Attention Apocalyptics!

The banks are open for several more hours, which means there’s still time to transfer your assets over to me before the world ends tomorrow. Cash or money orders are preferred, but I’ll also gladly accept vehicle titles, blank checks and powers of attorney. So all you true believers, click on the link to the left to send me an email and I’ll forward the numbers of my various Swiss bank accounts.

For those of you out there who aren’t so certain, but may be experiencing anxiety about the Mayan calendar, I have it on good authority that the world actually isn’t going to end tomorrow. What authority is that? Why an indigenous Zapotec, a native of the Yucatán, who spent this past week weekend with us celebrating his birthday. I know what you’re going to say: “Indigenous peoples don’t have birthdays, Joe.” Actually that’s true. But even though Victor grew up speaking the Zapotec language, he likes cake and candles like everybody else. We were pleased to have him.

Of course the subject of the apocalypse came up after the girls were in bed, and he told us with a smirk that all the people worrying about the Mayan apocalypse aren’t Mayan. In those regions of Mexico tomorrow is just another day. It’s only significance is as a point of renewal, as they anticipate the turning over — not the ending — of the calendar.

We get to meet a lot of interesting people here at Chez Pastry, what with Mrs. Pastry being an academic and all. I was very glad to have Victor drop in. It was a great thing for little 5-year-old Joan Pastry especially. She’s the worrying type, you see. Her great anxieties in life are snakes, bears, robots and Indians (the arrow-shooting kind from movies). How she settled on those things as being particularly threatening to her I’ll never know. What I can say is that she would have been terrified had we told her that a full-blooded Mesoamerican “Indian” was coming to stay. Of course come Monday morning she’d had a stellar weekend. On the walk to school I asked her what she thought about her new “Indian” friend. She looked up with alarm. “What Indian?”

“Victor,” I said. You could see the wheels turning as it dawned on her that a person could be an “Indian” and not wear feathers. She didn’t really say much for the rest of the walk, save that it explained why his bedtime stories were so unusual. That’s one anxiety down. Now I guess we need a snake, a bear and a robot to each come visit for a weekend. We’re going to go through a lot of clean sheets and towels I think.

13 thoughts on “Attention Apocalyptics!”

  1. Joe – if the world comes to an end tomorrow I’ll be more than OK with that.

    OTOH – I want to wish you the happiest of holiday seasons & a great New Year. I discovered your little slice of Internet heaven this year and it has been a real joy – thanks so much. You have rekindled a joy in baking that has been gone since my cancer treatments took away my taste buds. My family & friends thank you also as it am trying a lot of your recipes & need to give away a bunch of really good stuff. Sometimes its tough to know the good you are doing but you are making a lot of people happy.

    1. You’ve been a most welcome addition to the site, Frankly. Thanks for all the great comments this past year. As you may know, I came to baking by way of stage 4 lymphoma. I remember the taste bud problem well. It took a long time for some of those sensations to come back, but eventually they did. That was over twelve years ago and I’ve barely taken an aspirin since. I look back on that time as one of the best of my life, as it snapped me out of the stupor I’d been in for most of my adult life and got me started living. So in my case it was necessary.

      All of us cancer survivors are a big family, so I hope you’ll continue reading and commenting this coming year. You really made my day with this. Have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

      – Joe

      1. I did not know that about you – sorry we are in the club.
        Because the treatments were on my throat I was told not to expect to get it back. I hope to be a regular in the next year instead of just a passer-by. If anything I add makes it better I’m more than happy to help.

        1. Funny as it sounds, Frankly, I’m not sorry at all. It was a big time for me. There certainly wouldn’t be a Joe pastry without it. But wow was it hard and scary. Here’s to your imminent return to civilian clothes!

          Oh, and by the way, my oncologist told me I’d never have children. Now I have two, both under my own, er, power as it were. There’s value in being a “bad patient” to some extent…to push beyond the boundaries of what the experts say is possible. I remember playing pick-up basketball during my treatment. I went up for a rebound, my weak legs collapsed under me coming down, I fell on my own elbow and broke two ribs. Later my oncologist (who became a great friend) told me that while the whole incident was stupid, I was the only one in the chemo clinic with a sports injury…which was cool. 😉

          Accept no limitations! Merry Christmas, Frankly!

          – Joe

        2. My friend Dave survived throat cancer, he had as much radiation as he could take and is now well over ten years free. His salivary glands are totally gone, but his taste came back. Took a good few years, but it did happen.

  2. Thank you for another wonderful year of education, entertainment, and yummy food, sir. Like the Mayans, I think of solstice as the end of one time and the beginning of another, though for me that’s just the start of my new year. *smiles and sends you the virtual aromas of our kitchen right now – roasting stuffed pork, winter squash, and mincemeat bars*

    May your new year be outstanding!


  3. Came to this post, and the comments, a little late. But wow Joe! My admiration for you grows.

  4. I loved your story about your daughter’s Indian friend! I’m thinking, surely, there must be a friendly robot toy or two she could meet.
    Has she seen “Wall-E”? I was a nanny to a little girl for 5 years; she was a bit apprehensive about robots too, but that movie changed her mind completely. Probably a good thing — because, you know, robots may well be a commonplace feature in our kids’ lives.

    Also, thank you for an ideal panettone recipe, found elsewhere on your site!

    1. Hey Pamela!

      Thanks for that. She does know Wall-E, but for some reason robots in general intimidate her. Who knows why? It’s the mind of a 5-year-old, but I’ll see what I can do about the robot toy. It’s a great suggestion, one she might go for. Thank you for the very thoughtful — and helpful — comment!

      – Joe

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