A few years ago, I was your typical office-worker: stressed out, uneven energy, overweight, and inconsistent complexion. Now I'm just your typical 28-year old urban hunter-gatherer on a quest to be healthy, and having a few adventures along the way. See my full bio.
Long-time reader Pablo sends me this article on a little-known menu item at Sprinkles: frosting shots.
"The shots come in mini-paper cups, and are pretty hefty — about 2-3 ounces. The frosting is, in fact, so thick that you can hold the shot upside without anything falling out— kinda like a Dairy Queen Blizzard.
It is the perfect size for frosting addicts..."
Yes, kinda like a Dairy Queen Blizzard. Or the filling of a Twinkie. Of course, no upper class person would be caught dead eating a Twinkie or coo'ing over a Dairy Queen Blizzard.
Sprinkles is the same evil mastermind behind the 24-Hour Cupcake Machine, which threatens the very fabric of Western Civilization. Perhaps Project Cupcake Batter will get more respect if I model it on the efforts of JoséBové, the French farmer who attacked the corporatist incursion of McDonald's into France and went to jail for actually destroying a McDonald's. Lesson learned: I was being too nice.
I don't think people realize how deadly serious I am. I have a mortal enemy for all eternity: gourmet cupcakes. And it is a fight to the death.
Here's the final duel from Rob Roy. I'll let you figure out which character represents me and which one represents gourmet cupcakes, lethal beneath its frippery.
Well, it's time for some special ops. Here is the facebook page for 24-Hour Sprinkles. It's time to ridicule, shame, and ostracize these high-end sugar-holics. So go to their page and let 24-Hour Sprinkles know what you think.
Here was my first comment:
John - "This is a harbinger of the End of Days."
James - "Yep"
24 Hour Sprinkles - "We can't wait to see you in a few days when 24-Hour Sprinkles starts dispensing freshly baked cupcakes!"
Apparently, they're going to kill us with kindness.
A few ground rules:
No vulgarity or profane language
Don't insult people
Don't spam (such as posting 50 comments in a row)
Be funny, teasing, honest, mocking....stuff like that
I recommend teasing the women and teasing/shaming the men (there's a double standard when it comes to shaming)
The funnier you are, the more you can get away with
The facebook page probably has low traffic, so it may be better to comment on existing threads of the most obnoxious commenters
Don't forget to like the comments of people on our side
Here are some ideas:
So this is like a cigarette machine for cupcakes, right?
Twinkies for rich people!
OMG, I think I have a GF who got mugged there!!!
Is it true that you stock the machine with your day-old cupcakes?
I hope there's a 24-hour toothbrush dispenser
Decadence. [They'll think it's a positive comment]
Dude, get a grip [to a man]
[Post a study on oxytocin and comfort food]
Could you please talk about the hygiene of the machine?
I heard the machine is a old retrofitted 24-hour kielbasa dispenser
If only they had a 24-hour cat dispenser! LOL!!!!!!!!
If only they had a 24-hour boyfriend dispenser! LOL!!!!!!!!
If only they had a 24-hour husband dispenser! :(
Does your employer know you post comments in gourmet cupcake forums during company time?
Gourmet cupcakes go right to my hips, but I luv them anyway! haha LOL!!! [to a girl]
Honor, respect, and status for the funniest messages you post. They're probably going to take them down at some point, so make sure you remember what you said or take screen shots if it's really that good.
There are dark moments in history, when the forces of evil are on the march, laying waste to entire nations, leaving nothing but death, destruction, and desolation in their wake. The silence of the dead and the wailing of the wounded suffocates the stillborn hope of the survivors. I am, of course, referring to the unprovoked aggression of the Gourmet Cupcake Overlords Overladies against all health-loving, proud, self-respecting, and free peoples of the world.
And in such moments, rare individuals are called upon to say and do great things, unlikely heroes drafted by history. Joe Queenan, author and humorist, has just written a truly inspirational call to arms, words that, when we prevail -- and we will prevail -- will be recited in classrooms by our children's grandchildren. Below are a few choice quotations.
On historical legacy:
"Like the Macarena, Tofutti, the pedestrian scooter, the urban cowboy look of the early 1980s and America's brief, misguided obsession with Paris Hilton, the era when the cupcake was in the ascendant deserves to be consigned to the dustbin of history. What a nightmare it has been."
On marriages that serve gourmet cupcakes at the wedding:
"My own belief is that a marriage that begins with the cupcake can only end with the Cheez Doodle, that a marriage conceived in frivolity will find its natural climax in tragedy."
