My London experience continues with a weekend spent discovering Cambridge University. I stopped by a tea shop after browsing the Cambridge grounds to find my new favourite treat “crumpets”. Crumpets look like English muffins but they’re more like chunky pancakes. I completely went overkill with the little cakes. Crumpets and jam, crumpets and Nutella, and my personal favourite crumpets topped with eggs and lox making a crumpet style Eggs Benedict.
So over my Monday morning conversation with my co-worker, I’ll call Older Gent, I decided to share my countryside excursion and my new recipes. He loves teasing me about any and everything American. And he uses lots of British slang that I usually don’t pick on his jokes until way after the fact. So here goes yet another awkward conversation that always seem to happen on Monday.
Older Gent – “You Awright?”
Me – “Good.” (learned my lesson on that one).
Older Gent – “What’d you do this weekend? Discover anything new?”
Me – “Yes, I did some country touring in Cambridge. It’s absolutely beautiful out there. It’s amazing the amount of history that place has.”
Older Gent- “Brilliant! Perfect weekend to be in Cambridge, Yeh. Do any cycling?”
Me – “No cycling, but the weather was great for walking about. Took lots of selfies and managed to go punting.”
I was so proud of myself that I used punting correctly. Punting is a form of rowing but with a stick- It’s so interesting. Google it. Feeling confident in my mastery of all things British, I paused and walked over to announce my love for crumpets.
Me – “So I discovered crumpets. They are amazing”
Older Gent- He looked puzzled and didn’t say anything as I continued to describe my crumpet recipes.
Me – “I especially love savory crumpets with of meat.. or with extra sauce and jelly.”
Older Gent – Still speechless and looking more like a deer in head-lights now.
Female co-worker, I will refer to as the “Voice of Reason” jumps in and says, “Relax. She’s talking about crumpet cakes.”
Me – “Yeah, did I miss something?” I find myself asking that question a few times a week now.
Older Gent – “Rrright, Rrright.” He’s completely red and flustered- buries his head in his paper.
Me, looking at Voice of Reason asks- “What’d I say?”
Voice of Reason, shaking her head says, “Check your email.”
Crumpet has two different meanings depending on who you talk to but he should’ve known better. He’s probably more embarrassed because he’s known for saying naughty things.
- A thick, flat, savoury cake with a soft, porous texture, made from a yeast mixture cooked on a griddle and eaten toasted and buttered.
- British informal [mass noun] People, especially women, regarded as objects of sexual desire
So crumpet could also be a derogatory word. To me it sounds like an innocent little word. But use your imagination on how “Older Gent” would have used the word over a pint with his mates. Oh that was awkward… is any word safe to say? Jeez!
Older Gent didn’t make eye contact with me until the afternoon when he muttered “G’night” then quickly rustled to the exit. I felt sorry for him but also felt vindicated that he was going to lay off the American jokes for a while. Revenge!