Naturally the judges Paul--a leonine 49 year old Liverpudlian --and Mary--a patrician 81 year old from Bath--appear to wait out the challenge by eating perfectly executed Jaffa cakes of their own. I was paying them only half of my attention, so I was barely aware of Paul dunking one in his tea.
"Ecccccccch," said B.A. in disgust and I looked up just as Mary said, "We don't do that in the South." This confused me. The South? Like, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee? But Mary is as English as my china pattern. She must have meant not-Lancashire.
"What, did he double-dip?" I said brightly.
"No, he just dipped it in his tea," said B.A.
"It's wrong to dunk cookies in your tea?"
"It's just Not Done."
"But in Canada everyone dunks their cookies in their tea." Or glasses of milk, I might have added, although come to think of it, I only did that because I saw it in ads. I don't actually like mushy cookies, or crumbs in my milk, or a wet sludge at the bottom of my tea cup.
"I guess it's not just the South, then; it's Edinburgh, too," I concluded, but I could tell from B.A.'s unusually steely demeanor that he thinks it ought Not to be Done anywhere.
"You could get away with it if you were an eccentric aristocrat," said B.A.--or something like that--which was a dead giveaway that cookie-dunking is not about region but about The Taxonomy That Must Not Be Named. Meanwhile, I suppose that if you don't have any teeth--having had them all pulled out to save yourself the expenses of future dentistry--cookie-dunking makes complete sense.
However, Paul quite obviously has a tremendous set of choppers and, anyway, dunking a Jaffa cake must be ruinous to the chocolate. I suspect he did it to tease Mary and to create a minor scandal.
Update: I must check with B.A. if he was talking about all cookies or Jaffa Cakes, which aren't really cookies, at least for tax purposes and, of course, Cake Week on TGBB.