My most recent run in with a stupid person will require just a little background to explain. I decorate cakes. I don't mean I do it as a profession or anything like that. Just more like a hobby that amounts to favors for family and friends, and maybe a couple dollars worth of extra income. I started this insane pastime about two years ago, when my very shy sister decided she wanted to compete with the few wedding cake decorators in our smallish home town, and drug me to a cake decorating class with her. As luck would have it, I enjoyed the art very much. It appeals to my creative nature, I guess. Shortly thereafter I began doing a little decorating for family members and their children. Of course I made the mistake of not keeping the cakes simple from the get-go. In September of last year my nephew decided he wanted a treasure chest cake (I blame myself for offering to make him a cake so I could "practice".) As you can see, I didn't exactly take it easy on this cake:
Needless to say, he went nuts over it. Loved it. So when his birthday rolled around this year, I should have assumed he would one-up. Sure enough, at the last family gathering at his house he handed me a video game. I believe it is for X-Box, I'm not sure. But he gave it to me to show me the picture of what he wanted for a cake this year. The game is called Viva Pinata, and the character he wants is named Horstachio. Have you seen this? I had only seen it once or twice, but apparently Viva Pinata is this video game that has gained quickly in popularity since it is on the educational side of things. They have now made it into an animated series, which is what I had seen. All in all I think it's pretty weird. All the characters are pinatas, and at times they actually talk about being picked to be the pinata at parties. A few of them have even come back from parties all smashed up from their beating. I'm not even going to start on the implications of their guts being beat out of them and eaten. Ew.
Regardless of what I think of it, this is what he wants for his birthday cake, a cake shaped like a pinata shaped like a horse. In utter shock I perused the picture and then asked him to pick a back up cake just in case this wouldn't be possible. The whole while I was thinking "there is noooo way I'm going to construct a horse out of cake just so it can be cut up and eaten". Later, when I realized this is what he really wants, I tried to find a way to still use Horstachio but to make it easier on myself. I thought of making a tiered cake and just putting an action figure on top. Guess what. That's right. The Viva Pinata action figures aren't out yet - but I hear they're scheduled to come out this fall. (Yes, as in right now, but I can't seem to find a release date. Too little too late.) Finally I resigned myself to the inevitable - a pinata cake. On my last trip home, my sister and I spent hours discussing the actual construction, if not decoration, of this monster. I searched for examples, models, directions, anything that could help me on my way. At last I felt I had a good solid plan of attack - 3 lb. soup cans to bake the legs in, dowels through the center of the legs for support, layered carved cakes for the body, a head carved out of rice krispie treats and fondant to cover the whole thing.
It did not occur to me until that point that I didn't know where to begin to try to carve a body for this thing. I decided it would be good to have an actual model I could lay my hands on to help me along the way. This being a pinata cake, I decided an actual pinata would be most helpful, and I could give it to my nephew for his party when I was finished with it. Near my house there is a party supply store that sells real, usable pinatas, which I visited after work earlier this week. Being in a perpetual hurry, I thought I would just ask one of the clerks if they had a horse pinata, rather than spend who knows how long perusing the endless rows of pinatas strung across the ceiling from one side of the store to the other. The clerk informed me that they did not have a horse pinata, only cowboy boots and hats in that genre of pinata. Briefly, my heart fell, as this is the only place I know of in town that sells pinatas. (Let me emphasize - the only place I know of. I have no doubt there are more.) But then something caught my eye. I glanced up to see something shaped suspiciously like a horse. Granted, this was pink and I would not have given it to my nephew as it was clearly intended for a girl, but it was horse-shaped nonetheless.
So I asked the clerk, "What is that?".
She glanced up and said, "That's a unicorn."
Ok, correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't a unicorn just a horse with a horn on its head? So at this point I was no longer willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, and decided I better have a closer look-see myself. After several seconds of scanning the rows of colors, I saw a multi-colored congregation of something that might possibly be a horse.
I once again turned to the clerk and asked, "What is that?"
She again glanced up and then said, "That's a burro."
You're kidding me, right? A burro? Isn't a burro just a donkey in disguise? And isn't a donkey pretty darn close to a horse? So, desperately trying to hide my irritation, I continued to look over what the store had to offer in pinatas, taking a little more time to examine each and every one of them this time. Suddenly I spied a white object that was unmistakably, undeniably, irrefutably a horse. Again, probably not something I would buy with the intention of giving to my nephew since it had little pink hearts on its legs by the hooves, but the clerk didn't know that. So, with raised eyebrow, I returned to the clerk.
"And what is that?"
She said, "Oh, that's a pony."
What?!? A pony?!? I stood there and stared at her for at least a solid minute with a look on my face that I'm sure even Ms. See-the-World-in-Black-and-White there could interpret as saying "Right now I think that you are probably the dumbest person on the face of this earth, and I have lost intelligence points in my dealings with you". I decided I would put myself in danger, and probably her as well, if I actually took the time to try and explain to her that from a sales point of view alone she should have had the wherewithal to point these things out to me as horse-like alternatives to my request. So I asked her to get the burro down for me. Since I did not have any intention of returning the pinata once I was finished with it, (lord knows what I'd get as a refund, pesos maybe), I opted for the burro as the only horse-ish creature that was suitable for a 10-year-old boy. I fairly sprinted from the store, all the while thinking with great annoyance "congratulations, lady, you managed to waste my time and yours, since spending more time in the store did not make me spend more money". My husband cheerfully pointed out to me later that I need to be more specific about these things.
Incidentally, the "burro" is not really a burro but is actually a bull, complete with horns and a ring through its nose.