One of the servers at the Club is from Egypt. To avoid legal hassles, let's call her...Cleopatra. She is also a Facebook friend and I was informed on Facebook that last week was Cleo's birthday. She's a wonderful person, full of fun, great to work with, so I decided to bake her a birthday cake.
I thought it would be cool to write, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLEOPATRA!" in Arabic and so I did. (At least I think that's what it said - it could very well have said, "EAT THE POISON CAKE INFIDELS!" for all I know.
We have another server at the club who could only be described as that word that rhymes with "witchy" To avoid legal hassles, let's just call her...Endora.
Endora has been in the same job in the same place for 36 years. If my math is right, she started working there in 1973. Let us all now stop and reflect on what we've done and accomplished since 1973. So I guess I can't blame her for being a tad crotchety. But I do anyway.
When Endora saw that I had made this special cake for Cleopatra, she went batpoop. She exclaimed that if one person got a birthday cake, then everyone should get a birthday cake and I couldn't agree more. The trouble is, I don't know everyone's birthday, but I vowed that I would collect them all and produce cakes for the entire staff or die trying. I began to collect birthdays and put them in my calendar. You'd be surprised how generously people will volunteer their birth date to a pastry chef. These are not stupid people.
That wasn't enough for Endora.
She went to Top Management and demanded that no one should receive a birthday cake. Not nobody, not no-how. Never.
I learned this through the usual employee gossip track and waited for the word to come down that I was not to bake any more birthday cakes. (People are afraid of Endora, even management). And you know what? I was prepared to go to the mat on this one.
There are few places in the world where the differences between the "haves" and the "have-nots" are more clearly illustrated than at a country club. Good people who are struggling to pay their rent, put their kids through school and buy their medicines, routinely, and with good cheer, put on $40,000 weddings. That's not to say that the "haves" are not good people too - they are. To avoid legal hassles, let's just say that all our members are saints.
As a child of the 60's, I have CRUSADE! in my blood and vowed that if anyone told me I couldn't make any birthday cakes in the future, I would quit and take everyone with me! Write letters to the editor! Make a YouTube video! Get Glenn Beck involved! And that terrorist guy Obama used to pal around with - William Ayers! Yeah, him!
You know what happened? Nothing. Turns out they're more afraid of me than Endora. Little do they know that even though I, too, am a witch - I'm a good witch.
The next birthday in the queue was one of the facility guys. I happen to know that he loves German chocolate cake and so I whipped one up for him. I decided to present it to him at lunch, timing it so that Endora would be a witness. I made signs, lighted a zillion candles, blew up balloons, called everyone together to sing - I did everything but ring a cowbell. As everyone gathered to sing and celebrate the birth of our dear co-worker, I could see Endora hanging back in the doorway. Not participating, not singing, not smiling.
And I wondered how one person's happiness can make another person so miserable.
So I'm going to find out Endora's birthday from human resources. And I'm gonna make her the best cake ever - chocolate! I'm going to do buttercream roses and write her name beautifully on the cake. I'm going to call everyone together and make them sing to her.
Sometimes the best revenge is simply doing the right thing.