The Corner

Re: Fruitcake Follies

A reader from Milwaukee, a city I know only through the old Jerry Lee Lewis

number “What Made Milwaukee Famous Made a Loser Out of Me”:

“Derb—You really opened a can of worms by admitting you like fruitcake.

Must be a vestige of your former life as a Brit (and therefore, not entirely

your fault). NO ONE in America, red-state, blue-state, or otherwise, likes

fruitcake. What we like to do is give fruitcakes as gifts to OTHER PEOPLE;

what we REALLY like to do is ‘re-gift’ fruitcakes that were given to us for

other occasions. In fact, a common joke is that there is really only one

fruitcake in the entire country, and it just keeps being passed along to

hapless recipient after hapless recipient.”

Well, nobody ever gave *me* a gift of a fruitcake. I’d be thrilled if they

did. And if it’s really true — which I don’t for a moment believe — that

my fellow citizens are being gifted with unwanted fruitcakes — hey, send

’em on to me at National Review. Far as this household is concerned, you

can never have enough fruitcake.

O beautiful for raisins fine!

For candied orange peel!

For cherries too, all crystalline–

It’s better than a meal!

O fruitcake fair! O fruitcake fair!

You light our winter days!

At Christmastime

All steeped in wine

From glaze to shining glaze!

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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