Clean Up in Aisle 3

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 9:00 PM

A customer recently requested a birthday cake to match the theme of our brand new "Light It Up" party.
"Sure, we can make a cake that lights up. No problem!" I heard myself saying.

Early stages of research prompted me to look for edible materials with enough translucency to allow an LED light to shine through. Melted gummy bears, sour worms and various colorfully gelatinous products came to mind but I decided to start with Fruit Roll-Ups. Not really a candy and definitely not a real fruit, they were a bit hard to locate in my local Safeway especially since, as an empty-nester, I hadn't purchased anything remotely like that in about a dozen years. 

A bored clerk dispatched me to the cereal aisle (THAT makes sense—NOT!) and directed my gaze downward to reveal the object of my desire hidden behind a hulking display of assorted General Mills cereal. Assuming this leaning tower of Cheerios to be on a dolly of some sort, I gave it an oh-so-gentle nudge to slide it out of the way and watched in slow motion horror as this 6 foot tall cardboard edifice tumbled to the ground like a giant Jenga game. As dozens of cartons of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Choclate Cheerios and Multigrain Cheerios bounced and skittered across the aisle, landing in the path of customers on their way to the check-out counters and prompting more than a few stares, I'm not quite sure what mortified me the most. The fact that I singlehandedly destroyed an enormous store display and caused an embarrassing commotion in a market I patronize on a regular basis, or the fact that this happened because I was looking for Fruit Roll-Ups. NOTE: Aforementioned debacle aside, after considerable experimentation, this unclassifiable foodstuff seems to be serving the purpose I had intended. Here's the finished (and illuminated cake), which came out pretty cool.