An Auckland man today ate a chocolate biscuit in honour of Nelson Mandela.
Humphrey Blank, a junior accountant at the consultancy firm Medley Wolliston, ate the biscuit at exactly 10:00 am this morning.
Blank explained the planning that went into his commemoration.
“My tummy usually starts to rumble at about ten o’clock, and normally I’ll get up from my desk and go into the staff lunchroom for a cuppa and a biscuit,” said Blank.
“But management recently decided that we couldn’t have nice biscuits. Instead of toffee pops we now get these dry round things that taste like they’ve been made of sawdust and glue.
“I knew that wasn’t what Madiba would have wanted, so today I decided to bring my own biscuits to work.”
At 9:59 am Blank opened his briefcase and took from it a packet of Griffin’s Chocolate Thins, opening the wrapping and removing a biscuit from the packaging. He then placed the biscuit on his desk with great care and solemnity, and waited.
At 10:00 am Blank placed the biscuit in his right hand and moved it slowly and respectfully towards his mouth. He bowed his head as he munched the biscuit, taking great care to masticate with decorum and dignity, and to not get any crumbs on his computer keyboard.
“When I think of all those years Mandela spent in captivity, and the legacy Madiba leaves, the least I can do is eat a chocolate biscuit in his memory,” said Blank.
Blank rejected accusations made by some, including Nigel from IT, that his commemoration trivialised Mandela’s enormous achievements, and that his choice of a chocolate biscuit reeked of racism.
“I chose the chocolate thin because it’s symbolic of the modern South African nation. Light on one side and dark on the other, but when you put them together they create a tasty and delicious oval-shaped treat that you can dunk in your tea.
“How can that be racist? I love chocolate!”
Blank said he had been motivated by the need to recognise the enormous contribution made by Nelson Mandela.
“I never got a chance to meet the man. But if it wasn’t for his heroic struggle against the brutal and oppressive Apartheid regime, the Special AKA would never have recorded their song Free Nelson Mandela. And then where would we be?”
But some of Blank’s workmates suspect his commemoration was not motivated by a desire to remember the great man.
“Humphrey’s the reason why the bosses took our morning tea toffee pops away,” said Blank’s supervisor Ruth Babbage. “He would eat half a packet a day on his own, and leave hardly any for the rest of us. Now he just sits in his office on his own, stuffing his face full of chocolate biscuits he’s bought from the supermarket.
“On Friday he closed the door to his office and devoured an entire packet of MallowPuffs. When I asked him what he was doing he said he was marking the twelfth anniversary of the death of Sir Peter Blake.”
Blank said he was prepared to forgive his workmates for the things they said about him.
“Nelson Mandela always had his haters. But he managed to forgive them all, even his jailers.
“In fact, to mark this reconciliation I think I will have another biscuit. Free Nelson Mandela!”