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U3A Writing: An Unusual X-ray

Frances Power recalls the day her Christmas cake was x-rayed.

We are on our way its Christmas Eve. I am sitting in the car with the cake on my lap, and as I think about it a smile comes to my lips. The cake, what a fiasco. I had decided one quiet afternoon to give the mixing of the cake my full attention. Getting out the mixer, something I had not used for a long time, I proceeded to put in the measured ingredients.
It made a lot of noise, but there you are, its very quick and this is what I was looking for as Joyce, my neighbour and friend, was coming for tea later on and I thought it would be nice if it were finished by then and I could show her the cake in all its glory.

I had just turned the cake out when Joyce arrived. Gosh that looks good! she said, the smell is gorgeous.

I am only too pleased its done, I said, its been one of those things at the back of my mind for a few days now. Ill just wash up the bits and pieces and then put the kettle on.

The sink was cluttered, but working my way through I came to the last item and let the water run out, and at this point noticed some pieces around the outlet. Touching one of the pieces I realised it was very sharp it was steel.

Joyce, I think the cutters have broken in the food processor. Joyce peered into the sink and by her expression one could see that the full significance of this possibility had hit her too where were the pieces in the cake?

What a dilemma the cake looked good, but it was possibly hiding bits of steel how could we find out?

Ill throw it away, and start again, I said.

No, said Joyce, I know what we can do. Pick it up well take it to the hospital.

To the hospital! I think my voice had a slightly split note to it.

Yes, said Joyce, who was a radiologist, we will x-ray it.

Good heavens, x-ray it. I could hardly believe I was hearing right.

Yes, get your coat on and put the cake in that box. There are no patients at the hospital today because of the weekend, so lets get going.

The thought of having my little cake x-rayed was really funny to me one because it was a cake and two because I had waited rather a long time for my recent x-ray. However I grabbed the cake and followed Joyce to the door.

Yes, the cake had steel pieces in her. Lying, what I thought, rather forlornly on the couch, it seemed to take the x-ray with dignity, and accept the verdict. It was all very straight forward really, but all too much for me I just collapsed with laughter.

Joyce, after a pause, joined me. However I did manage to pick up the cake tenderly, almost as if I thought it might feel the cut of those steel pieces, and carried it to the rubbish bin. I felt I had suffered a loss. Also, of course, it meant I had to start all over again. Selfish me, what about the cake?


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