16 August 2013

The Cupcake Incident

I had to visit a fellow amateur radio operator this morning to pick up some materials to teach a class with this fall. So I was up and at 'em bright and oily this morning - no, wait a minute, I took a shower, but didn't shave, so maybe bright and fuzzy is more apt!

I got in the truck, and saw something sitting on the hood of the truck. This not in and of itself unusual as sticks, leaves, bird crap, occasional rocks, and other natural debris seem to be drawn to my truck's bonnet. I got out and found this, which was definitely not natural debris.
Yes, that's right. A cupcake in a Zip-Loc® bag. With a popsicle stick and sticky note on it. Upon closer inspection, I saw this on the note:
If you're having trouble reading it, it says "Kindness is never a mistake...Please be kind to someone today!"

Nice sentiment. I try to be kind to the people I encounter every day. And generally, they are kind to me back. It's not tough to smile at clerks and waitresses and attendants and secretaries and bosses. I smile at people I pass on the street, and hold doors open for people - male or female. I don't much care about that parking place one slot from the door, I can walk a bit if you want it. It's not hard at all, and quite frankly, elicits more than a few smiles back, some mumbled thanks, and hopefully, I've cheered at least one person up. At the very least, I've treated the people I come into contact with the way I want to be treated. Isn't that the Golden Rule? The one so many "mouthpieces" for so many groups out there have forgotten? So I try.

Here's the next question...Who left the cupcake on my truck? There's no acknowledgement of the baker or the person who left it there. It wasn't there when I went to bed last night about 11PM. And if it had been, I'm quite sure a raccoon or possum or squirrel or dog or bird would have been the one trying to absorb the sentiment attached - as well as the sugar and fat content - rather than me. It was a cool night and morning, so it didn't melt into a mass of chocolate oblivion, but I am guessing that someone left it early this morning. Normally, I'm out of the house by 6:30AM during the summer, so who knows if this would have been left for me if today was a work day. But who was it? I'll be perfectly honest, I don't know my neighbors at all. Steve (I think his name is) is on the right side of my house, I think Frank and his wife are two to the left. The crazy woman is three houses up beside Clarence. But other than guessing at some names, that's about it for neighborhood friendliness around here. I guess it was a roving band of do-gooders, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but seems a bit out of place. There was no religious tract with it, and the cupcake appears homemade.

Which brings up the final question...To eat it or not? There are, of course, two trains of thought on that. One: OH MY GOD NO!!!! YOU CAN'T EAT THAT!!!! You have no idea who made it! What if their kitchen isn't clean?! You don't know what's in it! What if there's a razor in it?! Or cocaine?!? Or poison?!?!?! You'd be stupid to eat something that you had no idea where it came from!!! How dumb can you be? Someone could be trying to kill you, or get you addicted to drugs, or (fill in the blank here with some doomsday scenario). There are people who think this way, who tether their children on Halloween, and after trick or treating at the church gathering or the mall, take the treats to the hospital to be x-rayed (even though in the history of x-raying children's Halloween candy, there has never, that's right, never been an incident of a foreign object in a piece of candy or fruit. There's never been a case of drugs or poison in candy or other treats except one incident in Texas, and that was traced to a head case trying to screw with his girlfriend by messing with her kids, and she figured it out pretty quick. The idiot was arrested. There's the other question of why someone would do such a thing as contaminate cupcakes they leave throughout the neighborhood (I'm assuming I'm not the only recipient, though the way our neighborhood is configured, it can be tough to see other car hoods if you're not looking carefully from the right angles).

The other side of that is...Why would anyone leave a tainted cupcake with a happy message on it? I'm still not sure who has the money (and guts) to bake a bunch of cupcakes and leave them all over the neighborhood, but I'm pretty sure there wouldn't be any nefarious intent to it. I did discover this disclaimer on the back of the sticky note: "This cupcake contains eggs and flour". So there. Covered for bad intentions. It's a quiet neighborhood, we all tend to keep to ourselves a bit, but I think if anyone had actually eaten one, gotten sick and gone to the doc-in-a-box or the ER, they might have figured out what was happening and let us know. "Don't eat the free cupcakes!" There are a lot of people who believe the world is out to get them. And their kids. You know the stick figures you see in the back windows of (usually) minivans? There are people who write to Dear Abby to ask her to warn everyone to take them out of the windows, lest a kidnapper see them, follow them home, stalk them, and kidnap the kids! How many kinds of bad luck would have to come together for THAT to happen?! Yeesh! Walking to school is now too dangerous (it isn't, just look at crime statistics), but parents won't let their kids (and schools won't let the children walk either). Oddly enough, you'd have to walk to school something like 750,000 times before you'd get stranger abducted. At 180 days per school year, that's 4167 YEARS worth of walking. You'd be plenty fit, but most likely, still around to talk about it. You are more likely to be hit by lightning, and definitely more likely to die in a car accident while being driven to school! Yet we don't stop driving our kids everywhere instead of letting them walk to the park two blocks away. Lenore Skenazy, the World's Worst Mom, has a whole blog, a book, and now makes a living stressing that the world is not as dangerous as many make it out to be. You should visit her blog sometime.

Anyway, I'm of the "HEY! FREE CUPCAKE!!!" school! And sure, I'll be nice to someone today, why not? (But I'm not buying the $180 fuel system cleaning and brake system flush that Goodyear tried to sell me while I was getting the oil changed, the tires rotated, and the alignment checked on the Xterra. I'm not that nice!)