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An ode to cupcake craziness

POSTED: July 13, 2014 1:00 a.m.
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HARRIS' RECENT COLUMNS

I’ve never been good at crazes. Some of them were over before I found out.

This week, I heard two stories predicting the cupcake craze was over. This one I knew about.

Two years ago, my wife and I had a layover in New York City. We were actually traveling by train from upstate New York and were going to catch a plane bound for home.

With time on our hands, we decided to store our bags. We found a place that would store your luggage for a fee. The Internet ad sounded promising. The neighborhood left us worried we might never see our bags again.

We stored our bags so we might do a little sightseeing in Manhattan. One of the places my wife wanted to see was a cupcake shop featured on one of those food channels on cable.

A little background: I was a grown man before I knew there was such a thing as “store-bought” cupcakes. I thought all cupcakes were made by somebody’s mama in those little accordion-shaped paper cups.

A New York City store-bought cupcake cost about as much as I made in three hours at my first job.

Oh, they are very rich and, unlike my mama, they did not use Betty Crocker cake mix and a can of icing. This was a very nice cupcake, as far as cupcakes go.

I recently found out you can order fancy New York cupcakes online and they will be shipped to your house the next morning. For the cost of this, you could buy enough Betty Crocker cake mix and canned icing to feed everyone who reads this column.

There are little bakeries in towns and cities everywhere that sell nothing but cupcakes. Beautiful cupcakes will set you back anywhere between $2 and $5 each. TV shows devote a full hour to making star-worthy cupcakes. Sometimes the TV sets at my house are tuned to those shows for the full hour.

The closest I ever came to a cupcake craze was at a friend’s birthday party. His mama was a very creative woman and had plain cupcakes and all the stuff you needed to decorate them.

One of the guests at this cupcake party was a boy who didn’t learn the fundamentals of hand-eye coordination when it came to food. He just slammed stuff at his mouth and used his index finger to scrape the remaining residue from his chin, cheeks and nose into his open mouth.

I believe this to be the last time my friend’s creative mother ever attempted a cupcake-creating event.

The event that had newscasters predicting the downfall of the cupcake craze was the demise of a publicly traded cupcake company. I’ve never invested in cupcakes, except for immediate consumption.

I missed a few crazes in my time, such as the leisure-suit craze. I was just getting mine as they were going out of style. I had one the color of those orange marshmallows shaped like peanuts. I had a silk shirt featuring a woman on seashore looking outward with a spyglass.

I think she was awaiting the arrival of the cupcake craze.

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on gainesvilletimes.com/harris.

 

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