Sunday, December 10, 2017

An interview with a well-traveled fruitcake

Every year around this time my interest turns, as it does for so many people, towards talking to inanimate objects. Today I have with me a fruitcake. 

GW: Greetings, Mr. Cake.

Fruitcake: Pleasure.

GW: Your season has arrived. Are you stoked?

FC: I am. It’s “go” time. I’m ready. I’ve been napping in brandy-soaked cheesecloth for a month.

GW: This is kind of personal. Feel free not to answer, but have you ever been re-gifted?

FC: Dude, re-gifting is my immortality. No one has ever even brandished cutlery in my presence. They always take one look at me, then kind of shudder, and back away.

GW: How many times would you say you have changed hands?

FC: Well, my first memory is the Summer of Love.

GW: O.K. That’s ‘67. So...50 years, 50 times?

FC: Oh, no, it’s more than once a season. Typically I am given by a boss to a secretary, who waits until he is gone and then laughs hysterically with her coworkers over something. Then they all stare at me in what I can only guess is awe, because a lot of them have their mouths open. Then the secretary takes me home and gives me to a cousin who gives me to a coworker and sometimes I end up with a boss again. In 50 years, I’d say I’ve changed hands, oh, 2,000 times. 

GW: And nobody’s taken so much as a nibble.

FC: We have a saying. If you make it through your first Christmas, you’re home free. 

GW: Can I ask you? What are those bright green and red chunks in you?

FC: An inside joke that went about a millennium too far. 

GW: Fruitcakes are known for their heft. I read somewhere that the ratio of the density of the average fruitcake to the density of mahogany is 1:1. 

FC: Don’t buy it. That’s got Little Debbie’s fingerprints all over it. That’s the sponge cake lobby talking right there.

GW: You do seem pretty solid.

FC: Solid does not mean dense. Although you couldn’t tell that from Congress. 

GW: So tell me. What makes a good fruitcake?

FC: Nobody knows. The good ones aren’t still around. In my business, the last thing you want to be is good. Good means gone.

GW: So I assume you’ll be doing some traveling this Christmas?

FC: Oh yeah. New cellophane on Friday, and at the office party I’m on my way to a new home. 

GW: Well, see you next year.

FC: Oh, count on it. 

. . .



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