Dennis and the Sticky Buns of Doom: A Cautionary Tale Regarding the Dangers of Morons with Cakes and the Benefits of Networking as an Entrepreneur

Part I: A moron, some cakes, and an idea.

Dennis loved cakes. He loved everything about them. He loved baking them, buying them, eating them, and even just thinking about them. Down the road from Dennis’ house was a bakery that baked and sold delicious cakes. However, what Dennis enjoyed most about the bakery was to go down there and buy a cake, then return home, eat it, and then log onto the internet and bitch about it anonymously. He did this because he was spineless; Dennis had no courage. But as he grew older he realised that his Daddy was a successful businessman who owned a flour company and so was very important man. The more Dennis realised this, the more confident he became.

Eventually one day Dennis returned home from the bakery and logged onto the internet using his own name. He let forth his torrid opinions with one hand whilst stuffing cake into his mouth with the other. By this point Dennis had grown into a large orangutan of a man but was still very much a child at heart. His daddy’s company was still successfully processing tons of flour every day and the money kept rolling in. The response to Dennis’ personal opinion was surprising. People from across the country seemed to delight in his child-like grammar and sense of anger that could only stem from the bowels of a man irritated by years of sugary abuse. The next day he did the same. He came home from the bakery and logged on using his own name and let forth a stream of unedited opinion in the heat of the moment and then sat back, licking the frosting off the keyboard whilst waiting for the responses to come in.

He continued on with this pattern each day, and by now he had become known online in several different countries. However, today was going to prove to be slightly different. As he sat before his computer, snorting lines of crumbs off his desktop, the responses flooded in as usual. But in one of these responses was something very dangerous. In this one response was a stupid idea. But, for a man like Dennis, there are no such things as stupid ideas. Everything is a great idea. This one idea, suggestion, or even mere musing caught Dennis’ eye. It stuck under his skin and began to work its way around inside his little custard-encrusted brain; “You should start your own bakery.” To any rationally minded person with no baking experience, this would be dismissed almost immediately. However to a man of Dennis’ intellect with an ego swelled by the faux-love of the internet, this idea stuck. It resonated with him and his desires to consume cakes and insult bakers. How better to crush that baker than to become a rival with an internet-following that would guarantee success? He became more and more excited and began to bounce up and down in his office chair, clapping his pudgy hands together and salivating at the thought. Unfortunately, no office furniture is intended to undergo this sort of treatment and so the chair in which Dennis was sitting finally gave up the ghost after years of increasing pressure with a final, resigned crunch and disintegrated beneath him.

Part II: One donut to rule them all.

He called the bakery ‘Dennis Thompson’s Cakes’, for that was his name and his ego would allow nothing less. His daddy had given him a large sum of money with which to start the business and was meeting all of the bakery’s flour needs free of charge. This combined with Dennis’ internet following blindly providing patronage regardless of quality meant that business began to thrive. The original bakery down the street that had been the source of Dennis’ confectionary lifestyle up to this point began to struggle. Their customer-base began to decline and very soon they were making no profit at all. They closed up shop and moved away, and no one really noticed. That is, apart from one person; Dennis. He spotted the boarded-up shop front and decided to expand his rapidly-growing business out into a second location. He did not have to spend any of his profits on the new shop however, as his daddy decided to buy it for him as a present for the success of the business.

The cakes he served were terrible, after all he had no baking expertise whatsoever. But he did know that sugar made people happy and so filled his cakes with it. The mixture was full of sugar, the cakes were then filled with a sugary-creamy filling after baking and then iced with a fine-sugar frosting. Each cake was as artificial as Dennis’ new-found fame, but this didn’t stop people coming from miles around to buy his cakes. He continued to spout his ‘wisdom’ on the internet and in doing so continued to induct many new fad-loving nobodies into his soulless world of instant gratification and terrible baking.

Many professional bakers and cake-lovers across the world warned of the dangers that this growing obsession with Dennis and his cakes could cause, but people didn’t listen. Their minds become one-tracked and they craved nothing but the creamy, sugary empty calories of the cakes. Very soon his business grew into an empire and spread out across the world. He gained an almost complete monopoly over the world’s baked goods and confectionary. Almost all the other bakers and confectioners worldwide lost their business and closed their shops, empty-handed.

Part III: The bakers of the world unite and a sticky ending.

One day, some of the last remaining rebel bakers decided to take a stand. They were baking and selling cakes of substance. Cakes that provided energy and used fruit and contained low amounts of sugar. They didn’t stuff the centre with an air-filled cream that puffed them up and made them only aesthetically pleasing. Their cakes didn’t provide that instant sugar hit, but instead gave a longer-lasting satisfaction that led to the better overall health of their consumers. These bakers gathered their few staff and several of their small-but-loyal customer base and together they prepared for the confrontation. They baked long into the night, with clouds of flour rising from the sieves and the whisks gleaming in the artificial light. The roar of the ovens providing an industrial soundtrack to the fevered baking and icing of the rebels.

