The Deep-Fried Cabbage in Margarine Conspiracy Theory

Just because we're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get us The "X" File

In a storeroom at Ready, Steady, Chuck! headquarters, behind a pile of boxes full of Tupperware and empty whisky bottles, stands a slightly rusty metal cabinet that once held important documents. Today, all it contains is a single, thin, slightly Miracle Whip-smeared manila folder with, on its cover, a white sticky label written with the legend "X". Within this folder, its mysterious content is hidden from the world, securely fastened with a perished rubber band and two of those sticky things used to tie up plastic bags of sliced bread. We now know that this folder conceals a terrible, dark secret - a secret that, if it were true, would shake the foundations of the Ready, Steady, Chuck! world - a secret that, if it were true, hints at a wider, darker, conspiracy that implicates powers and individuals that would doubtless wish to remain incognito - a secret that, if it were true, would reveal as-yet unidentified organisations whose agendas are so dark and secret that even when revealed are likely to remain unfathomable to those that live everyday lives in the normal world.

The label on that file has been stuck on so as to conceal a simple phrase, the implications of which are alone a revelation: "Ready, Steady, Chuck! Challenge, 2001".

2001 Challenge? What 2001 Challenge?

It remains a mystery to all the celebrity chefs at Ready, Steady, Chuck! headquarters as to how it could have been possible that their collective memory of the 2001 Challenge has been wiped clean. Unaided, none are able to recall a single detail of that year's event, of the shopping, cooking and judging, even of the recipes that they would have surely created and prepared themselves. And all of this would have remained hidden from their minds were it not for the hint of recall of a dish that lives in Ready, Steady, Chuck! legend as but a memory of a rumour, and which is known by the name of Deep-Fried Cabbage in Margarine.

When the memories of the Ready, Steady, Chuck! chefs are nudged by the mention of this dish, only then do they begin to remember. After they have finished shuddering, they ponder further, because it is not clear when this recipe first came about, and even then, they have no memory of the challenge during which that dish was created. Chef Andrew was certainly responsible - on this all chefs agree. And so, it was assumed that the cabbage necessary to prepare Deep-Fried Cabbage in Margarine was part of another year's event. Thus Chef Andrew was disqualified from the 2005 Challenge. However, close examination of photographs dating from 2005 reveal an obvious absence of cabbage amongst Chef Andrew's ingredients. Did he edit the photographs? There is no evidence of that. Or did he originally choose to pose without the cabbage? But why would he have done so? No, the investigation sparked by Chef Andrew's appeal is drawing ever closer towards its inevitable and inescapable conclusion: there's something funny going on.

The Evidence

As the investigation proceeds, more evidence is coming to light. Chef Andrew, who has always maintained his innocence (though, in fairness, he does this when he knows he's guilty too), recalls suggestions of an accompaniment of other, less cabbagey ingredients. Chef Al has flashbacks of suppressed memory hinting that he cooked something very bland that same year. And in the depths of sleep, Chef Andy has recurring nightmares of Miracle Whip amongst his ingredients again - but that has nothing to do with this story. More significant is the suggestion that a photographic record of the creation of Deep-Fried Cabbage in Margarine exists, in the form of video tapes from a bygone, analogue, age.

At the time of writing, and with so little to go on, the investigation is concentrating on merely searching for evidence of rumours of the existence of The Lost Tapes, or evidence of rumours of their suppression. But reader, be assured, as and when any such evidence is uncovered, news of it will be posted here.

The Theories

As to who, or what, is responsible for these mysterious goings on, senior staff at Ready, Steady, Chuck! headquarters remain baffled. However, of the many theories that have arisen, the following are considered the ten most likely:

  1. The action of deep-frying cabbage in margarine results in the release of a powerful neurotoxin that causes mass long-term memory loss of anyone within the area of influence.
  2. Biochemistry researchers at Bangor University undertaking work to develop powerful memory-wiping neurotoxins by extracting them from cabbage/margarine distillates became aware of Chef Andrew's creation, and thinking that he was competing with them, deliberately sabotaged his work and wiped the collective minds of all the witnesses present.
  3. A representative of the multinational arms company responsible for financing the neurotoxin research at Bangor became aware of the attempts of researchers to suppress competition and, fearing that the wider public would become aware of this work if they didn't do anything, and of the ease of creating such substances simply by deep-frying cabbage in margarine, took it upon themselves to take the secret, wipe the collective minds of all those present, and just for good measure and to save money wipe the minds of the University researchers as well.
  4. A rival company, keen to keep ahead of its competitors, who knew them to be financing neurotoxin research, discovered what was going on, wiped everyone's minds, and took the secret of deep-fried cabbage in margarine for themselves.
  5. Welsh agents of MI5, who had been watching the two rival companies with interest, stepped in and wiped everyone's minds so as to prevent the secret of deep-fried cabbage in margarine being controlled by the private sector.
  6. Senior government officials from a secret organisation based somewhere in Whitehall stepped in to wipe the minds of everyone involved, including the Welsh MI5 operatives, to ensure that there was no risk that the secret of deep-fried cabbage in margarine would fall into the hands of terrorists such as radical Welsh nationalist groups.
  7. Under the instruction of the CIA, who had been watching everything by satellite, the secret of deep-fried cabbage in margarine was categorised as a Weapon of Mass Destruction and taken into their safe hands. Under new American International Law, the minds of the Ready, Steady, Chuck! chefs, Bangor University researchers, multinational corporations, MI5 and the entire UK government were wiped just to be on the safe side.
  8. Just to be really safe, the Americans took the secret of deep-fried cabbage in margarine and sealed it in lead within its own concrete bunker at Roswell Air Base, Area 51, and wiped the minds of everyone that knew of the existence of the secret including all the CIA staff involved in the process, so that it would remain safe forever.
  9. The super-intelligent aliens from the planet Zog, that have been controlling the USA since the 1950's, chose to take the secret of deep-fried cabbage in margarine and use it to conquer new worlds in Galaxy PS43-938. To prevent against any possible problem, just in case, they made sure that the minds of all the people of planet earth were first wiped clean (again).
  10. We drank too much to remember.