Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Blowout (04/28/11)
TITLE: May Mayhem
By Beth Muehlhausen
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‘Twas the morning grads dream of, when in my bake shop
All employees expected to work hard nonstop.
Cake orders were hung in their spots for each hour,
In hopes we could fill them - and have enough flour!
Our patrons prepared for their open house guests
While we planned to serve them without any rests.
And I in my apron with tube in my hand,
Stood ready to squirt cakes with roses full-fanned.
When all of a sudden the door swung back wide,
And a blustery woman march-marched right inside.
“So this is a bak-ry? Then make me a cake!
I need it by four, and there’s no give and take!”
She seemed like a tyrant, a brazen curve ball,
Who pointed her finger and lectured us all.
“My girl gets the best of the best,” she professed.
You’ll deco a cake that puts you to the test!”
I stood there dumfounded while she gathered steam,
Pursed up her full lips and let go a jet stream.
“A decadent cream cake that stands three tiers tall,
With roses and violets cascading down all.”
I gawked and glared back while she wrote me a check,
For twice the cake’s value … now wait just a sec!
“We’re closed to new orders!” I said with a shirk.
“You’ll do it,” she answered, “Now go get to work!”
She stomped out the door just as quick as a wink,
And left me there staring, unable to think.
“I guess double payment will make it worthwhile,”
I said feeling sheepish behind a wry smile.
“Now Susan! Now Charlotte! Now Carol and Laurie!
On Rachel! On Trudy! On Ruthie and Tory!
To the mixer and ovens with work order new!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away YOU!”
Then on with great focus the day’s work ensued,
With no time to wonder or ponder or brood.
The hours fled by quickly, the cake’s time drew near,
I slaved to complete the last so-lovely tier.
My hands ached from squeezing, my tube was stretched out,
My neck stung with needles from craning about.
Alas, time was ticking, with flowers to shape,
And then place them just so in an elegant drape.
Oh NO! The unthinkable! Horrors! Mistake!
My tube blew right open to spray-paint the cake!
Pink flecks pelted down – greasy raindrops galore -
The thing every baker no doubt must abhor!
My side-kick named Laurie came bounding to help,
As I let out some screams and a lamenting yelp.
“Don’t worry,” she said, “It’ll be quite alright.
Relax, I’ll take over, don’t get so uptight.”
She was dressed in an apron well-spattered with dough,
From hours of baking and work on-the-go.
And yet she resumed with a fresh tube in hand,
To redeem all my splatters as if they’d been planned.
Her eyes – how they twinkled! Her dimples, how merry!
Her cheeks flushed all pink, as if things were not hairy!
Her droll little mouth was drawn up like a bud,
As she rescued what moments before was a dud.
The tube she held deftly and squeezed with skilled grace,
As the clock said ten minutes till four on its face.
She stuck to her task, wiping hands on her belly,
That shook, when she did so, like humanesque jelly.
At four we all sighed as the cake stood all done,
Having earned its high price made while under the gun.
The door opened wide and its owner appeared,
Looking stressed and undone and a little bit weird.
“It’s not what I ordered!” she bellowed out loud,
Right there in the midst of our bake-shop’s big crowd.
I cringed ‘neath her voice and hole-boring-type gaze,
While longing for some sort of genuine praise.
“It’s BETTER! In fact, here’s a tip for you all!”
She handed me cash with a slow-spoken drawl.
I blushed and I stammered, in spite of myself,
Like an overworked, shocked, and exhausted old elf.
She softened right there with a smile on her face,
Surprising us all, it was so out of place.
“My autistic girl has just earned her degree;
This cake that you’ve made will bring her so much glee!”
And as she was leaving she mumbled aside,
A thought that perhaps was quite hard to confide.
“Life has its hard times with its struggles, and such –
Thank you all, dear bakers, for being my crutch.”
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