactly the type of biscuit I was thinking of when I thought of a "cream biscuit". And it sounds cool too, so I decided to use that.

Although plainer biscuits such as digestives and rich teas[2] are popular too, it's well known that the premium cream biscuits are preferable, although often less available due to tea room budget considerations. People generally have to make do with the lesser biscuits and being lucky enough to have someone splurge on cream biscuits is a happy circumstance, to be relished and appreciated with due reverence. And of course chocolate biscuits are, as they say, the crème de la crème - rarely found when someone else is paying for the biscuits, but like striking gold when they do appear.

Although it's not really relevant at this point, I'm going to mention Tim Tams and the Tim Tam Suck[3] as a method of using your biscuit to enjoy your tea, because I know if I don't people will write in about it.

[1] The Commonwealth English biscuits, not the American English biscuits, which are completely different things.

[2] Interestingly, although Australia and the UK share many aspects of our versions of English, including the usage of the word "biscuit", this concurrence does not extend to names for many of the subtypes of biscuit. Australians refer to "cream biscuits" whereas as I discovered Britons refer to "custard creams" - a name previously unfamiliar to me. The biscuits that Britons refer to as "digestives" are more often called "wheaten biscuits" in Australia. Britain also has such oddly named things as "Hobnobs" and "Jammie Dodgers" and "Bourbon biscuits" and "Bath Olivers", all of which are exotically foreign to Australian shores, while no doubt many of the popular Australian biscuits (e.g. Scotch Fingers, Iced Vo-Vos, Monte Carlos, Honey Jumbles) sound strangely foreign to them.

[3] The alternative name "Tim Tam Slam" seems to have gained traction as the most popular version seen in the media today, but I and my friends have been calling it the "Tim Tam Suck" for 30 years and we're not about to stop now.

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