This is it. You've sunk to a new low.
It's Friday night, and you've got nothing better to do than dig through your
neighbor's dumpsters in an attempt to find enough old Enquirers to housebreak
Your hand sinks into something gelatinous and sticky, and you sit down on the
curbside to wallow in self-pity, removing a grimy sock to wipe your hand with.
It's the cleanest thing you can find.
It's tempting to cradle your head in your arms in despair, but a look at your
sticky fingers quickly remedies that. Instead, you shake your last ciggie out of
the carton and pull out a battered matchbook you got at the Midget Massage.
The feeble flame casts its sickly light on a page of the nearest yellowed
Enquirer. Your eyes gloss over the day's headlines, "Mole-Man Discovered! A
New Breed of Midget?" and "Noob-Snot Found to Have Surprising Medicinal Value!"
and are caught by a small picture of a female Joker, grinning fit to burst, and
promising "Eclairs so good, you'll gain 15 pounds just thinking about them!"
Vaguely interested, you turn to the indicated page and begin to read the article:
It was a dark and stormy night, and I, like all talented Enquirer reporters, was
hot on the tail of a Story. I'd been hanging around AceHigh for the last week in
search of the Enviable Snarklurker of Flatulence, when I heard a rumor that the
Cake or Death Booth was trying to diversify into Eclairs. That's right, I might
soon be able to enjoy a 99% chance of Death by Cream Filling. Hooked, I had to
follow this lead to the bitter end.
What I found was a sweet (one might almost say semi-sweet) young Joker by the
name of Sydney Fletcher, who apparently is the source of the eclairs that are now
sweeping the outpost. Following my sweet-tooth, I caught up with Miss Fletcher
outside the clan halls.
Me: So, Sydney -- you don't mind if I call you Sydney, do you? -- I hear
you're quite the confectionaire! Is there any truth to the rumors that you're
considering selling your recipe to the Cake or Death conglomerate?
Syd: Um, I'm sorry, do I know you?
Me: Name's Snitch. Snitch Tellworthy, with your local Enquirer Team. I
believe we met at the annual Eggnog Chugging Contest last year?
Syd: [raising eyebrow] I hate eggnog.
Me: Oh, well, perhaps it was at FART's Full-Buff Celebration a week ago?
Anyway, I was wondering if you had a few minutes to talk with me about your
Syd: Well, my tuba-ensemble rehearsal isn't for another hour, so sure.
Me: Have you always been such a crackshot chef, or is this a recent skill?
Syd: Uh, well my Gramma always said I was "Shit at cooking anything that
didn't have a pound of butter in it," and I really don't do that much baking at
all really, just the occasional birthday cak--
Me: [winking] Well, I know some around here who would say differently. I know
you've been approached by a certain Cake Specialist about a possible partnership?
Syd: Who are you-- oh, you mean those greasy-looking chaps who look like they
have entire ecosystems growing under their fingernails? Because one of them
tripped me in the street the other day. I was just walking along, minding my own
Me: I'm sure you meant to say, "those fine upstanding gentlemen of Cake and
Me: Let's go a little deeper, shall we? I'm interested in the real dessert
virtuoso. Did you have a troubled childhood?
Syd: Well, my little brother kept feeding my goldfish to his pet snake, if
Me: But you overcame your haunted past and fell like a shooting star upon
this poor Island...
Syd: I wouldn't put it quite like that.
Me: How would you put it?
Syd: More like a plummeting sunburned gangly thing, screaming bloody murder
the whole way down. Naked, of course. And blind, because my glasses landed in the
mud several meters away from me.
Me: How...romantic! And you quickly adapted to Island life?
Syd: I have a wonderful clan, if that's what you mean. And I think I might
learn to play the accordion. Is that still in style?
Syd: Even better. Was there anything else you wa--
At this point, we were tragically interrupted by a deafening explosion from
inside the clan halls, and Sydney blanched, dashing off with a hasty, "That'll be
the baking soda. It's been threatening to unionize with the salt and pepper if I
don't give it better benefits. But this time it's gone too far!"
Watching this pastry prodigy disappear into the halls, I felt a tear trickle down
my cheek. It's not every day that I get to mingle with people of such rare
talent. The afterglow of her brilliant smile lingered on in my retinas as I
regretfully turned back to my humdrum trudge back to the office. I placated
myself with the knowledge that, somewhere in this dessert-bereft outpost, at
least someone would be feasting on butter and cream tonight.