Tiny foe strikes fear into the hearts of many

February 28, 2012

I’ve met my nemesis. This is my Achilles heel, my Waterloo. It was bound to happen, as so many things do, when life is sailing along great.

It’s not as thin and hopeless as the economy. And it’s not as shattering as what’s staring back at you during that first look in the mirror in the morning. It has nothing to do with unemployment, nor is it as deep as some inner-soul duel between right and wrong.

It’s not big as intimidation goes, but it’s a formidable foe. In fact, it is only about an inch high and probably not more than an inch around. You know what I’m talking about - yeah, the miniature cupcake. Forget foreign policy, this thing has taken over the country silently, like a thief in the night, and I don’t think we will ever be the same. It can bring a super power to its knees.

I first met this addiction when I was in another city, a large city, naturally, where addiction lurks around every corner. Oh, it was innocent enough; I was walking by a bakery window, staring at the usual assortment of pies, cakes and breads.

But this was different. It sat on the front shelf, tiny, frail-looking, with a decadent swirl of chocolate surrounding its top like a tiara. It had a little paper covering around the bottom. And of course, these miniatures are never alone; their brothers and sisters, streaming in pink and green frosting, camouflaged the enticement, as if to say, “It’s alright; we come in peace.”

How cute, we all screamed and rushed inside to purchase one. What could be the harm, after all? It was just one tiny little miniature cupcake, maybe two; OK, a dozen it is.

Little did we know the addiction that would grab us around the neck like some drug kingpin and force feed us these tiny sugar creatures until our bodies craved them and begged for more. OK, this is a little dramatic; I just finished reading some novels on confessions.

Still, these critters are not to be taken lightly.

Remember the old pyramid food charts? Well, I don’t either, because I think that was in the fourth grade and I had a crush on Bobby Winters who sat three rows over and wore a Hopalong Cassidy sweatshirt the entire year and let his hatred of girls be known by putting gum in their hair, so I don’t recall much about that period in my life.

I think there was a bottle of Tang and possibly a bread box on that chart, but I can’t be sure. Or maybe that was my own lunch bag. We didn’t pay much attention to food back then anyway. Well, this never would have made the food charts unless it was subliminal. In order to feed my addiction to the miniature cupcake, I have developed a nose that would rival a bloodhound’s or God forbid, a cadaver dog’s.

I can now smell a bakery anywhere within my own ZIP code, that’s how far I have fallen.

I cruise the highways, byways and alleys sniffing and keeping my ears to the ground in case there are miniature crumbs; I watch a lot of CSI and know about these things.

Some people, normal people, stock their refrigerator with staples like bread and milk when there is the possibility of snow or bad weather in the forecast.

Not me. I am proud to say you can find stacks of these miniatures from top to bottom in my refrigerator. Sometimes at night if I have trouble sleeping, I just program my noise machine to the sound of plastic unsnapping, letting loose the cupcakes, like the patented burp used by Tupperware.

I’ve thought long and hard over this and have come to the conclusion that all things considered, good things do come in small packages, or doilies, so let it be. I’m just saying.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.