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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Cooking/Baking (not recipes) (10/16/08)

By Scott Sheets


"Welcome to FCS 01. Have you been through the retinal scan orientation?"

"Yes, sir."

"I noticed in your background information, that you worked in nuclear intelligence. Well, let me tell you, Rogers, what your dealing with here will make nuclear material look like candy. The President doesnít even know whatís going on in this facility."

"Sir, what exactly are we guarding here?"

"We canít take any chances, Rogers. Thatís why we maintain absolutely secrecy until new employees are officially hired and on location. Letís head outside and see if we have a shipment arriving."

Commander Miller and Rogers braved the frigid winds of the northern tundra. Winter darkness blanketed the daytime making visual contact difficult. The sound of steel crushing ice carried over the snow capped terrain assisting their search. Off to the left, they distinguished a freighterís silhouette weighed down in the polar waters.

"Sir, is that carrying our cargo?"

"That it is, Rogers."

"Sir, that looks as heavy as pig iron."

"Not pig iron, Rogers. Something even heavier-fruitcake."


"You heard me right-fruitcake. Weíve been storing and recycling fruitcake for centuries."

"Recycling, Sir?"

"Letís head back inside and Iíll show you what I mean."

The two trudged through the snow back inside. Their steps echoed down the sterile steel corridor to an assembly warehouse. Inside, the workers re-wrapped fruitcakes from previous Christmases.

"Landfills could never sustain the number of fruitcakes thrown away after the holidays," Miller noted. "So we have special operatives who salvage the disposed, unwrapped fruitcakes and ship them to our facility. Here we scan them for bacteria, which is usually non-existent. Our studies have revealed that even bacteria donít like fruitcake. After scanning, we rewrap them in fresh sterile packaging and ship them back to major retailers for resale. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving."

"How many times do they get recycled?"

"We have different colored wrappers indicating how many years a particular cake has been recycled. The blue ones here represent five-year-old cakes. The purple ones are for ten-year-old cakes. After ten years, we remove them from circulation and place them in our underground storage facility."

"I had no idea fruitcake lasted so long."

"Not many do, Rogers. Most people throw them away before they have a chance to find out. In fact, we have one fruitcake from ancient Rome. They made it with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, raisins, and barley mash. We also have some from medieval times, the American Revolution, and the civil war. One fruitcake we received survived the Chernobyl melt down. They are pretty amazing cakes."

"If no one eats them, Sir, why do people still give them at Christmas?"

"Tradition, Rogers. Tradition. Unfortunately, this tradition has recently created some cataclysmic, global challenges."

"How so, Sir?"

"Did you notice the melting ice caps as you approached our facility?"

"Yes, Sir. I was shocked at the effects of global warming."

"Fruitcakes, Rogers. Itís from the fruitcakes. We started circulating the whole carbon emissions thing to maintain secrecy, but its actually from the fruitcakes. Itís a strange anomaly, but a large concentration of fruitcake generates massive amounts of thermal units. Have you needed a jacket inside our facility?

"No, Sir. I was surprised you keep it so warm."

"We donít even have heaters installed. We used to store the fruitcakes outside, but when we noticed the extensive polar melting, we built an underground warehouse to try and curtail the effects. Unfortunately, we still havenít solved the problem."

"Sir, what will my specific role be in the facility."

"Well, Rogers, you are among an elite crew at this facility. Come with me."

Rogers and Miller left the assembly warehouse and turned down another steel corridor. They marched deeper into the heart of the facility and arrived at a heavy steel door monitored by a retinal scanner. Miller placed his eye to the scanner and looked straight ahead. A beam of light traversed his eye and the door opened. The two entered and ventured onto a platform overlooking a group of scientists in bio-hazard suits manipulating various fruits, nuts, and flours to form different cakes. A number high-tech ovens were baking their various experiments.

"These are the finest culinary minds in the world, Rogers, and they have been working around the clock to develop a fruitcake recipe that tastes good. If we can find that, our problems will be solved. Your job will be a taste tester."


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This article has been read 714 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Holly Westefeld10/23/08
ROFL! You have put a very creative and entertaining face on this stereotype, and I loved the ending. I'm one of the rare people who actually likes fruitcake. It's been a few years since we were gifted with one, and I got it all to myself!
Yvette Roelofse10/24/08
I love fruitcake too. LOL This a wonderfully funny and satirical treat.
Shelley Ledfors 10/27/08
Oh, this is fabulous! What a fun piece. And, while I hate the commercial fruitcake, my mother-in-law made one that I loved. Maybe her recipe would solve all our problems, LOL!

Thanks for writing this great entry!
Celeste Ammirata10/28/08
This is cute and fun! I smiled throughout. I love the witty dialogue. This is a well written, creative take on the topic. Great job!
Joshua Janoski10/28/08
"Our studies have revealed that even bacteria donít like fruitcake."

LOL to that and so many other clever lines in this hilarious piece! You did what I wanted to do with my entry this week, but I ended up running out of words. My fruitcake does chase off some cookies though, because he is angry from not being shown any love.

Haha. One of my favorites this week. I love how fruitcake is responsible for global warming. Spectacular job with this! You put a huge grin on my face. :)
Arlene Showalter10/30/08
In 3 words: FAB - U - LOUS
Dianne Janak10/30/08
Priceless! so creative and SOO true... CONGRATS!
Pamela Kliewer10/30/08
LOL - thanks for the laugh! What a fun and creative read! You nailed it. Congrats on your EC
Jason Swiney10/30/08
What a wonderful read, very clever, and a well deserved EC. Congratulations.
Catrina Bradley 10/30/08
I have to admit, the first couple of paragraphs didn't grab me, and you have a few grammar errors, but you kept my attention, and then drew me in with the hilarity and I forgot all about them. And I LOVE the ending! Priceless. Great writing. Congratulations on 2nd place!!!
Beth LaBuff 10/31/08
Wow! I loved this... How creative and hilarious! Super congrats on your EC!
Peter Stone11/02/08
Very, very amusing, especially the "even bacteria donít like fruitcake" line and the fruitcakes leading to global warming.
Charla Diehl 11/05/08
Scott, this is great. I thought, rather than eat new fruitcakes, you were going to have him eat the old ones. So in that light, it ended on a good note. Very funny and creative--congrats on your win.