Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Return To Sender

Christmas 2005 is now but a memory and people everywhere are once again facing the problems of the world. There is one question that hangs heavily over many a household at the moment: what should be done with the fruitcake? Before you throw it away, consider the following report by H I’s food critic, Pierre Mangetout.

The History

Fruitcake, similar to Christmas pudding in the UK, was invented by the Romans for use as catapult ammunition. During the Second Dacian War (91 AD) the enemy city of Sarmizegetusa was flattened by volleys of fruitcakes. After the Dacians surrendered, vast numbers of these missiles were returned to Rome and used to build Trajan’s Column.

The next time this Christmas delicacy appeared in history was in 1879 when an almost complete fruitcake washed ashore on the island of Saipan. The Royal Navy immediately launched an investigation and found that the fruitcake in question had drifted to Saipan from Blackpool, England. The 9,000 mile trail of great white sharks with severe indigestion and missing teeth was a vital clue. After strenuous enquiries, Chief Inspector Reggie Munroe of the Lancashire Constabulary charged a Mrs Mildred Witherspoon of 9 Wellington Close, Kirkham, with polluting Her Majesty’s oceans.

The modern era of the Christmas pudding seems to have dawned with the introduction of mail order fruitcakes in 1913. The Ringling Brothers Circus popularised sending them as holiday presents. (Apparently US Postal regulations barred sending elephant droppings in the mail.)

Genuine Fruitcake

HI has used all of its investigative resources to determine the characteristics of a genuine fruitcake. Our hazardous material laboratory (located in the kitchen in Big Bubba’s Bait Shop and Bar, Pungo, Virginia), reports the following: ‘Genuine fruitcake has the same atomic mass as a collapsed dwarf red star and twice the density. It is impervious to most materials but can be sliced by any sawmill equipped with a diamond-carbide steel cross cut blade. It has a half-life approximately 11 times that of uranium-235. It is estimated that 98.73% of all the fruitcake ever produced is still in existence.’

Meanwhile, at HI’s Food Standards Testing Centre (located above the gents’ in the Pig & Whistle, North London), Deputy Testing Officer Miles Frobisher reports that .0001 ounce of fruitcake delivers 100% of the annual recommended dosage of fruitcake. ‘Unfortunately the lads at the bar haven’t taken to the Christmas pud and vinegar crisps’, added Frobisher. Further experiments were curtailed as the 7 ton shipment of fruitcake sent to Darfur for field testing was returned untouched.

So before you decide to throw your fruitcake away consider the history and complexity of this rare treat. (Consider that it’s also illegal to dump nuclear waste at the community land fill.) Your fruitcake is a gift that keeps on giving. Someone gave it to whoever gave it to you. Give it to someone else next year. In the spirit of Christmas, get even.


Blogger Ananke said...

My God, that's a chillingly accurate description of a fruitcake and its many, many uses. I should have known the Romans were to blame. ;-)

2:06 PM  
Blogger xianfu said...

Hmm fruitcake...do u have to write down the history..It's like another history claSS..lol Im just kidding..Glad to have some nice information.. "p.. kk ciao!!!

7:22 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

I am actually of the opinion that there are only 20 fruitcakes in the entire world and that they keep circulating because everyone's scared to throw them away. Clever history lesson.

(I got here through BlogExplosion.)

12:53 AM  
Blogger birdwoman said...

My mother actually likes that foul stuff. I wanna know, what exactly are the green and red "fruits" in the cake?

Man that stuff is foul. And I know my fowl.


1:14 PM  
Blogger birdwoman said...

Oh, and I just saw another blog entry that fits right in...


2:51 PM  

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