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Why Did I Ask All My Email Subscribers What Their Favourite Biscuit Is?

For no other reason than: Human Connection™

By emPublished 3 years ago 5 min read
Photo by Lefteris Pachis on Unsplash

Did you know that you can do things without expecting something back in return?

*The audience gasps. Thunder breaks outside the windows. In the distance, a goat screams.*

I know right?

Interactions don’t need be weighted. You can talk to people not to ask for a favour, but just to ask about their lives. You can communicate to share, not to obtain. You can chat knowing that there’ll be no business opportunity at the end of it, no transaction, no IOU, nothing but the nice swirly feeling of feeling nice right there inside of you. You can spread goodness even if you’re feeling bad. You can be kind even in a world that is lesser so. You can give and survive having not received. You can do things without expecting something in return.

You know?

Not everything needs to be analysed. Stripped for parts. To collate data. Not everything you do needs to lead somewhere — because where you are already is enough.

Right here.

With them.

Existing alongside one another and swapping stories.

What the heaven is wrong with that, Pat?

This is pretty counterproductive but, do me a favour would you?

Find a stranger. Or an old friend. Right this second. Whether that’s online or in person or at the reception desk of Google’s headquarters. And when you have, just talk to them. Chatter for a bit. Nothing serious, no pressure, just a little lighthearted conversation. Ask them about themselves, what they’ve been up to, how they’re feeling. Find out what they had for breakfast this morning and if they’ve ever been to Finland. Tell them about yourself a little, too. Be humans, man.

And then, then, when you’re done: it’s time to leave.

That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing less. Just continue on with your day.

Do you feel a little lighter? Is that a tiny smile I see there on your face? Or are you just concealing a sharp bout of trapped wind? Either way you’re feeling something, some little thing, something that you don’t need to channel into an article or a presentation or a scientific review. Something that you don’t need to learn from or put to use or innovate. Something that you have simply listened to, heard, pocketed straight into your heart and now? Now you can leave it there. Check on it from time to time. Blow it kisses and bring it pastries. But that’s it, that’s enough.

Do you understand what I’m saying?

Whoever you were chatting to, whatever you said, the moment is over now. And the value lies right there within that moment. Forget whether you got their Twitter username. Or if you learned where they work. Maybe they didn’t offer you their 35% student discount or refrained from telling you about the latest astrophysics discovery they read up on. Maybe they just grunted in your face.

It doesn’t matter though, because the point wasn’t to gain something, but to exist with them. To be something together, just for a short while, and then to move on.

Sometimes we don’t need to give or take from an interaction. Sometimes the memories, the experience, the emotions are all the souvenir we need. A memento of the moment that we can place right there on our mental mantelpieces simply for decoration. No other reason. Because happiness is enough.

That’s why I asked my subscribers what their favourite biscuits are.

Not because I’m conducting butter-based research. Not because I’m an undercover cop for McVities. Not because I’m soon to appear in a Channel 4 documentary depicting my love affair with Leibniz (though I did write a love letter to them once and win a writing competition as a result).

But simply because I’m curious. Because I fancy getting to know the people who exist alongside me. Because, well, because I wanted to — isn’t that enough?


To showcase my point, here are some of their exact responses (and my corresponding commentary) when asked to input their favourite biscuit. I’m never going to study this data. Nor will I ever exchange it on the dark web to savoury foods servicemen for dirty, crumb-coated cash. I’m simply sharing it here because it made me happy to know what makes my subscribers happy by chewing.

(Spoiler alert, turns out there is a right answer. And very many wrong ones):


  • Jaffa Cake (arguably not a biscuit but the brazenness of this choice alone adds to the flavour)
  • A Big Puffy Biscuit with Honey and Butter (is this a biscuit or a band name?)
  • Oreos
  • Bourbons
  • Balsamic bacon egg & cheese (rogue. I respect it)
  • Digestives
  • Tim Tam. My name is Tim (any opportunity is a branding opportunity am I right Tim Denning?)
  • Mint chocolate
  • Doggie (caninebalism, am I right?)
  • Fresh (more of the existential state of a biscuit than the biscuit itself but hey, better than stale)
  • Chocolate chip
  • White Chocolate Macadamia
  • ? (I suppose it’s a relatively tough question. What can I say, I’m a tough cookie)
  • Viennese swirl!
  • Pan Gocciole (I’m Italian) (biscuits are a universal language. Duolingo could never)
  • The ones I eat (I’m sensing some unresolved issues with your father?)
  • Shortbread
  • Only the edible kinds (ah, here we have a classic case of somebody who’s once taken a bite out of a plastic kid’s food. Been there my friend)
  • Biscoff
  • Don’t have one (enter: me)
  • I hate you cuz you know how to use an eyeliner. And no, I don’t want you to teach me! 😂 (definitely not a flavour I’ve heard of. Very niche. Not sure it’ll fit on the packaging though)
  • Custard creams
  • McVities Dark Chocolate Digestives for my pretentious healthy ass (the capitalisation of the biscuit brand suggests it’s also the name of your firstborn child)
  • Hobnobs
  • Southern U.S. (w/ gravy) (America frightens — and intrigues — me)
  • You (because I’m tasty? And fattening? And pocket-sized? Or because you want to dunk me into boiling hot water? Watch me crumble? Dissolve? Fall apart? Or because I’m round? Pretty common? Cheap? Oh I get it. It’s because I’m tiny and sweet but could choke you at a moments notice)

Human connection is better than Virgin Broadband could ever be

Forget “tit for tat.” Sack off “if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” Abandon the whole “quid pro quo.” Just manage your own tit. Itch your own back. Give away a quid and expect nothing in return.

The interaction is enough, not the free gift at the end. Nobody treasures a meal based on the size of the turd afterwards, you know? A meal is enjoyed mouthful by mouthful, moment by moment, whilst inside the moment. Same goes for human connection.

We love people not for what they can offer us, but because they exist alongside us.

We love people because look where the alternative has gotten us.

We love people, all people, every person; not for what they do, but for who they are.


Find out what your dentist’s favourite flavour of ice-cream is today won’t you? Just for the heaven of it.


About the Creator


I’m a writer, a storyteller, a lunatic. I imagine in a parallel universe I might be a caricaturist or a botanist or somewhere asleep on the moon — but here, I am a writer, turning moments into multiverses and making homes out of them.

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    emWritten by em

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