Friday 02 Dec 2016

My Head as a Cookie
Jennifer Flaten

A funny thing happened on Monday. I set fire to my head. As I re-read that sentence I can see how that doesn’t seem all that funny, but stay with me.

First, my head wasn’t engulfed, fully, in flames. It was lightly charred. Now at this point I know you are thinking “liar, liar; head on fire.” I know, I know, I am, on occasion, prone to slight exaggeration.

This time though, I swear I am not stretching the truth, much. I am embellishing the facts, for comic effect.

Let’s get back to my conflagration. I am sure by now you are on tenterhooks, simply dying, this is an example of exaggeration, I hope, to know how I flambéed my head

It all started when my mother decided that just any old birthday cake wouldn’t do for my birthday. Well, my not-a-birthday-this-year, as I wrote a couple of weeks ago. No, I decided to make a cookie cake.

Ah, but I didn’t want any old cookie cake. I wanted a cookie cake shaped and decorated to look like me. I wanted a Jennifer-cookie-cake.

I enlisted the help of the kids, who decorated with a gusto never before seen in cookie decorating-dom. Before you get all sentimental about what great kids they are, I need to tell you that a squabble broke out because they couldn’t agree to the shape of my glasses and the color of my eyes. They managed to solve the problem by giving me tri-colored eyes and glasses so fantastic they rivaled anything Elton John has ever worn.

Let me just say that nothing can shake your self-confidence like seeing yourself in frosting and M&Ms. As I gazed down at the masterpiece I remember thinking, I know it is cookie dough and it spreads, but “Really is my head that big!” After the big celebration and obligatory more candles then I care to admit. I packed up the remains of my cookie mini-me.

I couldn’t bring myself to cut cookie me into little pieces to fit in the cookie jar. I stuck the leftovers in the oven. You can see where this is going.

In my defense I never, ever store stuff in the oven, so it should come as absolutely no surprise that I promptly forgot all about my new cookie storage device. The next evening I preheated the oven. Yes, I know this is the truly hard to believe part, that I didn’t eat any of the cookie that day. I truly forgot it was there.

About 10 minutes into the preheat I noticed a delicious cookie aroma wafting from the kitchen. Oh, crap! The cookie head is in the now blazing hot oven – side note the new oven heats up fast! I ripped open oven door.

Oh the humanity, of it: my cookie head was barely recognizable. I was charred and brown. The candle was gooey, a puddle spread out across my now blistered forehead.

As I scraped the cookie head into the garbage can I couldn’t help thinking the worst part, besides having to tell my mother I torched my cookie cake, was the fact that I didn’t even get a piece of my own birthday cake.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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