Nobody Wants Any Free Cheesecake

If you’ve read my book The Lost Blogs, you’ve probably read the Jim Jones entry in there.

Jim Jones, for those just joining us, was a cult leader who convinced hundreds of his followers to drink poison-laced fruit punch, thereby instigating one of history’s biggest mass suicides and landing his name and actions in the history books for all time to reflect upon.

So if he could get hundreds to drink homemade fruit punch, then why is it that nobody wants any of my free cheesecake?

First and foremost, let me give you a little history on my cheesecake-making story. About a week ago, I decided I wanted to make a cheesecake, so I looked in some cookbooks and determined that in order to make cheesecake I would need a slew of ingredients which included (but were not limited to): cheese, cake-stuff, a crust of some kind, a bunch of eggs and some sugar. Simple enough, right?

Little do the books tell you, but when they say “mix” they don’t just mean “use a fork to squash everything together.” And when they say “mix a block of cream cheese” with the ingredients, they don’t mean “use a fork to mix a block of cream cheese in with the ingredients.”

A cooked cheesecake, mixed by a fork, surprisingly has lumps.

That being said, my cheesecake turned out fine on the outside. It looked perfect. On the inside it might have had some lumps and what not, but people consume in this world because of how things look on the outside, not what it looks like on the inside. And yet, at every turn, to each person I offered a free piece of cheesecake: I was flatly turned down.

Which is total gender racism, or gendeesecakerism.

If I had been a woman holding a cheesecake, walking around offering free pieces to people, how much do you want to bet that everyone would have gladly grabbed a piece from me? But since I’m a man, and since it’s rare to see a man walking around trying to give away free pieces of cheesecake, people’s minds just focus in on the worst. They worry about things like, “is he trying to poison me?”, “there must be something wrong with that cheesecake” and “nobody gives away free ANYTHING anymore.”

And yet there I was, trying to share my love of mashing blocks of cream cheese into a mix of other ingredients, with the rest of the world.

And still — nobody wants any free cheesecake.

It’s that whole fear of the homemade, I think. And maybe that’s why I won’t hold all the feet of these cheesecake-denying fools to the fire. Because if you were to come up to me and offer me a free cooked pastry or baked item of some kind… Unless you were a close family member, I would most likely have to say no. (Or I’d accept it, take a bite, chew while you were watching, then spit it out onto the ground, instead.)

Which I guess makes sense in regards to you not wanting any free cheesecake.

Here’s a list of food items you could prepare that I would actually accept, actually ingest and actually not worry about it:

  • Fruit (washing it, then handing it to me)
  • Cheese (from a package, you’d remove to wrapping)
  • Chips
  • Beef Jerky (which can survive a nuclear holocaust)
  • Brownies (don’t ask me why, except no one can screw up brownies)

Here’s a list of food items you could prepare that I would NEVER, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, ever ingest:

  • Baked goods
  • Meat
  • Chicken Cordon Bleu
  • Linguini in Clam Sauce
  • Beef Carpaccio
  • Really Creamy Tuna Salad Warmed By The Sun
  • [Insert Your Favorite Item Here]

If you won’t eat my cheesecake, then I’m going to stick to my guns on this.

24 comments on “Nobody Wants Any Free Cheesecake

  1. Amy - September 14, 2006 at 7:51 am -

    What about psychedelic brownies, Pauly? Would you accept those?

  2. merel - September 14, 2006 at 7:52 am -

    there’s free cheesecake on offer? where?

  3. Jacquie - September 14, 2006 at 7:56 am -

    i don’t blame you. I hated when we’d have those things at work where all the coworkers were supposed to bring in a dish. What’s that called again, Potluck? The luck is because you’re lucky if you survive after eating something that your coworkers who most likely hate your guts, or that of someone in your office so they laced the dish with something inedible as revenge to someone or possibly everyone who ingests it. I prefer to play it safe and only eat the packaged food that was still sealed in it’s package prior to the potluck rendevoux.

  4. Pierce - September 14, 2006 at 7:57 am -

    I agree with most of your list here, but I have to say that I probably wouldn’t accept any chips or fruit if they were offered to me on the train. Or on the bus. It’s all about context.

    Perhaps you had an over-eager grin on your face when you were offering the cheesecake? That could throw people.

  5. Pauly D - September 14, 2006 at 7:58 am -

    Amy – Go ahead and e-mail me privately and we can discuss.

    Merel – There was. Nobody wanted any.

    Jacquie – Potlucks scare me like nobody’s business. There’s nothing more terrifying than a table filled with jello molds, mayo-based salads and un-cooked poultry. Ick.

  6. Keith - September 14, 2006 at 8:47 am -

    If that’s a picture of the cheesecake you were offering people, no wonder why they declined. That’s not cheesecake!

  7. susan - September 14, 2006 at 9:28 am -

    YOU looked up recipes…? and made something… with dairy in it… and expected people to accept a piece… and eat it…and you are surprised by this? Thanks for making me laugh again today – it’s a veritable Jubilee of Cheesecake!

  8. susan - September 14, 2006 at 9:31 am -

    Oh, and just to be clear, I’m scoffing at the idea not due to gendeesecakerism, but of PaulyDafraidofeverythingism.