The morning light rose on rows and rows of perfectly baked cakes. Behind them, a team of bakers stood tired but ready, whisks glinting in the sun. Over the horizon came hordes of sugar-crazed cake-heads, blindly following behind the now-enormous figure of Dennis. He lay on his side wearing a sharp suit embossed with golden trim and a pink candy-stripe lining atop a large, delicately icing-dusted sponge-on-wheels. As he caught sight of the opposing bakers he raised one arm and began making a vigorously rude gesture. Unfortunately, in doing so he disturbed a small cloud of the icing from the sponge which he inadvertently inhaled and began to choke on. This in turn caused yet more clouds of icing to rise around him shielding him from view in a somewhat menacing manner, but also continuing to obstruct his airways. Eventually the coughing subsided and he rose once more from the top of the sponge. He raised a fist to the sky and then dropped it to his side, dramatically signalling for the battle to commence. However, he had neglected to consult with anyone on this particular signal and so it produced a resounding lack of anything. He tried repeating it, but to no avail. People on both sides of the field began to look at one another, wondering what to make of this movement. Eventually he gave up on this and reached down, grabbed a fistful of the sponge and flung it in the direction of the rebel bakers. This seemed to have the desired effect and soon cake was flying through the air from both sides.

The well-prepared rebel bakers were soon beginning to run low on pre-baked goodies and so were forced once more into the kitchens. Electric whisks and ovens were fired up and soon the heat of the baking spread into the battlefield. Sweat combined with icing dust to form thick, globules of icing running down the faces of the frenzied cake-fighters. The heat began to get to Dennis and a sense of panic began to rise inside him. As the walls of his all-too-temporary gingerbread bunker crumbled, he started randomly grabbing fistfuls of cake and shoving them into his mouth. He waved his hands in the air and screamed as he realised what devastation and chaos he had caused. He began running about the place smearing frosting over his eyes to shield them from the devastation and members of both sides began to stop their brawling to watch him. He zig-zagged across the battlefield, nearing first one set of kitchens, then another, before beginning to get dangerously close to the cliff edge. With the thick frosting setting over his eyes and a sense of panic guiding his feet, he finally came too close and tumbled over the edge with his screams and a trail of crumbs following him. This caused a pause in the ruckus as people realised that the great cake-dictator had fallen. Members of his following began to drop their utensils to their sides as they began to realise the one thing they had missed about their leader right from the very start; Dennis was a fucking moron. This silent realisation was short-lived as very soon several of the ovens over-heated simultaneously and exploded in a huge shower of sparks and half-cooked cake mixture which showered the entire battlefield.

Eventually the flour began to settle and survivors began to rise from their hiding places, wiping frosting from their eyes and looking cautiously about them. Cake batter matted their hair and coated most visible surfaces. A silence had fallen, broken only by the creaking of broken mixers in the wind and the dripping of frosting melting in the morning sunshine. All was gone, all was destroyed, all for a piece of cake.

Restaurants and Simplicity

I have been thinking recently about eating out in restaurants. Of course just the mention of ‘going out’ brings to mind Jerry Seinfeld’s bit on ‘going out’; “Of course we’re all out now, not one of us is at home right now…”. It’s a funny routine, if you don’t know it then check it out. But back to my thoughts. I’ve never been a big fan of restaurants. You may already be wondering why that is, but please don’t fret. You’ll find out soon enough if you continue to read this.

When I have broached the subject in the past people always have the same arguments for going to the restaurant. They say that it’s easier than cooking for yourself. Now, despite that being a monumentally lazy excuse, I don’t really understand it. I mean, there’s so much more involved. The entire process is much more complex than you think.

You decide that you want to go to a restaurant, then you have to decide who it is that you want to go with. What kind of food do you want? So, which restaurant are we going to go to? Then, these preliminary decisions made, you must decide when you are going to go. When is everyone available? Are you going to combine this experience with any other evening activities? Are we going to see a show? Are we going to have drinks? Are we going dancing? Then if so, what order are going to do it all in? It all comes down to that one big question; What time do you want the table?

Even once all that preparation is through, there is still more to come. The big day arrives. Everyone is excited in anticipation of the great feast. Some people will even have skipped lunch so that when the time comes, they can really let loose. Invariably you get dressed up and then you have to decide how you are going to get there. Are we walking or do we need some form of transport? If so, are we driving or drinking? Who’s driving? Who’s drinking? Maybe we should take a taxi? How many taxis do we need? Once all of this is sorted and you get to the restaurant, a whole new conundrum announces itself. Who is going to sit where? So once everyone is sat down, then comes the time to order. What are you getting? I don’t know, are you having a starter? Shall we get drinks? Do we want wine? Bread for the table? Even at the end of the meal there are problems to be overcome. Who’s paying, and how much should we tip?

There is no way to convince me that all of this is easier than a bit of DIY cookery. But this isn’t the only issue with restaurants. The whole concept of the restaurant I find a little unsettling. You don’t know what happens to your food before it arrives at the table. Some of the time you aren’t even 100% sure what is in the food. All we have to go on is a brief blurb written in the menu. You don’t know what it has been through. It gets prepared by a person you don’t know , in a room you can’t see, in far less time than you would reasonably expect it to take. These things concern me, but maybe I’m a little distrustful. Don’t even get me started on buffets. Where did that idea spring from? Who walked into a restaurant and thought; “How can we make this less hygienic?”

People also argue that you go to a restaurant for the ambience. I don’t really understand that either. Why do we pay to go and sit in a large, noisy room filled with people that we don’t know to eat our meals? Why do we reserve a time slot to go and relive the school canteen experience of our youth, albeit in a slightly more sophisticated manner? A brief search online reveals that almost every restaurant in the city in which I currently live will deliver the majority of items on their menu to your house if you are particularly set on paying through the nose for slightly fancier food. Perhaps this will become the future of dining. I suspect this will remain an aspect of our culture that I shall never fully understand, however clearly I am missing something.