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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Never Leave Me, Gourmet Cupcakes

<rleton has welcomed many laudable additions this year, including an Upper Sayles filled with red paint and black leather couches, two new dorms for lucky younger students, and dual-boot computers that have calmed the violent Mac-vs-PC debate. Yet one newcomer towers above the rest: the gourmet cupcake. Anyone who has passed by the Snack Bar case this year and been startled by garish blobs of frosting knows what I’m talking about. They’re at once repulsive and alluring; in fact, they’re practically hypnotic.

Several times I’ve walked by and literally done a double-take at the sight of a new cupcake creation. I’m drawn to them by an irresistible force. I’ve stood staring through the glass, oblivious to repeated queries from annoyed Bon Appétit employees; I’ve cut in line during the pre-4a rush to simply ogle them. I have built up a collection of cupcake pictures on my phone, most taken gleefully by yours truly but a few sent to me by friends familiar with my obsession. When I have nothing else to do I sit and look at them. Smiling suns. Sprinkle-covered faces with a bushy moustache and candy nose. Three-tiered brown and blue mounds that look like poisonous mushrooms. Springtime cupcakes topped with Peeps. Bumblebees on daisies. Something black and cinnamon and so deeply abstract that I have yet to discover exactly what it is. And my favorite: little people wearing swimming suits floating in inner tubes. These aren’t food, these are ART!

Which is why I could never, ever eat them. It would feel like sacrilege. I am tempted to purchase and bring them home and place them on little pedestals in an airtight container so that I can forever feast my eyes upon them, in the same way I imagine a paleontologist stares at newly unearthed dinosaurs or artsy people praise the Mona Lisa. Never mind the fact that they are roughly 4,000 percent of my daily calories, or that much of the decorative frosting is said to be hard and uncomfortable to chew, or that they are apparently also filled with a marshmallow-ish substance so that there is almost no cake to the cupcake at all (and any cupcake connoisseur knows that the cake is in fact the best part) – no, these reasons are not why I have never eaten and will never eat a gourmet cupcake. It is because one does not destroy perfection. I’ve never even touched one for fear of denting the tediously constructed figures on top.

And so I’ve been moved to express my love for these tiny, edible objects of artistry. They deserve to be placed on a golden platter: a tribute to my senior year and the cupcakes that have made it so memorable. It’s obvious that whoever decorates them is a craftsman the likes of which Carleton College has never before seen. This is why I hope they live on. True, pulling them completely wouldn’t be a loss to anyone’s gastronomic pleasure (no one else eats them either, which is why they are – it pains me to say it – appearing less and less), but think of how we would suffer emotionally. You can’t take shelf space away from happiness.

As I prepare to say goodbye to my college and friends, I know that what I will miss most is not the classes I’ve taken or the relationships I’ve built, but the flutter of delight I feel when I walk into Sayles – breathlessly, hopefully – and am gratified by a full tray of gourmet cupcakes. I’m afraid the light will go out of my life next year without them. So please, a final plea to anyone who cares about me: next year, when you walk by and get that little thrill of gladness from the pastry display, take a picture and send it to me. I’ll tape it to my wall and smile as I drift off, dreaming of Carleton and deep, sugar-induced comas.

* Author’s Note: Really though, the cupcakes are impressive. Check them out if you haven’t. They’ll enhance your life.

-Allie Morgan is a fourth-year student

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