Under the heading of strange ways to die, I was a near victim of a hysterical laughter inducing one.
My son-in-law came into possession of a King Cake. He claimed to have won it through some lottery at his work, but after my experience with just one piece I have my suspicions.
I had never heard of a King Cake and knew nothing about the danger of consuming one absent any knowledge of the contents. But as a fan of all things sweet; cake, candy, pies, etc., I happily accepted a piece and brought it home to eat after dinner.
Happily munching away at the delicacy, I encountered an unexpected surprise. A small, hard, yet what I assumed was digestible part of the cake entered my mouth. Feeling some resistance to my initial attempt to chew it, I did what any rational adult would do, I bit it harder.
Now, I am not a fan of chocolate and the initial tastelessness yet firmness I believed was just the poor quality of the candy.
But I was wrong.
After chomping off a piece, but not quite convinced I should swallow it, I decided to examine it. To my shock what emerged was a small plastic human shape sans the arm which I had managed to bite off.
Turns out, this is an element of the King Cake’s history and charm…or lethality.
A king cake, also known as a three kings’ cake, is a cake associated in many countries with Epiphany. Its form and ingredients are variable, but in most cases a fève (lit. ’fava bean’) such as a figurine, often said to represent the Christ Child, is hidden inside. After the cake is cut, whoever gets the fève wins a prize.
In my innocent enthusiasm for all things sweet., I almost got to see if there really is a heaven. Wouldn’t that be the most ironic of all the possible manners of death for me? Choked to death by the Christ child hidden inside a cake.
Now that would be one hysterically funny funeral.