  9. Dylan - September 14, 2006 at 9:33 am -

    But what about a chicken cordon-bleu cheesecake?

  10. Pauly D - September 14, 2006 at 9:37 am -

    Dylan – As usual, you have come up with a virtual pamchenko-twist worthy food concoction.

  11. James Cooper - September 14, 2006 at 9:42 am -

    Pauly, I’m looking at the possibility of moving into a new house in the near future. If I invite you to bring your, um, cheesecake to the housewarming party and not only that but masticate, ingest, and digest said cheesecake, will you partake of the other provided comestibles?

    Btw, the party theme will likely be the 80s so don’t forget your big hair.

  12. Kathleen - September 14, 2006 at 11:05 am -

    gimme that cheesecake

  13. Jared - September 14, 2006 at 11:12 am -

    It’s because men are inherently disgusting. Let me run down the odds that go through someone’s head when a guy offers them homemade baked goods:

    5:1 chance that this guy is offering me a cake filled with laxatives, and in about 30 minutes he’s come into the bathroom to yell, “Gotcha!”

    3:1 chance that all or part of this cake fell on the floor at some point and was put back together, dog hair and all

    7:1 chance that this dude was clipping his toenails in the kitchen and a few rogue clipping flew into the batter

    2:1 chance that he picked his nose while cooking and there’s some combination of nose stalagmites and stalagtites in this

    None of these are extremely likely, but all very possible, and thus not worth the risk.

  14. jerry - September 14, 2006 at 11:26 am -

    I am with you Paul. At age 7 I offered everyone I knew some mudpie. It totally looked like chocolate to me and still no one took it.

  15. cdub - September 14, 2006 at 11:57 am -

    Having been on a diet for the last, oh, 15 years (since I was a chubby high-school girl), I would probably take free cheesecake from just about anyone. Even if I was riding the bus late at night and it was offered by a stranger with a shifty look in his eyes (but not if he had dirty hands, because that would be gross).

    So, accepting your free cheesecake, Paul, would be a no-brainer. I’m sure your hands are clean….

  16. Sarcomical - September 14, 2006 at 1:33 pm -

    um…where were you out offering this cheesecake? because if it was in your house, they totally should have taken it. on a sidewalk? i can see the hesitation.

    i won’t eat deviled eggs or egg salad that someone offers me. something about that jiggly eggy mayonnaisey thing.

  17. sandra - September 14, 2006 at 6:24 pm -

    Pauly, I would absolutely, without a doubt, eat your cheesecake. That’s just the kind of person I am.

  18. Janet - September 14, 2006 at 8:43 pm -

    I wasn’t offered any.

    And may I suggest that one of the main problems with giving out free food, especially food that is pushing 500 calories, sets people in defense against their figures. Everyone has a seemingly set schedual of sweets the want to indulge in, and your cheesecake didn’t make it on the schedule. To get people to ingest your food, you need to make invitations a couple weeks in advance informing people of your cheesecake extraveganza. Then they can pencil your cheesecake in.

    And, um, that picture at the top isn’t cheesecake. It looks like a three-layer yellow cake with cream cheese frosting and strawberry-sugar glaze, garnished with whipped cream and lime.

  19. Pauly D - September 14, 2006 at 9:09 pm -

    Janet – Well, that’s the cheesecake I made from that recipe.

  20. joanie - September 14, 2006 at 9:22 pm -

    i found your site when i was googling an old boyfriend who has your same name. it was the mid-eighties and things were very intense for me in my early 30’s at the time. Anyway, if I had been at Ralph’s or wherever you were performing random acts of cheesecake potential, i think i would have said, “oh, thank you”, and proceed to eat it. My latest food obsession is “Creme Brule Cheesecake” and of all things it is a Sam’s Club product. I like your sensibility so I guess I’ll visit your blog again. I’m in TN, starving for intellectual stimulation.

  21. Alex Fayle - September 14, 2006 at 11:26 pm -

    I don’t see any lumps in that picture Pauly – either you were undervaluing your skill at mixing things together with a fork, or you’re trying to hide the real reason no one wanted your cheesecake – perhaps it didn’t look even remotely edible?

    No one refuses my baked goods…

  22. Julia Farley - September 15, 2006 at 4:54 am -

    Hmmm…I would eat your cheesecake if you , ah, ate my pie! 😉

  23. treespotter - September 15, 2006 at 7:24 am -

    you should try my brownies. we went to the sea the other week and my friends duly consumed my brownies. One guy jumped off the boat chasing a horse, the other ones lump together in pretend dead pose and we drifted 35 miles off the coast. in the morning, everybody agreed that we’re the last survivor of a nuclear fall out. that is before we sighted tasmania on the GPS.

    care for brownies?

  24. Belinda - September 16, 2006 at 1:04 am -

    What is that, cheesecake with three layers of crust? And is that what the one YOU made looked like? Because it looks nothing at all like cheesecake. I think people were just confused. It didn’t LOOK like what you were calling it, so right there you got everyone suspicious. And yeah, I’m with the others who’d like to know the contextual setting of this mass cheesecake-refusal. Because under normal circumstances, people refusing perfectly good cheesecake are, IMO, exhibiting symptoms of brain-damage.

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