ON BUNDTLETS AND BUMPER STICKERS

Happy humpday, everybody!

I don’t like that expression, Hump Day.  Or Humpday.  Or whatever.  It’s when we get over the hump, I get it, but the word hump doesn’t work for me.  First, the “mp” ending is always a little brusque, don’t you think?  And so, in the verb form, to hump, well, that makes sense, especially if you like it brusque.  And the noun for what’s on the back of whales and camels?  Perfect.  Sounds kind of like what it is.  But as an adjective/noun modifying the noun “day?”

As the great Soupy Sales used to say, “I…I…I…don’t like it.”

So by now you know that I have nothing planned for today. That’s right, I’m trying to think but nothing happens.  In fact, I almost wrote about something that I already wrote about that I probably should never have written about in the first place.

I was driving the other day, getting mad at the idiot in front of me, and had an idea for a bumper sticker.  It’s a little long, so the letters will be small and you’ll have to be way too close to read it safely so it could actually CAUSE an accident, but whatever.

(Side note: I was following an LAPD cruiser one evening and noticed a bumper sticker.  I got close at a red light.  It said “Don’t text and drive” or “don’t drive distracted,” and so why the hell do they put a bumper sticker on there?  I mean, I’m reading this bumper sticker, not watching the road.  I could have rear-ended the patrol car.  A better bumper sticker on police cars would be: “STOP READING THIS.  WATCH THE ROAD, YOU MORON!”)

I don’t know what it is about being in a car, but pretty much everyone else on the road is either an idiot or an asshole, or they are old/infirm/sight-impaired and shouldn’t be driving in the first place.  Don’t get me wrong, I hate people in general, that’s my job.  Hatred and anger produce great prose and jokes, but I never dislike everyone else more than when I’m in the car.  Here is the sticker:

bumper sticker (2)

This is a good bumper sticker because not only am I saying this about the idiot in front of me, the guy reading it can say the same about the idiot in front of him.  I’ll let that one sink in for a minute.

WHAT IN THE HECK IS A BUNDTLET?

Recently, I got a mailing for a new business here in the West San Fernando Valley, called Nothing Bundt Cakes, and I don’t know these people and maybe they are great bakers, but this name sucks.  Okay, I’m presuming they make cakes.  And maybe they only make Bundt cakes.  So maybe it could be “Nothing But Bundt Cakes,” which admittedly is a little on the nose, but otherwise it sounds like their Bundt cakes are, well, nothing?  I…I…I…don’t like that.  I get it, they substituted “Bundt” for “but” to be cute, but does this mean they make nothing but cakes or nothing but Bundt cakes?  You figure it out.

The mailing was for a free Bundtlet with the purchase of a Bundtlet.

Wait, Bundtlet? Now they have to make up a word for a small Bundt cake?  Hold on there a second, isn’t a small Bundt cake a donut?  Sure, I know that the “-let” suffix is a diminutive.  Like, a cutlet is a small cut, right?  Still, I’m confused.  I’m going to have to go to West Hills and get to the bottom of this.

And Bundt sounds a little too, I don’t know, Hitler-ish. There.  I said it. It reminded me of the Bund, a German-American pro Nazi group from the 1940s.  I figured maybe it was short for one of those impossibly long words like Bundtesgartenforschpeisseshlossenfurter (I made that one up) that the Germans are famous for, but no.  I couldn’t be more wrong, sort of.

Bundt cakes, as such, have only been around since the 1950s, when, according to Wikipedia and other more respectable sources, they were created by “American businessman H. David Dalquist and his brother Mark S. Dalquist, who co-founded cookware company Nordic Ware based in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. In the late 1940s, Rose Joshua and Fannie Schanfield, friends and members of the Minneapolis Jewish-American Hadassah Society approached Dalquist asking if he could produce a modern version of a traditional cast iron Gugelhupf dish.”  So Bundt cakes are new, but Gugelhupfs are from 17th century Europe.

Okay, so there you have it.  It sounds German, and it’s based on a Kugelhupf or gugelhupf, and some Hadassah yentas wanted to make Kugelhupf and needed the right pan, so these Norwegian-American guys made one, and it didn’t sell very well at first, but as we know, the rest is cake history.  But as far as I know, the Dalquists never made a bundtlet pan.

Also, no one knows where they got the name Bundt, but it has been theorized that although they wanted it to sound Germanic or Scandinavian, they didn’t want to be associate with the Bund.  Maybe just adding a ‘t’ at the end was a little too subtle?  No one could ever confuse “Bundt” with “Bund” could they?  Nah.  Of course not.

You know that Bundt cakes usually have stuff inside them, rather than on the outside like other cakes because toroidal cakes are notoriously hard to frost.  That’s right, Bundts are toroidal in shape (that’s like a ring), and maybe that’s a better name for them?  Toroidal cakes?  Nevermind.  Sounds like a gross medical condition.

FISH SELFIE

Sunday night I was performing with friends at a dive bar in Culver City and out back there is this patio and it has a big fish tank on it. And I was looking at the fish tank which is very nice with lots of large fish, and I notice that all the fish are swimming around like fish do, eating, looking for food, bumping into one another.  Except for one. This guy.

Steve the fish
I call him… Steve.

His name is Steve, I was told, but I think the drunk man who told me this made that up.  But he looks like a Steve, so that’s his name. Anyway, it seems that this Steve could care less about what’s going on in the tank.  He is interested in the people out there on the patio.  He just likes people watching.  Best of all he takes great selfies.  And he’s not a duck, so I don’t have to worry about his mother kicking him out of the family.

Steve and me
The author, with Steve.

WILDFIRE UPDATE

And finally, we took a hike up in Agoura Hills the other day.  All the fires from earlier in the year feel like long ago, but this area is still on the mend.  One cool thing was this giant old oak, probably 500 years old.  Well, half the tree burned and fell to the ground but you could see the perimeter the firefighters put up to save the old oak, and even though a lot burned, the other half of the tree is doing fine!  The ability of trees to overcome fire and years of drought is quite amazing.

treeburn
Half the tree burned and fell to the ground, but the rest was saved. The scale is hard to tell in this photo, but the high point of the downed limb is taller than me. This charred section weighs many tons.

So, that’s it for today.  Thanks for letting me get that out.  What have we learned? Anything?  Let me think.  Oh yes. We learned about Bundt cakes and why Bundlet is dumb. And that I am an asshole on the road, but so are you. And what else?  Trees are better at healing themselves than humans are.  And some fish are very gregarious and sociable. But not many.

There’s a whole lot to learn in Smoking in Bed: dreams of love, sex and terrorism.  Not about dreams, sex or terrorism, though. Dreams, a little.  And no Bundt cakes.  But you never know what you might learn until you try.  Even about things you though you never wanted to learn about in the first place.

 

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