Monday, September 19, 2005

Scalzi's Monday Photo Shoot, part 2: the CAKE

Here's the cake that I baked and decorated for Chris on his 6th birthday, when he wanted to be a pirate. See the gold coins decorating the edges of the cake? They're on.

Because Chris and Mike are twins, I always baked two cakes and we always had two parties on their birthday...that's what happens if you're a twin and your mom is studying psychology in graduate school (at least that's my defense). Anyway, that year, as if I didn't have enough to do attending graduate school full time and getting 4 kids settled into 3 different schools - the boys were starting kindergarten; Katharine was starting 7th grade, her first year of junior high; and Alex was starting 10th grade, her first year of senior the midst of all that, in a moment of sheer insanity, I'd agreed to be the den mother for the boys' cub scout den. I get tired thinking of it now, but I was younger then, and had more energy.

Soooooooo...Chris invited all his cub scout buddies to his birthday party, for which he'd chosen a pirate theme. I'd had fun sewing black velvet goody bags and eye patches for every boy. In addition to the other party favors with which I'd loaded the bags, I wanted to add some big gold pirate coins to the goody bags and to the cake.

With this in mind, I went to the grocery store the night before the party. I was so tired I could hardly see straight, but I went looking for the gold-foil covered chocolate coins that are so abundant at Christmastime. It's being August, it appeared there were none to be found.
Have you ever noticed how all grocery stores seem to stock some items randomly? I mean, I've seen bags of those yucky green molded plastic combat soldiers, like the ones in Toy Story, in the middle of a big paper towel display, and little packages of brightly colored barrettes in the middle of boxes of brownies and cake mixes and icings. I'm not talking about individual packages left there randomly by shoppers who've had a change of heart; I'm talking about full-blown displays: multiple cellophane packages hanging neatly from a hook, in juxtaposition to the items all around them.

That night, as I walked down the feminine hygiene aisle, I suddenly saw such a display. I couldn't believe my good luck! There, in the middle of a huge display of assorted brands of tampons and other feminine hygiene products was a display of beautiful bright red velour bags of the gold pirate coins I was looking for! I hurried over and grabbed a dozen of the bright bags, depleting the display, and tossed them into my shopping cart, where they looked festive among the more mundane items like bread and lettuce and frozen chicken.

I noticed that as I finished up my shopping, a couple of other mom-types doing a little late evening shopping like myself looked into my cart with what I interpreted as envy, and I smiled at them, thinking, Ha! it's a good thing I spotted those before anyone else got them! I couldn't help feeling happy and even a bit smug, thinking how excited and proud the boys would be that I'd managed to produce this particular loot. I could imagine them saying, "You're the best, Mom!"

Lost in this pleasant reverie, nevertheless, just before entering the checkout line it occurred to me that I'd better check the price, because no matter how beautifully they were packaged, I wasn't about to buy expensive, imported chocolates for a bunch of 6 year olds.
I felt incredulous and my heart sank when I saw how expensive the chocolates were: $5 for each bag of just 5 coins! Outrageous! What kind of exotic chocolate was this? I picked up one of the pretty bags and examined it carefully, straining to read the fine print on the small tag so I could see why this chocolate was so prohibitively expensive. I felt myself growing warm and knew with awful certainty that my face and neck had just turned the same bright scarlet color as the bags, as the following words, in small print on the tag, came into focus: "...features silicone lubricant, reservoir tip, golden color and a ribbed texture for your pleasure!"

Aaaaaaaaarrrggghhhh!!! I dropped the pouch back into the cart as if it were on fire, and immediately shot a quick look around me, fervently hoping that no one who knew me, even slightly, was in the store. I'd just come close to purchasing 5 dozen "Extra Large! Extra Strength!" condoms, and dispensing them as goody bag party favors from my son to all my 6-year-old cub scouts! What a birthday party that would have been...although I have a feeling I might have gotten out of being their den mother. ;p

My co-leader, the divorced dad of one of the other 6-year-olds, couldn't stop laughing when I told him about it...
Oh yeah, the gold coins on the cake are CHOCOLATE...I swear!


Billie said...

that's hysterical!!! what a party favor that would have been!!!


memes121 said...

Thank you! That was the best laugh I have had in days!

Jackie said...

BWAHAHAAHHAHAH!! That is so funny! Great story! Reminds me of something I would do! lol


Lily said...



OMG... I would die. I would literally drop dead right there lol Oh man... I... oh lol That's so embarrassing lol I'm so glad I'm not you lol I feel so bad for you then lol


Marc said...

HILARIOUS!!!!! I just love when we become so smug with our intellect....just when we feel that we have snatched a small victory for ourselves, we find we really have picked up a bundle of embarrassment!.....Thanks for sharing ....It's good to know I am not the only one who does things like that! Peace Marc :)

Lady said...

How incredibly funny! Sounds exactly like something I would do!

Paul said...

Actually, I believe those items ARE availible in various flavors. Why, I can't imagine.

Sierrajazz said...

That will teach you to read the small print!!!!!!

Paula said...

SO funny...and so well told! That's a great piece of writing--thanks for sharing!

Mrs. L said...

You could have just said the "gold coins" were a new type of balloon. Howie Mandel would back you up on that. Very funny story. Mrs. L