Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bethel Bakery Adventures

I grew up in the South Hills. The town where I grew up (do I call it a town? a suburb? a community?) has been in the news lately because of something utterly stupid that came out of soon-to-be Republican nominee for President, Mitt Romney, during his visit to Bethel Park. If there is one thing that unites all who have ever lived in Bethel Park for a portion of their lives, it is that Bethel Bakery cake is the ONLY cake. It is - without question - the best cake in any former or present Bethel Park resident's mind. So, you'll have to understand why we were so upset when Mitt Romney looked at a plate of cookies set before him at a picnic table where he dined with four local couples, he thought this was the best thing possible to say:

(Said to the women sitting next to him.) "I'm not sure about these cookies. They don't look like you made them. No, no. They came from the local 7-eleven, bakery, or whatever."

And then, he didn't even try one. He just outwardly dismissed the food set out in front of him. What he was missing were some of the tastiest cookies you'll ever eat. I don't know how Bethel Bakery does it, but my goodness - I have no words.

Enter a new catchphrase in the political vernacular: "Cookiegate."

Honestly, I thought this was just being covered locally in Pittsburgh. But then one of my favorite musicians, Owen (Mike Kinsella), tweeted the following:

Cookiegate had become national news!

So, on Friday night while Allie and I started discussing plans for the following day, I mentioned that I would like to go get a Bethel Bakery cake. Because Allie is awesome and tends to always be up for crazy adventures, she agreed and drove to the South Hills the next morning.

I got the cake I had been dreaming about since Cookiegate started and the words "Bethel Bakery" were thrown about casually by just about everyone. I decided I needed to justify the cake-buying with a celebration. Fortunately, I had passed 1,000 miles biked for 2012 (making me 1/3 of my way to my Pedal for Pennies goal!). I went for something simple:

When we got back to Allie's car, we immediately knew something was wrong. It was making a horrible noise, and as we pulled out of the parking spot, it felt like something was dragging on the ground. We pulled back into the parking lot, and Allie jumped through numerous hoops in order to get a AAA tow truck to come and help us. This could have been a wholly horrific turn of events, which I feared having experienced a number of truly spirit-crushing dealings with AAA in the past. But we ended up being saved by the swellest AAA driver that possibly exists: Bill.

Bill showed up and of course he immediately knew what was wrong. And, also of course, he had a six-year-old black named Petunia in the truck along for the day.

Petunia was pretty awesome. And she sure loved Bill. When he left us in the truck while he got Allie's car up on the tow, she looked out the window and cried for him the entire time he was outside of the cab.

And then another swell guy I know, my dad, offered to come swing by South Park Shops and pick us up and drive us back to the city. We definitely could have taken the T (one of the greatest advantages of Bethel Park: access to the light rail), but it was cold and rainy and - goddamnit! - we had this cake we were carrying around. We were back in my apartment enjoying the world's bestest dessert before we knew it, and laughing about how crazy the past 16 hours of our lives have been.

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