Feeling fat? Do you hate all baked goods after spending the weekend wrapping yourself around the outside of 17 different kinds of pie, cake, and perhaps even fruitcake if you got drunk enough? It's not your guilty imagination: baked goods really are trying to kill you. Two different and alarming incidents over the last days have led us to the conclusion that mankind's greatest enemy is an unassuming mix of flour, sugar, water, and fat that apparently now should be stored in safety next to the mining explosives.
First, there was the TSA mini-crackdown on cupcakes whose frosting, as one agent in Las Vegas said, constitutes a gel or liquid and therefore a threat. "The TSA supervisor, Robert Epps, was using really bad logic -- he said it counted as a gel-like substance because it was conforming to the shape of its container," said Rebecca Hains, the Massachusetts woman who tried to bring the potentially lethal cupcake onto the airplane in a glass jar. That's after a far more blasé agent in Boston let her pass with not one but two apparent cupcake bombs. And yet, people are getting annoyed with this hero TSA agent left and right. The Atlantic's James Fallows explains why: "That the story involves cupcakes ... makes it seem preposterous. But of course the underlying illogic and random-seeming combo of hyper-vigilance and 'oh, never mind' attitudes defines 'security theater' more generally."
Then there's the case in Chile where a court decided on Monday that a newspaper would have to pay $125,000 to 13 people after it ran a recipe for churros that had the deep-fried sweets exploding on chefs all over the place. You know what churros are, right? Those long sticks of pastry dough, deep fried and coated in cinnamon and sugar, that make amusement parks tolerable. The recipe in the La Tercera daily apparently caused the dough to explode once the oil reached its prescribed temperature. The Chilean Supreme Court decided that the newspaper had failed to test out its recipe before publishing, and ordered it to pay "individual damages to 11 women and two men ranging from as little as $279 to $48,000 for one woman whose burns were particularly severe," (which isn't all that funny, actually) according to the Associated Press.
The paper says it will comply, but there's no mention of whether it plans to publish any dessert recipes in the future. Until this pastry offensive dies down, we're advocating a strict ice cream diet.