Mark Riddaway on the life-saving potential of properly good fudge
Words: Mark Riddaway
Image: Paul Thompson
I once saw some fudge save a man’s life, while being of insufficient quality to spare his dignity. I was temping in a sparsely populated office. The man opposite me—a huge, bear-like bloke; quiet, slightly jaded and, it emerged, severely diabetic—was on the phone, behaving oddly: words slurred, head lolling, eyes dull. Through the phone’s receiver I could hear a woman shouting for help: “Tom’s hypoglaecemic, he needs sugar!”
On the next desk, I found a half-eaten bag of stale fudge, and tried feeding some to him. Unimpressed, he spat it down his front and lumbered off like a giant toddler, charging down the stairs and barging his way through the doors of an accountancy firm, whose workers looked on in horror as a big bloke in a smart suit started trashing their workplace, kicking over bins, pushing folders off desks and laughing gleefully, while I followed in his wake, shouting: “Don’t call security, he just needs some fudge!” Only when he mistook a stationery cupboard for an exit was I able to corner Tom for long enough to cajole more sweets into him.
When the sugar eventually kicked in, a light came on behind his eyes. He looked around, taking in the unusual setting for this one-to-one meeting with the new temp, and sighed the sigh of a man who really didn’t want to know how he’d got there.
None of this would have happened had the fudge tasted better, had that first bite met with approval rather than messy rejection. A chunk of crumbly, creamy, dense Whirld fudge, in any one of its multitude of perfectly balanced flavours, would have been swallowed in an instant. And that poor man would have been spared the agony of his sheepish reemergence from a stationery cupboard into a room full of angry, gape-mouthed accountants.