The Proof Is In The Pudding: Parliament Bans “The Spotted Dick” From The Strangers’ Dining Room

Big ben LondonIn an act of utter Parliamentary pusillanimity, members have declared that the traditional pudding served in the Stranger’s Dining Room would be stripped of its name, “The Spotted Dick.”  For generations, ordering the Spotted Dick has been the subject of good-natured chuckles and teasing. However, the current members appear constantly on the lookout for any term or practice that can sanitized as socially or culturally offensive.  So, the pudding will now be called “Spotted Richard” – a change that is entirely divorced from any connection to the original meaning of the dish. The proof is in the pudding, but Parliament does not give a wit for the historical meaning of eating a dick.

“Dick” was simply an old English term for pudding. Thus, the change to Richard is based on the false pretense that Dick as nickname for Richard.

That simply does not matter to language police.  We have seen the same sanitation of terms at colleges and universities.  As we previously discussed, various schools like Harvard have dropped the term “master” even though it has absolutely no connection to slavery.  The term “master” was originally derived from words like “schoolmaster” and “headmaster” and have long been a tradition at such esteemed institutions as Oxford and Cambridge. Nevertheless, students and faculty have objected to possible connotations of racism and slavery.

I fail to understand why there is a refusal to simply educate people on the meaning or origins of such terms.  In this case, the confusion by some can be met by the welcomed news that the term is a reference to pudding.

The Telegraph and other newspapers however report that members were discomforted by the menu item.  MP Andrea Jenkyns is quoted as saying that she had “to bite on my lip to stop myself from laughing” when ordered the dish.  How terribly inconvenient. So to avoid the lip biting, the Parliament changed history and ignored historical meaning – a curious move for a nation that attracts tourists with the appeal of historical sites and relics.


12 thoughts on “The Proof Is In The Pudding: Parliament Bans “The Spotted Dick” From The Strangers’ Dining Room”

  1. It is sad to see the few modern relics of ages past done away with.

    I am an enormous fan of the writer Patrick O’Brian, who wrote the Master and Commander series. The works were so well-researched that when he passed, tragically in the middle of writing the final novel with what happened to Maturin, his publishers made the announcement that they would not try to finish the book. It would take a committee to replicate the breadth of knowledge of Mr O’Brian, and no good book was ever written by a committee.

    Two ladies, Anne Grossman and Lisa Thomas, who were fans decided to faithfully recreate each and every recipe mentioned in the series. Puddings were some of Captain Jack Aubrey’s favorite dishes, so there was Black Pudding, Dog’s Body/Pease-Pudding, Haggis, Steak and Kidney Pudding, White Pudding, Boiled Sago Pudding, Cabinet Pudding, Christmas Pudding, Drowned (Boiled) Baby, Figgy-Dowdy, Jam Roly-Poly, A long Grey Pudding Made with Sea Elephant Suet and Studded with Juan Fernandez Berries, Plum-Duff, Plum-Duff Another Way, Quaking Pudding, Spotted Dog, Treacle-Dowdy, Treacle Pudding, and Floating Archipelago in the Shape of the Galapagos (made to scale with 1 inch = 10 nautical miles, complete with latitude and longitude lines, and the equator made of spun sugar dyed with Port). And that is just the puddings. The finished work is called Lobscouse and Spotted Dog.

    “You may say what you please,” said Jack, “but I have eaten roly-poly within the Arctic Circle, d(*&*& nearly within the Antarctic, and now under the equator, and I am of the opinion that it has not its equal.” “Except, perhaps, for spotted dog.” “Ah, you have a point there, Stephen.” (The Thirteen Gun Salute)

    I bought their book with great anticipation. Recreating these recipes (or receipts) enabled me to actually taste the palette of the late 1700s to early 1800s. Ahem, perhaps I wasn’t quite so eager to try every single recipe. There was the inclusion of the Midshipmen’s table, which often included rats by the end of voyages. They were called “Millers” to make it sound more palatable to eat them, and also because the animals tended to be scuttling around dusted in the flour and peas they had gotten into. The ladies faithfully recreated the Midshipmen’s menu aboard ship, from “Millers in Onion Sauce” and “Boiled Shi7978”.

    Now, how’d you like to order some “Boiled Shi(&(*&” at the Strangers Dining Room? I, for one, would greatly enjoy simply asking for it, did it not consist of 1 oz assorted seabird guano in 1/4 cup of rainwater. (You see, they also recreated Stephen Maturin’s very trying time marooned on a bare rock populated only with seabirds in the ocean, without any other freshwater source.) The authors of the recipe book wrote, “We made it, but we do not claim to have drunk it. There are lengths to which we will not go.”

  2. Bill Bryson’s book “The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got That Way” is a good read.

  3. The Proof Is In The Pudding: Parliament Bans “The Spotted Dick” From The Strangers’ Dining Room

    What about Big Ben?

    The word “Big” implies things that are large and some persons may be frightened by large things.

    “Ben” is a male pronoun which may be construed as offensive to some persons.

    Parliament should act posthaste and rename the large offensive male pronoun.

    Mayhap Parliament will choose – London Clock – a name that has a certain panache which is befitting Britain’s place amongst the civilized nations of the world.

    So much for Rule, Britiannia!

    When Britain first, at Heaven’s command Arose from out the azure main; This was the charter of the land, And guardian angels sang this strain: “Rule, Britannia! rule the waves: “Britons never will be slaves.”,_Britannia!

    Britain never fell to foreign invaders but she is being laid low from within by ignorance and rabid social justice warriors run amok.

  4. Think you meant “whit” and not wit, although found the post written with wit.

  5. So to void the lip biting, the Parliament changed history and ignored historical meaning

    While Parliament can ignore the obvious, they won’t be able to change history. They won’t be able to stop people from ordering the dish the historically accurate way…unless of course they want to criminalize the use of the word dick. Tick Tock Tick Tock

    Eddy Izzard has a very humorous take on languages.

  6. “Members” of Parliament

    I wonder if they serve with Spotted Richard a side of Freedom Fries?

    One benefit of this ridiculousness on behalf of Parliament is that it provides another distraction and a slight amount of breathing space where more ridiculousness is not actually legislated against the people.

    How will Parliament deal with some of its own MPs?

    Peter Dowd of Bootle
    Simon Hoare
    John Woodcock

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