Mary Bufe quarantine column photo

Mary Bufe,

Sheltering In Place

My latest unproven conspiracy theory is that someone high in the government is in cahoots with a dark money group that wants to take away your rights. Specifically, your right to eat cake. Beautiful chocolate cake.

Because I care about this country, also cake, I am determined to get to the bottom of this grave injustice. Here is what we know.

It all started earlier this spring, when several national grocers abruptly stopped selling sheet cakes, both half- and full-sized. This decision “coincided” with the “onset” of the “coronavirus pandemic,” or so the “bakers” wanted us to believe. Some claimed they dropped their big cakes (figuratively, let’s hope) as they reduced services.

Some went a step further, justifying their actions by linking sheet cake sales to violations of government mandates against large gatherings. The unspoken message was clear: no one can resist cake. If you serve it, they will come.

And I get it. The first question I ask when invited to any bridal or baby shower is: Will there be cake? Second question: It’s not one of those with the candied ginger/lemon mousse fillings, is it? Seriously. Who likes that?

The BIGGER question is, should a nation’s love of devil’s food justify a blanket ban on sheet cakes in a pandemic? This is America, after all. Do we not have a God-given right to have our cake and eat it, too?

Besides, not every sheet cake is a Covid super-spreader. People such as myself have been known on occasion to purchase a store-bought sheet cake in a size that exceeds the number of guests expected at a party.

We do this for a simple reason: We like cake. And we eat it responsibly. We don’t gobble it all down immediately. No, we store the leftovers in the freezer.

On a hot summer evening, few things are as satisfying as a piece of frozen sheet cake loaded with chilled buttercream frosting. And another one the next evening. And the next.

I mean, what is happening to our freedoms? Is a cupcake mandate next?

The good news is, Big Cake now appears to be returning to many supermarket shelves. And for that, I think we can thank Bigger Pants. Yes, the sheet cake industry is being saved – I’m hypothesizing here – by the very deep pockets of the National Tailors and Dressmakers Association.

According to the New York Times, the pandemic hit the tailoring industry particularly hard. You don’t need your pants hemmed if no one is hosting cake-centric events.

In the past month, however, tailors have seen business grow as much as 80 percent. Demand has been particularly high for button-moving and waistband expansion. You can put two and two together.

In conclusion, we’re all in this together. The tailors need the cake-eaters as much as the cake-eaters need the tailors. And we all need to wear masks.