Friday, August 8, 2008

“Chocolate cake”

That’s what the label said. I was on the lookout for a cake to celebrate the birthdays of my son and nephew when I spotted one in the bakery case at the supermarket. It resembled a hamburger and roll, with protruding green and red frosting as the lettuce and tomato. Next to it were long pieces of yellow cake (the fries) and a clump of red frosting (the ketchup).

I couldn't move my cart. I gawked at it like a highway accident, and my thought process went something like this: That is ridiculous! It’s so ridiculous, I should get it. No, it’s stupid, and will taste mediocre, at best. Oh! They have yellow and chocolate versions. I’ll get two!

The kind bakery worker offered to write birthday greetings on both cakes. Yes! Mission accomplished, and I could avoid my planned stop at a real bakery. The night of the party, I asked my daughter to help light the candles. When I revealed the desserts--with some pride, I might add--she actually fell down laughing (and clutched her chest, which was a bit alarming). We eventually composed ourselves and carried the candlelit burgers to the table set for 11. The off-key singing was interrupted by explosions of laughter at the grotesque yet somehow charming dual confections. Orders were taken for yellow or chocolate. My son cut the yellow cake first, then sliced into the one labeled chocolate. It was yellow! Through tears and snorts of hilarity, we discussed the possibility of bringing it back to the store for a refund. The plan was ultimately rejected when my husband pointed out that we would likely be offered a replacement chocolate cake, and who would want that? We didn’t want to eat it; we just wanted to laugh at it.