A holiday fruitcake has successfully changed hands every Christmas season for a century.
The centennial confectionery’s life started in 1916, when it was originally baked in a small shop in Claxton, Georgia. It was first donated to a family in need who looked at the cake and thought it would make a great centerpiece. Months later during its first holiday season, it was re-gifted to family friends who accepted the inedible slab with a nervous, but accepting chuckle. According to legend, the man who accepted the cake leaned over to his wife and reportedly said, “We did get them coal for their stocking didn’t we?”
Over the next few years, the cake became useful to many subsequent families as a door stop. It spent a brief time in the media industry when it was abandoned at a newsstand in New York. The agent who worked the stand used it to stop his papers from blowing away.
By this time in the cake’s timeline, the country was gripped by The Great Depression, and the cake was stolen by street rats. Fortunately for the cake, which was still in its original wrapping, the thieves were after the drapery that the cake came in for kindling with the intention of starting a fire to eat the mice they had just captured. The thieves toyed with the idea of eating the cake, but took one smell and promptly thought otherwise.
The colorful brick entered a tumultuous phase of its life, moving around frequently until it was enlisted in WWII and shipped overseas. Allied powers behind enemy lines hollowed out a section of the cake to store secret codes and plans, knowing that German forces would come no where near it if captured. It changed hands amongst the soldiers every Christmas as a good luck charm. Following the end of the war, the highly decorated cake had its hollow section repaired with cement.
The cake’s chain of re-gifting eventually took it south into Africa, spending time with an undocumented tribe who worshipped the colorful loaf as a god. It became a prized weapon amongst the tribesmen for its ability to kill lions, rhinos, and elephants for food in one strike. It changed hands a multitude of times until one of the chief’s sons, in a fit of rage, killed his older brother who was the next in line to lead the tribe by hitting him with it. After many ponderings, the tribe’s Shaman threw the cake into the ocean.
The loaf spent three harrowing months in the sea, being passed up for food by all fish, until it was recovered by a crossing freighter on its way to Mexico. The ship’s captain normally wouldn’t have stopped to pick it up, but they thought it would be the right size to plug a hole in their hull. After successfully completing the return home, the cake was briefly used as a celebratory piñata, but no one could penetrate it.
Over the following years, the cake was passed around frequently, resuming its duties of being an annual gag gift. Of note, the first slice was finally extracted using a chainsaw when a team of kids in northern Canada got their Dad to cut off a piece to use for a scrimmage after losing their last hockey puck in the snow.
The current owners of the historical cake are the Shermans who were recently given the cake by the Dunns. After looking at the cake, Mr. Sherman was reported as saying, “What the hell is this?”
The National Quandary will update this story as necessary.