Before I get to the cake I have to go to the bathroom. I know this is revealing WAY too much but this new technology is presenting a brand new opportunity for blogging. We’ve all kept a phone conversation going during a visit to the w.c. I’ve even taken care of business with an xbox controller in one hand and a beer in the other while talking on the attached headset to Paul during a multiplayer all-nighter. But commode posting is a first for me and I’m glad ya’ll are here to share it with me. oooh. I have a new ambition. To commode post on a composting toilet. There is one at the Montford community garden that looks like something from the smurf village. This is do-able.
Back to the, sorry, Chocolate Cake. Turns out that while drunkenness was a factor it was not the prime motivator. To get some backstory on the cake reference you have to check out my OTHER blog Pencil and Blade. PB is supposed to be devoted to sawdust creating endeavors but there was an initial mixup that I’m trying to set straight by moving the thread to this blog.
The chocolate cake was a birthday cake made by the culinary artist known as Lisa. Turns out that 3 out of four people we know and love here in A-ville were born in the month of May. It’s like being born close to Christmas. Nobody really gets individual attention. So this particular birthday cake was being shared by 4 fully grown birthday girls. And this particular party was being held in the mexican style.
Mexican-style birthday parties require 3 main ingredients- tequila, silly games, and direct face to frosting contact. 2 of the 3 are holdovers from children’s parties and the 3rd I’m sure is always present just not available for child consumption. One thing I’ve learned about the wisdom of old mexico is that where there’s sweet there must be sour. Mainstream American culture is all about sweetness and party favors and creating a forcefield of bliss around a child. Mexicans adhere to more of an old-school realist philosophy. Theory goes that we live in a tough world (Mexico) and children should be innoculated by just a spoonful of bitter to keep that sweetness in perspective. And so they put spice (and more than a little lead) in candy, and on mango and melon. And you’re going to have all kinds of outrageous fun at your party and be treated like a princess but at some inevitable point every year until way past the point you’re old enough to know better your face is going to be driven into your birthday cake by the very friends and family who’ve gathered together to celebrate your life.
This time honored Charlie Brown kicking Lucy’s football ritual is called the Mordida, the bite. After everyone gathers around you and the cake to sing las mananitas, the mexican birthday song, every man woman and child present begins to chant MORDIDA!, MORDIDA!, MORDIDA!, until you summon up the courage to attempt a hands-free bite of delicious hopefully tres-leches cake. I recommend tres leches b/c it’s delicious and allows for a both softer and more dramatic impact experience. Of course before the birthday girl can get her head back into an upright position and enjoy this first sweet bite her face is not-so-gently mashed into the dessert.
I’m part Mexican by marriage and travel and love but I have never been subjected to this rite. Ada says that every year there’s some sliver of her brain that holds out some hope of pulling off the impossible stunt that is the mordida. It’s never been done in the history of mexican birthday parties, and yet the hope remains. They are an optimistic people, Mexicans, and in this day and age all the inoculation to sourness and the ability to enjoy sweetness despite disappointment is handier than ever.
What was unusual about this birthday was how many faces this one cake had to receive. I think only 3 made it into the cake b/c a certain sly lady, lets call her Carena, made herself scarce at the critical moment. Still, 3 faces is alot for one cake to absorb. Luckily it was a big enough cake and small enough party for everyone to get a face-free piece.
There is always a sadistic partygoer who seems to relish active participation in the mordida a little more than is justo y necessario, just and/or necessary. This person can be found year after year lurking directly behind the birthday boy or girl with a wicked gleam in this case her eyes. Let’s call this person Miriam, because that’s her name. At this particular party there was a heroic moment when a tequila empowered Miriam leapt luchadora style into the air in order to sieze the considerably taller head of lets call her K2, because we do, (not b/c she’s so tall but because there are two Karinas although one of them is a Carina) and pile-drive K2’s face into the fluffy white impact zone. Dear lord I wish I had that moment on video and could share it with you in slow motion. Please please if anyone can get me that video I will drive my own face into a cake at any time or place.