Well, it’s officially not 2006 anymore. Horse heads are hard to come by these days. Legally anyway. Don’t believe me? Just try finding a horse’s head at a butcher shop. Pig, cow, lamb, goat, even deer heads can be easy to come by if you know where to ask. Really, pig heads are as common as a box of macaroni and cheese. But a horse’s head? A fool’s errand, apparently. Better you were off to cut down a tree with a herring.
I contacted every butchery within a 200 mile radius about laying hands on a severed horse’s head and all I dug up was a big goose egg. Undeterred, I made the rounds at all the stables and horse farms in the tri-state area. Zilch. I can, however, tell you that asking breeders about severed horse heads is just a little too near the knuckle. Didn’t work any better when I changed tack and mouthed “cabeza” while pantomiming a slit throat either. From there, I considered going whole hog and just buying a horse outright. Take the head and toss the rest, that sort of thing. But it was a lot of red tape and, as I was now blacklisted at every horse farm in the tri-state area, not a very promising enterprise. And I didn’t trust feral horses. Not after that time at the nuclear power station.
Where’s a gift horse when you need one? I flirted with the notion of substituting a pony’s head, although that was really playing ducks and drakes. Taxidermy presented an interesting avenue: hollow it out and whip up a Providence piñata. Unfortunately, my explosives guy was out of town and I didn’t know anyone else I trusted ready to work on short notice. Plus the taxidermist seemed somewhat unglued when I asked about filling the piece with C4 and ball bearings. Admittedly, it was a bit much — I only wanted to needle the guy, not shatter him into a thousand tiny pieces.
On a whim, I put in calls to a couple of glue factories. Bust. Only all hides and hooves, they told me. I thought the dog food companies might play ball, but that proved to be a dead end too. Even with my inside man at customs, importing a horse head from Argentina was prohibitive: too many mouths wanted a taste and, more importantly, too much time. I couldn’t overnight the thing and every second that that fork-tongued rat lived thinking I believed in a baked goods underworld left me down in the mouth. I needed to squeeze him yesterday.
I was in the wrong box on this one. Horse heads were out, no longer part of the equation. A part of me wanted out too – without a horse’s head in my pocket my godfather math didn’t add up. Still, I wasn’t left with much choice. No, there was nothing to do but take the next step, close my eyes and think of England. Bette Davis Eyes was going to tell me how many beans make five even if all I could manage was slipping a Klan hood fashioned from an old Star Wars sheet set over his lawn gnome to let him know he was in my bad books.
So, I knew what I wasn’t going to do. Then, I got an idea.
I wish to withdraw my previous post regarding cupcakes. Please delete it from your mind. There is no underground cupcake cabal — it does not exist. It was an ill-conceived and dangerous fabrication based on spurious information. Sure this blog isn’t the wheel-horse of investigative journalism, but that doesn’t give me the right to peddle lawless apocrypha. I really put my readership in the stew. People could have been hurt. Over what — cupcakes? And why? Because I took a handful of wooden nickels from a crooked finger without doing the pains? Well, that fat mouth isn’t going to lead me down the garden path and just get away with it. I can guarantee you that much. I’ll get him, stick his hand in a blender, blow up his goldfish. I don’t know. Send him a message. Something. It won’t be a trip to Cleveland, that’s for sure. I’d like him to try to give me the soft soap again — I’ll tie his kidneys in a Pratt knot and make him wear them to a fancy dinner party.
Still let’s assume for a moment that such a hole-and-corner cupcake outfit did exist — a half-literate, rank and file idiot-stick with a blog is going to bulldoze it? Were I a little more critical this obvious fact might have prevented me from making this mistake at all. Somehow I was able to get up in the kool-aid of a secretive social club without the aid of dynamite or disguise? Not even a fake Mark Twain mustache? Just had it laid down for me by some dude and then I go chop it up on the internet? Really? I must have been on the toot. Like a ring-tailed lemur in the streets of Antananarivo after Famadihana. And as though the cupcake mafia’s going to let that pass like everything’s applejacks? Not likely. I’m duck soup to an octopus of that kind. It’d be the big blue pencil for me long before I could breathe a word of it to anyone. Besides, I don’t want that kind of weight.
I don’t mean to be down on myself, but the fact is I was one sandwich short of a picnic here. A cupcake cannon doesn’t mean sweet Fanny Adams. It’s a sledgehammer for cracking nuts is all. Worse yet, it turns out the cake catapulting technology was developed by a t-shirt company, not a sinister set of pastry pirates hired out to the long underwear gang. Yes, the world needs dreamers, but that’s no reason to serve up flank steak instead of London broil. For that I am sorry.
At the beginning it was just a humble, tea-cup sized yellow cake, probably made by leprechauns. Simple, harmless. Shortly thereafter, though, soccer moms factored in and suddenly everything was all bake sales and sprinkles, giving rise to a flock of Augustus Gloops – chubby kids with chocolate all over their faces. Disregarding the childhood obesity, it was still paper-tigers to this point. Some time later, the hipsters jumped on board. What seemed a momentary, dreamlike renaissance, was no more than the ritual slaughter of the goose the laid the golden egg. All the skinny jeans, ironic t-shirts and Pabst Blue Ribbon in the world couldn’t prevent the celebrity chef cartel from piling on, trafficking in $10 cupcakes. Cupcake addiction skyrocketed. The wheels were off. Now: bedazzled handbags, cupcake cars, and diamond encrusted cupcakes – Roman excess never wasted like this.
But all that’s pure subterfuge. A red herring. We stand prisoner to an underground cupcake cabal. We always have. A shadowy syndicate of merciless kingmakers. Not leprechauns. Not home economists. Not kids – fat or cool or both. Not dough punchers. Fat cats with hidden hands. Hidden, ninja-like, hands. Hands with credible assured consumption capability. Hands with heavy artillery. A stockpile of weapons of mass confection – we’re talking the Fat Man. First they will make it rain cake in our mouths like we’re drinking it from a fire hose.