The news informs me that Denmark is introducing a fat tax: not, as I understand it, a direct tax on those carrying a few extra pounds (or Kroner) but a method to discourage them from carrying any more. For a country whose principal exports, if we exclude small plastic bricks, are butter and bacon this seems quite a high risk strategy. And where does this tax leave the poor Danish pastry? There is only so much that depressing film or television or, for that matter, Sandi Toksvig can do for the country’s balance of payments.
Talking of ‘balance’ and ‘payments’, I have – for reasons that need not detain us now – been trying to pass myself off as an accountant. Yes, I hear you – but while I may already be dull enough, a fact to which this blog stands in mute (for the time being – but we are approaching post 200, so perhaps sound will come) testimony, I need to be able to prepare accounts and the like as well. As a mathematician, I figured (pun fully intended) that this couldn’t be too hard – accountancy only requires addition and subtraction, they barely use multiplication or division let alone complex numbers, group theory or differential calculus. However, in practice, it isn’t quite so simple due to the range of needlessly complex regulation that seems to surround every addition (or subtraction). Bending my head round the reams of poorly drafted VAT (rather than fat) regulations is proving a particular challenge; and to think, I used to believe electricity markets were Byzantine in their arrangements (though at least, in part, these have some basis in physical reality and the movement of electrons). Still, I’m starting to bore myself now – so on with the motley…
As you know, my mind rarely strays far from the subject of cake and patisserie – even when trying to be an accountant. So, I found myself musing about presentations made by the accountancy arm of Greggs the Bakers (many other obesity outlets are available – though may now be full of Danes buying up our tax-free lard). Would these include slides on rising apple turnover turnover? Or ponder the profiterole profit role? Has their share price suffered as a result of short-crust selling?
Sticking with the theme of cake and money; in a smart restaurant, I have occasionally been offered a financier for desert (I’m afraid, such eateries rarely offer something as substantial as pudding). According to Wikipedia, a financier is often mistaken for a pastry – perhaps because they are flaky? – but, in fact, it’s a small cake involving almonds. In contrast, Mr Collins suggests a financier is one engaged or skilled in large-scale financial operations. Given the current state of the world economy, I think I’d give my vote to the small, almond cake definition. I reckon we’d be in far less of a mess if the cakes were running things! And, if they did make a complete mess of things, we could always eat them – with a few berries and some whipped cream, rather than bailing them out with piles of cash. This is one of the few occasions where bailing out involves the addition of something, usually it involves chucking stuff out: might this explain why the economy is still sinking? (Was that almost satire?)
All this talk of cake is making my hungry, so I’m off to eat – tax-free! (For now)