Recent studies show that mild depression after the holidays is not only common but, in many cases, is the result of FDAD — Fruitcake Disposal Anxiety Disorder. On one hand, your fruitcake was a gift and therefore deserving of some measure of appreciation. On the other hand, it has already become a chew toy for the neighbor’s pit bull. This often leads to feelings of anxiety long after the holidays have ended, particularly when you see “Buster,” still intoxicated with rum, struggling to dislodge the sugar loaf from his tightly-clenched jaws.
So, as a service to our readers, we assembled a group of psychiatrists to help provide insight into dealing with FDAD. At a cost of more than $200 an hour, we held an informative, three-minute discussion to create the following self-help guide:
I’m OK—You’re OK. But Give Me a Fruitcake and I’ll Kill You.
According to our experts, the first step in dealing with this anxiety is understanding where it comes from. To do that, we must go back to the very first fruitcake, which historians agree was baked by Dick Clark in 1609. Subsequently, this same cake was dropped from a tall building each New Year’s Eve until 1972, when, after 364 years, it developed a crack and, as a safety precaution, was launched into space.
This was done despite protests from scientists, and some Mayans, who warned that the loaf could eventually crash back to earth and lead to mass extinction.
Experts say this has led to a new generation of people who not only distrust fruitcake, but see it as a genuine threat to humanity. For these people, we offer the following four-step guide to controlling their fruitcake anxiety.
Step one: Make a list of your fruitcake’s good qualities. The key is to start with what makes fruitcake unique. For example: Its indestructibility. You may not like fruitcake, but you have to respect the fact that cockroaches will be eating it long after humans are being imported to other galaxies on alien party platters.
Step two: Incorporate fruitcake into your daily activities. This is easy once you stop thinking of fruitcake as food. In the same way that Tofurkey is slowly gaining acceptance as an environmentally safe adhesive, fruitcake doesn’t seem so bad once you’ve started using it to block open the garage door. Or as a counterweight on the gas peddle while your car warms up each morning. The point is, if it’s good enough to serve as a “bunker buster” for our military, it’s good enough to serve as a doorstop in your family’s home.
Step three: Consider turning your fruitcake into a treasured heirloom by getting it engraved and then giving it to someone. Just add your name and date, and you can pass this special keepsake on to someone else at the next available birthday party, wedding, house warming, Earth Day celebration, etc.
And finally, if after following these first three steps you’re still unable to control your symptoms, go directly to step four: Investing in a ticket to Mantiou Springs, Colo., for the annual Great Fruitcake Toss. Each January, this event draws hundreds of people from around the world for the sole purpose of showing off their fruitcakes and then catapulting them as far as possible.
Sure, this may sound stupid.
But some day this might be our last defense against invading aliens.
(You can write to Ned Hickson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at the Siuslaw News at P.O. Box 10, Florence, OR. 97439)