Former chief executive Leung Chun-ying said in a video on social media last week if Hong Kong people want a high degree of autonomy, they must also accept Beijing’s role in selecting candidates for the chief executive. He said we, as Hong Kong people, cannot have our cake and eat it too. The expression “have your cake and eat it too” means to have two good things at the same time that are impossible to have at the same time. It also means to have the good parts of something without having the bad parts. For example, if you want to keep fit, you must exercise regularly and avoid unhealthy foods. You can’t keep fit and eat unhealthy foods daily. In other words, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
What Leung Chun-ying meant was Hong Kong people cannot enjoy a high degree of autonomy without accepting the fact the high degree of autonomy is granted by Beijing. His quote reminded me of many cake idioms. One of my favourites is “a piece of cake”. This means something that is easy to do. For example, it is a piece of cake for racing drivers to pass a driving test. Most people love eating cakes. Cakes are easy and enjoyable to eat for many people. That’s why the idiom means something that is easy to do. I seldom eat cake because of my digestive problems. That’s why eating cake is not a piece of cake for me!
Another expression using the word “cake” is “beefcake”. Men should be interested in this word. It means a good-looking tall man with big muscles. Gyms like to use beefcakes for advertising. Some women only want beefcakes but others prefer intelligent and loving men even though they are not beefcakes. Do women prefer beefcakes or intelligent men? Do men want to be beefcakes or intelligent? I don’t know. Maybe readers can tell me.
前特首梁振英，上星期在社交媒體的一則影片說，若香港人想要高度自治，他們必須接受北京在挑選行政長官候選人上的角色。他說，我們身為香港人，cannot have our cake and eat it too。習語“have your cake and eat it too”，字面意思是「又想擁有蛋糕但又要吃掉它」，意即想要魚與熊掌兩者兼得，但兩者其實不可兼得；它也指，又要馬兒好，又要馬兒不吃草。譬如，若你想健身，就必須恒常運動和戒吃不健康的食物，你不可能又減肥又每天吃垃圾食物，即是你不能兩者兼得，you can’t have your cake and eat it too。
梁振英的意思是，香港人不能享有高度自治，而又不去接受一個事實：高度自治是由北京賦予的。他引用這句話令我想到了許多有關「蛋糕」的成語。其中一個我最喜愛的是“a piece of cake”，意即「小菜一碟」、非常容易辦到的事。譬如，對於賽車手來說，要通過駕駛考試簡直「當食生菜」、容易至極（a piece of cake）。大多數人也喜愛吃蛋糕，對許多人來說，蛋糕易入口，亦很好吃，因此這句成語就是指一件能輕鬆完成的事情。我因為消化問題，很少吃蛋糕，因此吃蛋糕對我來說可不是小菜一碟（not a piece of cake for me）！
另一個用到「蛋糕」的習語是“beefcake”。男士可能會對這個字有興趣，它是指肌肉發達的高大帥哥。健身中心就愛用這些健男（beefcake）去拍廣告。一些女人只喜歡健美的肌肉男（beefcakes），另一些女士則情願要睿智而深情的男士，即使他們並非健美的肌肉男（beefcakes）。女人較喜歡肌肉發達的健美男（beefcakes）還是有才智的男士？男人又想做肌肉發達的健美男（beefcakes）還是聰明人？我不知道，或許各位讀者可以告訴我。 [email protected]
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