When I think of the apocalypse (which I do, because I’ve been watching too many episodes of Supernatural), I imagine it raining some sort of delicious food which I can’t help but eat until it kills me somehow. It wouldn’t be a bad way to go. Call me a positive person.
How I knew that the end was not nigh last Friday night: it was raining food, alright – jaffles, to be exact – but we sometimes had to chase it around the block in order to get at it, except for when it was flying into trees or attacking my partner by unceremoniously hitting him in the face. It was all wrong, and way too funny to be Armageddon. On the other hand, the untimely gale force winds did seem to blow all the way from hell, creating beautiful, jaffle-chasing chaos.
Jaffles, for you poor ignorant readers, are a type of toasted sandwich, their main feature being that the edges of the bread are sealed while toasting to create a piping hot cavity full of cheesy (or whatever) gooey goodness. Almost like a pie, but in bread instead of pastry and obviously far superior. Old fashioned jaffle irons are still considered a bushcraft, err, tool. You put your bread and ingredients inside the cast iron enclosure, which would then be cooked over a campfire. Its medieval predecessor, so I’m told, was the waffle iron. I won’t rant on about that, but feel free to consult Wikipedia.
Back to Friday night. Earlier that week, by chance I found out about this really stupid and really awesome thing that some people were trying to do. I say “some people” because they weren’t a business or anything, just a group of young’uns who thought it might be a good idea to attach jaffles to colourful mini parachutes, call them “Jafflechutes“, and fling them out a window late at night in the middle of the city for paying dunces to try and catch. I was one of those dunces. I’m the laziest 28 year old you’ll ever meet on a Friday night as it’s usually my night-in with the boy, but there’s nothing like a weird food event to drag me out of my hovel.
I never got my jaffle in the end. The assumption is that it was one of the many that sacrificed itself to the Magnificent Jaffle Tree, which by the end of an hour looked like it was actually spontaneously growing those piping hot, toasted, filled sandwiches (*sigh*, if only!) But I’m also not convinced it wasn’t some hangry bastard who, after losing his own jaffle and catching mine, decided to eat the evidence.
It was a good time, though. The air was ripe with excitement, laughter and exasperation… and probably a little nervousness towards the end of the night when the police drove up just as a bright blue jafflechute landed right in front of their car. Oops. They couldn’t figure out what had happened so apparently, they just drove off. Honestly, I’m not too sure these good jafflechute folks had the required, errm, permits, for throwing hot food out windows at paying customers.
The cops weren’t the only confused ones, as a steady trickle of baffled pedestrians and drivers alike passed through Flinders Lane with bewilderment and amusement evident on their faces. Some of those on foot had the added pleasure of one of us overexcited jaffle-dorks breathlessly try to explain to them what was happening. “You see, there’s… jaffles… falling out of the sky… oh you don’t know what jaffles are? You see they’re… toasted… oh never mind, but you see, we’re trying to catch them! But the wind… they’re flying away… Why? Why not? WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME LIKE I’M CRAZY!?!”
One jaffle convention attendee almost forgot her purse in her excitement, but my dear friend Liana called her back as her group was walking off, adding to her kind deed the coining of the phrase “Jaffle people”. Used in a sentence: “Hey, jaffle people! Is this your purse?” Indeed, later that night on Twitter, the Jafflechute HQ guys themselves referred to us patient jaffle catchers as “jaffle people”.
There was also a sense of camaderie between us Jaffle People, as we worked together to get sandwiches down from lamp posts, threw stuff in turn at tree branches, and read and called out each other’s names written on the paper-bagged, string-tied, hot airborne parcels.
We left after about an hour, adrenalised, a little disappointed by my jafflechute-deprivation and suddenly craving homemade jaffles (which, by the way, we actually picked up ingredients for on the way home and actually then made). The night wrapped up after our departure with a bunch of mystery raffle jaffles being released into the swarm. If you caught one of those, it was yours. In spite of the chaotic outcome (or perhaps because of it) a fun night was had by all, at least 80% of the jaffle people had a good feed notwithstanding the hell-wind, and from what I understand, future jafflechute apocaly… er, evenings… are planned for the future.
Sorry about the horrible photos, I was way too excited to take decent snaps, but here’s a video I filmed to keep you entertained.