“Don’t run in the house! You’ll make my cake fall!”
My mother would yell this at me sometimes and I’d immediately come skidding to a stop. Then I’d spend the rest of the day creeping quietly around the house because I didn’t want to ruin the promise of cake. Even if it was just for company I knew I’d get at least a slice if I were good.
Then I started thinking it was a control thing because it wasn’t just running in the house.
“Don’t come in with that dirt on your shoes. You’ll make my cake fall!”
“Take that jar of bugs outside. You’ll make my cake fall!”
“Turn off those Godzilla movies! They’ll make my cake fall!”
Sometimes it even seemed like there was no cake. And I’ve never found out what happens if a cake falls. My best guess is that you get a flat, dense cake. Maybe that’s how brownies were invented.
For a time when I was a kid soufflés were also haute cuisine, which translates as “hot cuisine” if you don’t speak French. And I remember they’d fall too, but they were even worse than cakes. A soufflé would fall if you swore, breathed too hard, or looked at it cross-eyed. Maybe that’s why nobody makes soufflés anymore. They kept falling and eventually that was how quiche was invented.
If you do speak French je suis perdu. Ou es le Metro? Merde. Mais cela est une autre histoire.