For as long as I can remember, the Christmas fruitcake has been a terrific source of holiday humor. I've never actually eaten a fruitcake, but I've seen lots of them, including one that I'm pretty sure was made with gummy bears. It's not just the name that's hilarious ("Fruit" and "Cake" don't belong in the same food item), but the physical appearance, too, which looks something like the injection molding for some kind of crude landmine.
Receiving a fruitcake for Christmas may be the ultimate insult. When a friend or relative gives you a fruitcake for Christmas, it's like they're saying, "You are so utterly boring that I couldn't think of a single interesting thing to get you for Christmas, so I defaulted to a fruitcake." Because when we're shopping for Christmas presents, the one thing we can all count on is that our friends have mouths. Thus, a fruitcake is never totally irrelevant to a person. It is the least common denominator in the universe of possible Christmas gifts. It's sort of like giving someone toilet paper. At least you know they can use it and it won't end up abandoned in some closet 72 hours later after the batteries give out.
Although Christmas fruitcakes have no legitimate uses as a gift, they do have other applications. In this comic, I attempt to document some of the more creative uses of the fruitcake. The point of sharing this is not merely entertainment, either. This is a homework assignment. Anyone disliked enough to have actually received a fruitcake for Christmas may redeem their dignity by subjecting that sugary loaf to a far more interesting use than merely eating it or throwing it away.
Actually eating a fruitcake is too easy. You get a fruitcake, you eat it. Far too predictable -- where's the Christmas spirit in that? Much better to return that fruitcake to your neighbor with special "air" delivery via a homemade catapult. Or wedge it behind the rear tire of that sun-beaten RV they've had parked in their driveway since 1982.
A fruitcake is like an artist's canvas -- it holds endless possibilities for amusement. If you actually receive a fruitcake as a gift, thank the gift giver for your new "decoration" and hang it on your front door instead of a Christmas wreathe. Better yet, save the fruitcake for one full year and give it back to the same person who gave it to you. And tell them the truth, too: "I've been saving this for you for a whole year! And whaddaya know... it even turned green just in time for Christmas!"
Whatever you do, don't actually eat the thing. Unless, of course, you want to spend half the next calendar year working off the extra body fat you've stored over the Christmas holiday season. Fruitcakes go right to your belly (men) or hips (women), and they stick there like frozen reindeer snot, refusing to budge until the Spring thaw.
Of course, there's always the conformist approach to this whole thing, which involves -- gasp! -- eating the fruitcake. If it's a homemade fruitcake made with whole grains, organic fruits and non-refined sugar, I'd probably eat it too. But if it's one of those factory-made fruit cakes, with neon colored fruit, crack cocaine sugar crystals and enough preservatives to give it a shelf life through Christmas '09, then do the world a favor and find an alternate use for the thing.
And for God's sake don't leave it out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve! The guy just got over his diabetes problem and the last thing he needs is a massive sugar jolt while making his rounds. Have you ever tried to give yourself an insulin injection while bouncing along in a sleigh pulled by a team of hoofed animals? I think not...