Saturday December 1, 2007
Book 9: The Body Politic — Part IV: We Kept the Party Hats

Commander Foxworthy's "sweet Newton" declaration may have made her sound better educated than she actually is. During Ellen's schooling, mentions of "Newton" had nothing to do with the inimitably polymathic Sir Isaac, and everything to do with the miraculous work of James Henry Mitchell and Charles M. Rosen.

In 1891 Mitchell invented a double-funneled pump extrusion system allowing a continuous tube of dough to be pumped out pre-filled with a similarly-continuous cylinder of something else. That same year, Rosen used the machine to create tubes filled with fig jam, which he then cut and baked into cookies. The company to whom Rosen sold the recipe named those cookies after a nearby town—a town which has never been notable for its production of figs, cookie dough, or double-funnel pumped extrusion systems, let alone 17th-century polymaths.

So, yes, Captain. She WAS talking about the fig cookie, but she was using it as an epithet. How the 1200-year-old, double-funnel-extruded, fig-jam treat ended up as an exclamation of despair is a different story altogether.


Elf: Hang on. . . How do we know Xinchub is telling the truth?
TAG: Biological tell-tales appear to check out. Also, elements of his story can be corroborated.
TAG: Ennesby has been querying public repositories regarding pertinent names, places, dates, and events. Xinchub has either crafted a lie with 10,000 pages of credentials, or he's telling the truth.
Elf: Oh. . . Oh sweet Newton NO!
Elf: TAG, you and Ennesby walked into a trap.
TAG: I. . . hmm. . . I see. Sorry.
Captain Tagon: You're not talking about the fig cookie? Please tell me you're talking about the fig cookie.