On American Greatness:
"There is a subversive element at work here, too. The cupcake, to me, symbolizes compromise and acquiescence, a retreat from American greatness. The scaled-down cupcake—minuscule, inconsequential, silly—is a Carter-era bagatelle. It is frou-frou. It lacks muscle, sinew, cojones. It signifies that the cupcake eater, in the words of the immortal Warren Zevon, appreciates the best but is settling for less. Warren Zevon was never, ever seen eating a cupcake. He went to his death denouncing the cupcake. Or so I am told."
So poignant, so powerful. I stand in awe, my resolve strengthened, committed to the death. The full piece is here, worth reading now, and worth reading out loud on the 4th of July each year. No longer an American Independence Day, but an Independence day for all humanity. The day when humanity said No more. The day when we declared our freedom.
*** We interrupt your regularly scheduled program for a breaking news announcement ***
POLICE HUNT FOR CUPCAKE RAGE WOMAN AFTER SHOP WRECKED!!
Not from the Onion:
AN ANGRY woman wrecked a cake shop – because they had run out of her favourite flavour of cupcake.
Police were yesterday hunting the blonde woman accused of trashing the shop in the centre of Cardiff after being told: “Sorry we’ve sold them all.” The woman lashed out in fury at Sugarswirlz in Dominions Arcade, when she was told the £2.20 “sweet-tooth fairy cakes” had all gone. She dived behind the counter to grab shocked owner Sally Dodd by the hair. Staff and customers had to duck for cover as she smashed plate glass display units, crashed down shelves and attacked a stand full of creamy cupcakes. The irate woman then started to throw cupcakes round the shop – aiming them at shoppers and staff in the fit of cake-rage. Police are appealing for help to trace the woman, who fled with her two young sons at Sugarswirlz cake shop in the middle of the Welsh capital.
What flavor of cupcake could seduce someone to lose their mind? Red-velvet?
“It is called the sweet tooth fairy cake and is very popular."
The sweet tooth fairy? She sounds like the evil half-sister of the tooth fairy.
"I’ve never seen anything like it. You expect a certain amount of risk running a bar or a pub but not in a cupcake shop.”
Second, Citibank asks "What's your locavore story?" -- suggesting that eating a gourmet cupcakemakes you a locavore. Huh? Please explain how eating a cupcake makes you a locavore. I really doubt that the flour and sugar used to make that cupcake came from the area. By Citibank's logic, that would mean that any food product that you buy makes you a locavore, because you bought it in geographical proximity to your body. It doesn't make any sense.
Third, in the small print on the lower right, it reads: "Eat local and bank local at our new flagship Citibank branch at 14th Street and Broadway." Okay, so now Citibank will have you believe that Citibank is a local bank. I'm as pro-free enterprise as they come (not that Citibank is a sterling example of free enterprise), but this is just over the top.
I suppose there is a sort of logic to the ad. It's just as ridiculous to think that banking at Citibank is some sort of local action, as scarfing down over-priced gourmet cupcakes makes you a locavore.
Today is a dark day. A day that will live in infamy. Searches for "cupcakes" have overtaken searches for "bacon". The world turned upside down.
This cannot stand. This will not stand. This is a wake-up call to every honest man or woman, of sound constitution and character, clear-eyed, and strong of body and will, to resist this rapacious scourge on our families, towns, nation -- and our very species.
I hereby pledge that I will not rest until this odious state of perversion is reversed, and cupcakes are knocked from their pedestal of adulation.
Join me. Join the fight. Not simply a battle for your waist line. BUT A WAR TO SAVE OUR HUMANITY. No surrender, no mercy.
You know my position on gourmet cupcakes: evil of the purest form. Princess of Comfort Foods. Harbinger of Civilizational (Tooth) Decay. Which is why you may be surprised to hear me defend some cupcake makers. Get this:
"When Andrew DeMarchis and Kevin Graff, two 13-year-olds from Chappaqua's Seven Bridges Middle School, set up shop at Gedney Park on a fall weekend last month, they were expecting a tidy profit. Instead, the two wannabe entrepreneurs selling cupcakes, cookies, brownies and Rice Krispie treats baked by them for $1 apiece got a taste of cold, hard bureaucracy. New Castle Councilman Michael Wolfensohn came upon the sale and called the cops on the kids for operating without a license."
Welcome to the regulatory state. Where you need a license to live. What a great lesson to teach our children: don't bother. Don't bother taking a risk, starting a little business, and learning how to turn a profit. Pack up your enterprise, turn off your ingenuity, and go play some video games.
Shame on Michael Wolfensohn. But Wolfensohn was just following the rules. The rules are the problem. A bad set of rules looks like this: everything is illegal, with the exception of complex specified licensed activities. Good rules: everything is legal, with the exception of a few simple specified illegal activities.
Taalib-Din Abdul Uqdah v. District of Columbia. The DC Board of Cosmetology (whatever that is for) tried to impose the 1938 Cosmetology Code on Uqdah's traditional African hair-braiding business. Something tells me the 1938 bureaucrats who wrote the code didn't have African hair in mind. It's a Medieval guild system.
