A holiday crisis


Filed Under General on Dec 23 

I’m sure there’s some way I could weave the traditional Bears-Packers game (played the way football was meant to be played – subzero temperatures on a frozen tundra in December) in to a politically themed post, but that would be redundant.

Today I write about a matter of national importance – one which the incoming administration must deal with or risk allowing an already burgeoning crisis to grow into an unmitigated disaster.

I’m not talking about the domestic auto industry’s sudden realization that they spend more on their pensioners than they do on building cars. Neither will I opine about a real estate market where million dollar homes can now be bought from what used to be a child’s lemonade stand with the change in your pocket. No, dear reader, the issue about which I click my keyboard in warning today is one which the very underpinnings of this nation – especially during the holidays.

It’s time to talk about Fruitcake.

Yet again this year I have opened a holiday box from a sender who shall remain nameless. At the bottom of the box was a long slender box wrapped in shiny paper affixed with a bright bow. I opened it and sighed. Again I had been presented with the gift of fruitcake.

What, pray tell, is the use of fruitcake? Who actually eats this stuff? I’ve seen it on party platters, but nobody ever touches it. Never the less, somebody keeps making this abomination.

Mother Cordeiro used to make several loaves of fruitcake every year. As kids we were obliged to participate in the ritual of mixing the various ingredients (candied fruit, nuts, etc) into the large metal bowl until the combined mixture resembled something akin to asphalt. It was then poured in to loaf pans and tossed in the oven where it would bake for about four hours. Then we’d wrap the loaves in aluminum foil and ship them to unsuspecting friends and relatives. Mother Cordeiro would keep a few loaves which my siblings and I would subsequently dispose of. Years later I found a set of improvised shelves in the garage. Instead of bricks separating the boards, fruitcake loaves were used. It made me wonder what other uses could be found for fruitcake. Ballast for hot air balloons comes to mind along with a replacement for the environmentally questionable depleted uranium artillery round.

To the best of my knowledge Mother Cordeiro has abandoned her annual fruitcake production drive. No doubt she’s responsible for the recent cutbacks and layoffs at several candied fruit plants in recent years.

The fruitcake gift I received this year was one of the store bought variety, therefore it came with the required nutritional disclosure sticker. Despite its small size, the fruitcake I received has enough calories to satisfy the caloric requirements of the population of Zimbabwe for six months.

The colossal waste represented by the manufacture, baking, and transportation of fruitcakes in the United States can simply no longer be tolerated. I call upon the incoming Obama Administration to stand up to the candied fruit, nut, and fruitcake lobbies and immediately outlaw this foul substance immediately, if not sooner. The fruitcake cartel cannot be allowed to continue promoting and profiting from its dangerous product.

Now I realize that some of you might have unknowingly become ensnared with fruitcake. Maybe you were at a party and some lowlife co-worker handed you a slice and said “try this, it’ll make you feel good”. Don’t despair. There are twelve-step programs that offer counseling and support for these sensitive issues.

However, if you’re one of those people engaged in the shadowy world of fruitcake manufacture, I implore you to put the spatula down, step away from the candied fruit, aluminum foil, and cardboard boxes and declare your independence from the wicked traditions of your mothers (or in some cases, fathers).

President-elect Obama, step in and exercise the power of your rhetoric to stop this fruitcake insanity. That would be change I could believe in.