Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cupcake Eating Contest Thoughts

I am not going to make any friends with this entry.  But really - one of my pet peeves is bad service.  If your job is to get me things, no matter what those things are, I expect them to be gotten quickly and with a smile on your face.  Because that is your job.  Bottom line.  You are there, getting paid to do it, so do it the best you can.

That being said, Elizabeth and I went to the X's and O's (a vegan bakery in Troy) cupcake eating contest to benefit Out of the Pits, a Pit Bull Rescue Organization and major worthy cause.  We tried to sign up.  Well. E tried to sign up.  She called and got denied.  This is the email I got after the attempt which sets us up nicely for what happened later:

To:  Me
From: E
Subject:  On Being Shut Down, a play in one act.

Ingenue: "Hi, can I register for Saturday please?"

Weird lady: "Uhhhhhhhhhhhh (drawn out about 10 seconds)...I think I have to say no? (question inflection)."

Ingenue: "Oh, no!"
Weird lady: "Yeah 'cause I have, like, 13? (question inflection) So..."

Ingenue: (resigned) "Ok."

Weird lady: "...."

Ingenue: (confused) "Ok. Thank you."

Flaky lady: "You can still come there are going to be kissing booths and if you have $5 you can do something"

Ingenue: "Ok. Thank you."

Flaky lady: "Sorry?" (question inflection)


So - shut down from the getgo.  Which was fine because do I NEED to enter a cupcake eating contest?  Ahhh no.  But we still planned to attend, support the cause and watch the people shove baked goods down their talkingholes.  We get there and parked and this is where I begin to have a problem.

There are doggies outside.  We pet some.  They are cute.  We go inside to buy something to support the business that is holding this (and for a little treat since we weren't going to be cupcake contesting).  We stand on a not too long line - 2 people in front of us maybe?  I was getting a piece of carrot cake and E was getting a S'mores cupcake.  There were three people behind the counter.

This is the place so just imagine about five people total in line and three people behind the counter

Nice, open space.  Kind of empty of actual product in the case, but maybe because the contest was going on?  Not sure.  The owner did say she had to make 250 cupcakes for the contest, and I gather that she knew this information way ahead and could plan accordingly, but perhaps not?  But anyway, there was a huge carrot cake on the counter and a few things in the case, so we made our choices.  We were ready.

The problem was - they weren't ready.  And not in a "we are getting slammed because of this promo event" kind of way.  Each person in front of us only wanted one thing and there were THREE people behind the counter.  But here's the problem:  Two were just standing there.  Just.  Standing.  One was getting things for people.  And not in the fastest way either. 

Now here is where I say something rude and mean about vegans.  Because the two that were standing there had blank stares on their faces and were gazing towards the back wall with their hands kind of curled into themselves, looking kind of pale and tired.  Like they maybe needed some sort of energy.  Like from something that wasn't a garbanzo bean.  And they were doing nothing.  With people in line wanting to buy things from them.  Wanting to BUY THINGS FROM THEM WHICH WOULD HELP THEIR SMALL AND FLEDGLING BUSINESS.

So we waited for awhile.  And I was TRYING not to freak out because this was just so horribly, horribly wrong.  I could see E getting uncomfortable because maybe I might say something.  Because sometimes I do that.  So I didn't.  I promise you right now though, that every vein, cell and capillary in my body was SCREAMING at the Pale People Just Standing There.   Screaming something like, "HEY!  SEE HOW THERE ARE PEOPLE HERE WAITING?  CAN YOU COME AND SEE WHAT WE WANT?  BECAUSE YOU ONLY HAVE LIKE FOUR THINGS IN THE CASE SO I AM THINKING YOU CAN PROBABLY THROUGH PROCESS OF ELIMINATION AND POINTING AND SIGN LANGUAGE SEE WHAT WE WANT AND FIGURE IT THE FUCK OUT ALL BY YOURSELF."
But I stayed quiet.

And we waited.  Easily 10 minutes.  Then - it was our turn!  Yes!  CAKE!  SWEET!  The girl who was the sole one helping everyone got to us, we placed our order and I watched her go over to the huge carrot cake and cut a HUGE hunk off for me.  YESSSSS.  Big ol' hunka cake.  And then she placed it in one of those clamshelly to go* things.  But it was a big hunk.  So it didn't fit.  There was no way that top was closing but she stood with the cake in one hand and the cake cutter in the other, trying to orchestrate some sort of cake minimalization technique by poking the corners and hoping that molecularly the cake would shrink, allowing the top to close.  I finally cut her off from her caketrance and told her she didn't have to close it because it would be in my belly soon.  She slowly understood me (like I think I saw the moment when she understood on her face and it took a few seconds) and then walked over to the case to get the S'mores cupcake.  Which she put in ANOTHER clamshelly thing (necessary?)* and then rang us up.  Whew.  Finally.  Caketime.

