Grasshopper Soup: Enjoying cake in an easy-to-forget world

Bob Sweigert
Grasshopper Soup
By Bob Sweigert

On the first day of June, after a scrumptious salmon dinner with rice, green peas and corn, I visualized a very large, single serving of chocolate cake sitting on the shelf at SaveMart just for me. I could see it as clear as a bell, so, without giving it another thought I got up and went to claim my just desserts. There, on the shelf, just as it had appeared in my vision, in a plastic container, was the most beautiful, fresh piece of chocolate cake I had ever seen. It was just big enough to satisfy my decadent desire.

But it was in plastic. Would I be committing an evil act against Almighty Green Consciousness if I bought it? To be truthful (as I always am), I didn’t have that thought until I got home with my tempting prize. I figured that pretending the purchase actually challenged my morals would serve as an interesting writing gimmick.

I set the endangered species killing plastic container down without opening it and sat down at the computer, unable to write. Writer’s block. An uneaten piece of cake and no ideas. A huge thunder clap shook the house. Actually, it was more like a thunder explosion. Did the Heavens not approve of my blank mind? Was it a sign I should return the cake to the store? I searched my soul extensively (it’s a very big soul) for what seemed like hours. Satisfied there was not the slightest trace of guilt to be found in my Tahoe Basin size, serendipitous and innocent spirit, I started typing.

Part of the plan that lead to seeing the cake and going out in to the dark, cloudy evening to possess it, was the fact that it was late Monday night and I had written nothing for this weeks Grasshopper Soup. I had been stressing about it for a couple days until I did the smart thing, which was to say the hell with it. Forget it and it will write itself. I hoped that if I did that the blank page would fill with words like the low pressure system spinning off the coast of California was filling the mountains with lightning and rain clouds. Now, here I am, prolific as octo-mom, and I forgot what I wanted to write about in the first place.

Some of you will not be at all surprised that the 400 words you just read were completely unnecessary.

Excuse me, but I have a treat from Heaven to consume. I’ll be right back with my intended story. I just wrote 468 words in less than ten minutes. I deserve a chocolate cake with milk break.

I’m back, and my stomach feels funny. Must have been the milk, but it’s probably from watching “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here”. One of the contestants was throwing a tantrum. It was like watching an old Jerry Springer show, which is what American politics often reminds me of: angry, ignorant idiots.

Now I remember. While in line at the store with my chocolate cake, I read the cover of Newsweek magazine. It said, “Everything you think you know about Iran is wrong”. My first thought was, oh no, here we go again. Some East Coast elitist snob is going to talk down to us ignorant old white guys again.

If the title of the Newsweek article is true, then Iran isn’t a country in the Middle East, Ahmadinejad isn’t the president, he supports Israel’s right to exist, and there are no homosexuals there. Smarty pants journalists.

I could say more, but I’m too busy. I woke up this morning to find out I was part owner of General Motors which, in the wake of the miraculous new economic stimulus, is laying off 34% of its work force. I need to get organized before Arnold Schwarzenegger releases too many prisoners, lays off all state law enforcement and stops all the welfare checks.

I have to figure out if I can hire everybody to make little electric cars. Anybody want to help? I’ll pay you a huge bonus, and we can eat cake.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 25 years.

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