Monday, August 22, 2011

You've Been Cupcaked

I've got to say that it's a pretty wonderful experience to be settling down for an episode of Mad Men after a tasty home-made pizza dinner, only to have the doorbell ring. And when you open the door? Nothing but a lone cupcake in the glow of the front-porch light. 

This situation is precisely what happened to me the other night. I stared at the cupcake--amused and a little baffled, but certainly with a smile on my face. I picked up the cupcake  and underneath was a bit of loose-leaf paper with "youve been cupcaked" scrawled in green hi-liter. I did my best not to bust out my own green hi-liter and add the missing apostrophe--instead I carried the cupcake inside where I could more closely examine it. 

The cupcake appeared to be chocolate, and it was slathered in a light pink frosting. On top of the cupcake was a haphazard red sour straw candy and half a marshmallow. It tempted me with its sugary loveliness and mysterious appearance on my doorstep. 

I sat with my cupcake. Do I dare eat it? Where did it come from? Who knows, it could have been made in a magical kitchen by the likes of the White Queen in Alice in Wonderland. Should I notify someone before embarking on this fulfillment of culinary curiosity?

I sent out my question out to the digital world, but before I'd head any responses I was already half-way though the cupcake. I started by tasting the red sour straw--it seemed harmless enough. I broke off a piece and touched it to my tongue. OK, tastes like candy. That was soon gone. Next I popped the marshmallow in my mouth. Again, all systems clear. Seems safe. Then there was the frosting. Now, if I were going to poison someone, I'd probably hide it in the frosting. The cloying sweetness of frosting would no doubt cover up any attempt at altered ingredients. I trepidly licked the pink frosting... Mmmm, delicious. Next thing you know the whole thing was gone.

At that moment I got a text advising me not to eat mysterious cupcakes on unknown origins. Too late.

It tasted like birthday. Sweet, delicious, surprise birthday. Like the kind of birthday you had in third grade and the whole class got to take a break and enjoy a special treat all in your honor. When cupcakes or cookies or brownies emerged from their careful placement in tupperware containers and were set before you on a festive napkin. And you all sang "Happy Birthday" together anticipating the first bite of processed sugar joy. I could almost hear those voices singing with every taste of my perplexing cupcake. It was pretty wonderful. I even forgot all about the fact that I had no idea where this cupcake originated from.

I'd been cupcaked. And I liked it. 

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