Ok.  So I took this after I had a few bites so you can't see its precarious beginnings.  But there it is.

Now let me talk about the cake.  The vegan carrot cake.

Can't vegans have carrots?  Isn't that one of the few things they can have?  And raisins?  Can't they have raisins too?  Or are carrots grown in lard or in some sort of meat filled soil that would make some sort of carrot substitute necessary?  This cake - did not taste carroty at all.    Nope.  Not one bit.  It could MAYBE pass for spice cake.  But carrot?  I do not think so.  (Best carrot cake around is to be found at Spectrum/Ultraviolet Cafe, by the way.  C and I fight for the last bite brutally and usually will finish it before even the first preview).  I REALLY felt like carrot cake was a safe bet in a vegan bakery.  I really did.  I was prepared for the cream cheese frosting to be eh, but the cake itself?  I figured it would be a veritable carrotpalooza!  I figured I would be able to floss my teeth with the copious strands of carrot from this thing.  And sadly, none to be found.  The frosting was gritty - which I was told to expect because they can't use regular sugar (Many vegans prefer to avoid white table sugar altogether rather than chance using a product that was filtered through bone char).  So I bought that deal (not psyched about it, but I understand it) but I still can;t fathom the lack of carrot taste in the cake.  I had a few bites (enough to close clamshelly) and was done.

The S'mores cupcake, on the other hand, was very good.  Very, very good.  It had a toasty marshmallow on top and was adorable overall.  Excellent choice, E!

So where are we in the story?  Not even at the contest part yet.  OK.  Thank you for powering through thus far.

We went back outside to pet the dogs more and watch them setup for the contest.  There were a good amount of people now (most with skinny jeans and piercings and colorful hair/dreads!) and they were loading the cupcakes onto the long tables.

They did indeed look yummy.  I guess they figured on seventeen per person which is why they could only allow thirteen people in the contest.  The one who won finished nine.  This screams "they should have done more research" to me because they would have figured out that they could have let more people in, therefore raising more money.  The contest was who could eat the most in five minutes - not who could get closest to seventeen.  But...all for charity.

So, about ten minutes late, the people were called up to sit at their cupcake thones.  And it began.

There they are doing some major cupcake shoving.**  One had a whole Kobayashi thing going with the dipping in the water and slamming in the gullet.  Excellent.  And I started a chant with E's help during the eating.  But no one joined.  E would yell "CUPCAKES!" and I would answer "PIT BULLS!"  But nothing.  (We saw Albany Jane and John there and I am sure they were embarrassed by my attempt at starting a chant to liven things up.  Sorry guys!)  To my dismay, the crowd was just quietly riveted on the eaters.  Probably because they only had flax for breakfast and were saving their energy for some hackysack later.  (I'M KIDDING.  SHEESH)

So, longer story not so short.  Someone won. Yay.  And we pet more dogs and left.

Frick.  That was anticlimactic. 

Overall and in conclusion - I might give the bakery another try and hope for the best.  More product in the case, more taste in the product and more urgency when taking orders.  We will see.

I will leave you with E and I getting doggie kisses in attempt to repay you for the time it took you to read that entire entry.

Namaste.  Or whatever is the vegan word for goodbye.

*the clamshelly to go things seemed awfully wasteful by the way.  No one asked if I wanted to stay with it and I would think that putting it on a recycled paper plate would have been more thoughtful, more green, if you will.  Especially for a place that has about 70 containers of Earth Balance vegan butter substitute in their coolers. 

** OH YEAH - I almost forgot!  There was a KID in the contest and I never saw someone more miserable.  Not kidding.  He was sitting with his head in his hands licking the frosting off a cupcake looking like he was ready to cry and/or fall asleep.  I had no idea what his problem was.  I started yelling "Kid!  This is a DREAM COME TRUE!  Do you KNOW how many kids want to be in your chair right now?  It's ALL YOU CAN EAT CUPCAKES and you are sad?  This is better than the ice cream truck pulling up outside your room!  COME ON!"  Surprisingly my motivation yelling didn't seem to help.


  1. You shouting at the kid was hi-frigging-larious. Especially the parent or whoever laughing going "Oh, you're just *cruel* hahahahahah."

  2. I just licked my screen. I should just throw it away now.

  3. heh. yeah - the kid shouting was maybe a little much? but i had reserved all my energy from not yelling at the counterpeople that i had to release it somehow...

  4. Hi Nicole, I got a couple of super cute photos of you getting a kiss from the kissing booth. Hopefully it'll maybe make the trip more worth while. ;)

  5. hey anon! those are great shots! thanks for posting the link!