In an ill-fated attempt to use ear-candles instead of birthday candles, life-coach Ethel Farbstein ruined boyfriend Freddie Gobbo’s birthday cake.
“I’m so sorry I altered his cake beyond edibility, this didn’t happen when I used ear candles on my daughter’s cake,” said Farbstein who actually did destroy her daughter’s Cinderella cake before blocking out the memory with euphemisms. “I mean, I remember my daughter’s cake being warm, but not melted.”
“It was so silly of me, I meant to go to the party store, but instead I went to Whole Foods for an eight dollar bag of carrots, and then I forgot the candles,” said Farbstein. “I guess I’m just distracted because I’m upset about learning that my dream analyst was a fraud. Then I remembered that I had a bag full of ear candles, and they seemed to work alright before.”
Ear candles are a natural method of earwax removal, dating back to 2500 B.C., Egypt. The “candles” more closely resemble cones, and are made of rolled muslin cloth dipped in Beeswax. When placed in the ear and lit, they create a vacuum that draws the softened wax up into the cone.
“The first problem was that the candles were too big, they had to be deeply inserted to stand up, and the shafts were almost as big as a quarter,” recounted birthday boy Freddie Gobbo. “Secondly, each lit candle actually did what it was supposed to do, they each created a vacuum and started sucking frosting up into the cones.”
These two problems, while cosmetically unappealing, were minor compared to what followed.
“The muslin-slash-beeswax combination burns pretty hot, and it’s a hollow tube, not just some wick, “explained Freddie, “this heat immediately released essential oils that were part of the ear candles. All of a sudden I had lavender and tea tree oil forming a vaporous cloud around my cake, dripping near the base of each candle.”
“The shape of the cones was too conducive to flames, and the tops were already burning too hot to begin with. With my birthday wish for a peaceful evening in mind, I tried to blow out the candles. This actually fanned the fire.” Gobbo continued, “And by the time I found a bowl for the candles, it was too late. They had collapsed upon themselves, into a united heaping pile of wax, muslin cloth and frosting and leaping flames.”
“I was about to wish for a perfect rest of the evening.”
When asked about where she first went wrong, Farbstein admitted, “Usually when you do ear candling, you light just one at a time, and then instead of blowing out the flame, you trim the end with scissors, so it falls into a bowl of water. It’s too flammable to blow out.”
But in the case of Freddie Gobbo’s birthday cake, no scissors or bowl of water was at hand. Ethel Farbstein, life coach, was completely unprepared for the situation, although she had gone through the same thing, only worse, with her daughter’s cake.
Farbstein of course philosophized about the occurrence “Well, if birthday cakes are supposed to be symbolic of the year to come, I suppose this will be a turning point in my relationship with Freddie.”
By the end of this interview Ethel Farbstein had already begun to repress proper memory of the incident, and euphemized, “I guess it wasn’t that bad, it didn’t destroy all of the cake.” In her mind she was referring to, and exaggerating, the existence of a few almonds and specks of frosting that had remained in the bottom of the cake box prior to her senseless birthday “blooper.”
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Photo credit: guy with cake: flickr/cote (Michael Cote)
Pink Princess cake: rafael_mizrahi/flickr