Frailty, thy name is fruitcake

By Emily Brightman

Gerry Brague/Flickr
Gerry Brague/Flickr

The illustrious fruitcake is an essential staple of any holiday diet and has been making the rounds at family gatherings and shindigs since time immemorial. While its value as a confection has been fully validated, the fruitcake is also an object of widespread practicality and has a plethora of uses in daily life. From a makeshift doorstop to a visually appealing paperweight, the fruitcake easily makes itself valuable as an everyday household item. Have a surplus of fruitcake after the recent holiday season? Put that hackneyed dessert to work for you with these practical uses:

DIY car jack

Blew a tire on the interstate, but don’t have a jack to prop your car up on to change it? If you have a fruitcake on hand, your problem is solved. Use that fruity dessert to steady your vehicle long enough to switch out the bad tire, and you’re on your way. Fruitcake can also be kept in the bed of pickup trucks for added traction and used as an emergency stopping block for cars with bad parking breaks. Keep one in the trunk of your vehicle beside your jumper cables and spare tire, just in case.

Boat/hot air balloon anchor

Sheer weight gives the fruitcake a hefty advantage in terms of usefulness. Most fruitcakes have the physical consistency of a cinder block, which makes them excellent candidates for replacement anchors. Small boats can easily make use of fruitcake as a spare anchor in an emergency, and the brick-like quality of the cake surely makes it an effective weight against churning tides. Hot air balloon riders can also make use of the fruitcake as an anchor to avoid the dangers of rising too quickly or losing balance, or even as a means of evenly distributing weight within the riding basket. Users of any free-floating travel apparatus would be wise to keep a fruitcake on hand in case such a need for weight should strike.

Deterring speed bump

Tired of that newly-licensed teenager always driving at break-neck speed down your residential street? A well-placed fruitcake can make all the difference. Simply place the cake at a location in the street where tires are sure to make contact and watch with satisfaction as your lead-footed neighbors are forced to slow their vehicle down to reasonable speeds to avoid a crash. If it should come to pass that someone does, in fact, crash, you can always claim innocence and blame it on the fruitcake.

Home security system

Want to feel safe in your home, but don’t feel like shelling out the cash for a security system? A fruitcake can ease all of your safety worries. When thrown with enough force a fruitcake is an excellent deterrent for would-be burglars, and it can also be used as a helpful projectile in case of a home invasion. But if violence isn’t necessarily your cup of tea, that same fruitcake can also be used as a stop behind any door, making entry into the house extremely difficult. Still not feeling totally secure? Simply leave the fruitcake in an uncovered dish outside your front door; anyone who would dare enter your house after seeing that is likely more stupid than they appear.

Gift it to someone you don’t like

There are few gifts as passive-aggressive as a fruitcake. If you are forced to get a gift for someone you aren’t terribly fond of, like your mother-in-law or a fair-weather friend, giving them a fruitcake is the ultimate way to get your message across without having to confront them. Nothing says, “You’re kind of a jerk” stronger than a hearty fruitcake, so if you need to let that special someone know just how seething with rage you really are at them, a fruitcake is the most poignant means of conveying your message. Just beware of any fruitcakes you yourself receive as gifts, because now you know exactly what kind of emotional tag is attached to it.

If you find yourself with a distressing surplus of fruitcake, the Internet is rife with clever and innovative ways to make use of that dastardly dessert. Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a good fruitcake, but now you have some tips to enjoy it in ways that don’t require the unfortunate sacrifice of your lower intestine.

Emily A. Brightman can be reached at [email protected]