Kalish v. Milliken. "Anyone in Virginia can do yoga, and anyone can teach yoga. But, incredibly, it is illegal to teach people to teach yoga. Yoga-teacher training is just the latest target of vocational school licensing laws that require countless entrepreneurs to ask the government’s permission before opening their mouths."
Meadows v. Odom. "Why would the Louisiana Horticulture Commission force a florist to either throw away seven perfectly fine floral displays or be fined $250? Because would-be Baton Rouge florist Sandy Meadows, like so many other women, has been unable to pass a highly subjective State-mandated floral exam—an exam graded by existing florists in the state who have a vested interest in keeping her out of work."
The DC Board of Cosmetology? The Louisiana Horticulture Commission? These bureaucracies are parasites. And the people who work there are parasites. It's terrible that we have to even assert this, but people have a right to make an honest living.
1. My post got picked up by Gawker Media's Jezebel here, and again here. I got a little flak for being sexist (and it's true, I was) -- but hey, I didn't force these bakeries to design limited edition Sex and City cupcakes or wrap them up in little pink boxes. The businesses seem to know the sex of their core customers. (Men and beer are just as bad, as Jezebel points out.)
3. Cupcakes now have multiple TV shows. Food Network's Cupcake Wars is joined by DC Cupcakes. You can imagine all the plot twists -- maybe they'll run out of a popular flavor! Oh right, on the first episode there is a RED VELVET CRISIS. OMG, we're out of red velvet cupcakes. How could we run out of red velvet cupcakes on the day that the cameras are here and only two hours after I told you on camera that we better not run out of red velvet cupcakes today. The Washington Post pans it. But I'm sure it will do great.
There’s also something unsettling at the heart of cupcake culture. A recent visit to one of the many cupcake bakeries in London saw it packed with women in their thirties, cooing over the cutesy, calorie-jammed treats as if they were newborn babies, which for many is part of the problem. “What frustrates me is the way cupcakes have been so completely embraced by otherwise sensible adult women,” says the food blogger Sophie Jordan. “Glitter, heart-shaped sprinkles, pink frosting: these are the most infantilised baked goods imaginable.” It seems the fact that cupcakes now represent a lifestyle choice, rather than just a nice bit of cake, is causing some serious bad feeling, with one dissenter describing those who like them as “the kind of women who speak in baby voices to their partner”.
Starting in the 90s and accelerating in the past decade, gourmet cupcake stores have popped up everywhere. Magnolia, Crumbs, Sprinkles. Do we really need stores devoted entirely to cupcakes? No, we don't.
Gourmet cupcakes are evil. Not just bad, over-hyped, or unhealthy -- evil. Here's why.
A cupcake is a miniature cake. Cakes are for special occasions and celebrations: birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings. We eat cake at times that have meaning and purpose. Times when it is natural to want to feast and indulge. Mama Rose, my lovely grandmother, always made a stunningly delicious angel food cake with coconut shavings on our birthdays. It was out of the ordinary, and it signified and enhanced the greater meaning of our celebration (comfort food).
Enter the cupcake. A mini-cake in a little cup. Not only is the cupcake a physically smaller version of a cake, but it also requires less psychological justification to eat it. It's cake's casual cousin, and it can be eaten just for fun. The very act of eating a cupcake can be the cause of the mini-celebration. Rather than having a special occasion that merits indulgence (birthdays, weddings), the act of indulgence is the cause for celebration.
And here's the kicker. There used to be a stigma to eating cake on ordinary days. And there still is, to some extent. Few people go around eating cake on a regular basis. Nice cakes are too big, too expensive, too luxurious. The challenge that the cheap, standard grocery-store cupcakes always faced is that they were too cheap, too standard, too inexpensive. They weren't special enough -- conscience and the last vestiges of social stigma could outweigh enjoyment. But when gourmet cupcake makers fancied cupcakes up a bit and started charging $3.25 a pop, it provided that little excuse: "Now THIS is a special cupcake." And eating this gourmet cupcake is a special occasion. It's all backwards. Evil, thy name is comfort food.
Comfort food is a mood-booster. Kind of like a little drug. Actually, exactly like a drug. One day we will call comfort food by it's true name: a sugar addiction. A manageable drug addiction that won't bankrupt you, won't put you out on the streets, and may not have noticeable health consequences for 20 years or more. Kind of like smoking. But it's a drug addiction nonetheless. And just like cocaine is the upscale version of crack, gourmet cupcakes are a rich girl's Twinkie.
What happens if people don't get their fix? Beware the man who gets in between a Manhattan woman and her gourmet cupcake. Get your Sex and the City cupcakes here.