-Let me finish for Christ’s sake! I was not saying that you’ve lost your grip. And I never suggested that your son was the result of a one night stand. Come on!
She sighed heavily to make her voice stop trembling and sat down on her bed.
-I am just trying to make you understand that some people have more experience in human relations than others. Yes, I know you claim to have created Man, but did you ever live with one that is entirely human? Well, I have. I have a whole family. I bring up my kids. I do that every day of the year, even today, the 4th of December. And it’s not what you think!
-Yes, I know he was difficult as a teenager. You had big plans, and he only wanted to be a carpenter like his father and behaved badly in your Temple, and that might have made you look not so good as a parent if you don’t mind my saying so. And then – it just does not stop – he adjusted to your plans, but later changed his mind and tried to get away from it all. And to finish off the story, he moved into your place at age 33 and now, about 2000 years later he still lives with his dad, unmarried and I guess he never became a carpenter after all. Honestly, how does this make you an authority on kids and how to make them grow into reasonable adults?
She was on the verge of crying now.
-But why do we always end up talking about you? she exclaimed. -We were talking about me in the first place, weren’t we?
-My point was, what kind of human being is this woman? I checked her! I googled her, I facebooked her, I twittered her – and what did I find? She’s an impostor of the worst kind! Do you know what she does? Do you know what she actually does on social media?
Apparently the Allmighty didn’t, as there was no answer.
-She uses her Christmas pictures over and over again!
No wonder Mrs A was upset. Angry and sore about the day before, she had gone through every image on the internet that had to do with Mrs Donut. On the surface everything had looked ok. But then – at some point Mrs A had noticed a picture of a homemade specimen of the traditional Kransekake, a cake for festive occasions consisting of almond cookie rings assembled to make a heavily decorated pointed tower. To make a successful Kransekake the utmost care and workmanship were needed, and even then it was hard to get it right everytime.
Although Mrs Donut had been accepted a Christmas Committee Apprentice on Election Night, she didn’t exactly exude artistry, skillfullness and expertise. And yet – on social media she had bragged about having made and served this kransekake two days earlier, a random Monday. There was something rotten with the whole business, something rotten indeed – Mrs A could tell; she knew.
But exactly what was rotten? Patiently, Mrs A had gone through it all again, all the pictures that Mrs Donut had posted or been tagged in. «Seek and Ye shall find», someone had once said, and that was exactly what happened as Mrs A was examining one of Mrs Tradeoff’s internet profiles. Her discovery made her tremble:
The Tradeoffs had been to a Midsummer party at the Donutian residence, and Mrs Tradeoff had brought a homemade Kransekake. So far so good. Later she had posted a picture of it sitting on the table in Mrs Donut’s living room. Nothing to worry about. Clearly within the limits of normal behaviour.
But, after dwelling on it for a while, Mrs A felt that bad gut feeling coming. There was something disturbing about the picture:
It was a known fact that on a well-made Kransekake the icing was applied in a very fine zig-zag line on each cookie ring before the Kransekake was assembled. Looking closely at Mrs Tradeoff’s picture, her kransekake wasn’t that beautiful. She must have been in a hurry when making it – the icing wasn’t that fine to be honest. It had clearly been applied after the assembly. This was shocking in itself – but what made it worse, was that according to her own post and own picture, Mrs Donut had done the same thing this Monday. Was that likely?
-It’s the same, the icing looks exactly the same! Mrs A thought.
A great, horrific abyss opened up at her feet. Mrs Donut was pretending she had made Mrs Tradeoff’s cake! She was nothing but a simple cheat!
The Committee might like to know about this. And yet – what if Mrs A was wrong? What if her analysis wasn’t sharp enough?
Mrs Donut’s picture had been a close-up. There were no guests to be seen, no snow or lack of it or other significant details. There was only the Kransekake itself and what must be white curtains in the background.
-White curtains, she thought.
Two minutes after her discovery Mrs A had found herself in the street on her bicycle. It wasn’t the high season for cycling with the snow and all, but with winter tyres Mrs A had been able to set off at what was admittedly moderate speed.
As she was passing in front of the tall hedge that surrounded Mrs Donut’s garden, Mrs A stood up on the bicycle, thus getting her head above the hedge for two seconds, just high enough and just the time needed to see Mrs Donut’s windows.
Mrs Donut’s curtains were purple; the liturgical colour of advent. It was highly probable she had hung them up on the 1st of December. And Mrs A was certain – what had been a hypothesis was now an established fact: Mrs Donut had cropped her friend Mrs Tradeoff’s picture to make it unrecognizable and used it as her own. Mrs A didn’t dare think off what else she might have done.
The Committee had a crazy apprentice. If it hadn’t been for her and that new headmaster Mrs A would have been in office now!
Yes, Mr Lekker had come to present himself to the parents at Election Night, and even though none of the ladies would admit it, he had made a profound impression. Mr Lekker was as beautiful a man could be. That might have disturbed the Committee when they made their dire conclusion about the Presidency. It didn’t exactly make it any easier for Mrs A.
In pain she stretched out on the bed. Her life was becoming advent hell.
-We are well into December, she ranted to the Almighty, wiping a tear away.
-Soon there will be all sorts of Christmas Events at school that the kids will attend. We will need loads of little cakes and tons of costumes! And I will have gingerbread up to my ears and yet…
She was breathing heavily.
-…and yet I am not even President! Wake me up from this nightmare!
And she sobbed and sobbed and sobbed again, all alone in the darkness.