Love your enemies — give ’em fruitcake

This Christmas, treat your enemies well. Give them fruitcake. Trust me, they’ll be grateful. They mightFruitcake_2
even give you some prune juice in return. Or perhaps a few bottles of pig’s feet.

Almost everybody has enemies. Why else do you think fruitcakes sell so well? The fruitcake industry is thriving, much to the delight of the Georgia Fruit Cake Co. (GFCC). According to owner John Womble, "Our core customer has always been the military." That doesn’t surprise me. The U.S. military has always believed in having a variety of ammunition. The good thing about using fruitcake is that some people might think you’re being kind.

CNN reporter: "American soldiers gave fruitcake to Iraqi prisoners today, a gesture of goodwill to mark the Christmas season."

Al Jazeera reporter: "American soldiers gave fruitcake to Iraqi prisoners today, an act of torture that violates the Geneva Convention."

I keep a slab of fruitcake under my bed, just in case we have a late-night intruder. It’s safer than keeping a gun. And if I happen to get really hungry at night, I can pick up the fruitcake and scare my wife into getting me a snack.

Someday, I’d like to compete in the fruitcake games. (No, they have nothing to do with Jessica Simpson.)  The official name is the Great Fruitcake Toss. It takes place annually in Manitou Springs, Colorado.

The
Great Fruitcake Toss began 11 years ago as a Manitou Springs Chamber of
Commerce gimmick to pump some life into the post-holiday calendar. It
is today a nationally known event – undoubtedly one of the more bizarre
spectacles you’ll see in the Pikes Peak region – that attracts people
from across the state and nation. …

"I
got hit by a fruitcake last year," said Kevin Fleischmann, one of the
official measurers of the tosses. "It got me on the second bounce. It
hurt for a little while, but I survived." [Link]

Now he’s part of a large group of people around the world who consider themselves fruitcake survivors. And you thought Nick Lachey was the only one!

Photo by Admit One

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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