It's not quite the same as too hot for TV, but when I submitted this article last week, I was told that it was in fact too cold for the newspaper that runs my column. So, if you go to the Advocate this week, you won't see this column. Luckily, the age of the Internet affords writers a mechanism to bypass any sort of "screening" process that might prevent "offensive" pieces from being printed, or discriminate on basis of "quality".
In all seriousness, though, they said that this article was too harsh to print, and I guess I may as well make use of this webspace to let you read it. Besides, if you've spent time in Williamstown, then you probably know the bakery*.
Land of the Rising Pun
"Hakuna Ciabatta-- Don't Worry About Bread"
WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- Ivy Felix, the owner of Kentsburg Bakery on Autumn Street, is having a rough month. She has been worried for some time that her bakery may have to be closed. It was revealed in the Advocate last week that her total accounts payable were over $30,000, including over $5,000 of back rent, along with debts to various food vendors. Having spent a lot of money on a painting of an oven, the cost of moving for Felix would be steep. At the end of a short article describing some of the delicious breads made at the Kentsburg Bakery, a request was made that anyone with ideas for financial help contact Felix, and her telephone number was listed. One week later, she has already received 87 phone calls, all of which have suggested the same thing: A Bake Sale.
Felix received the first call at 10:00 on Thursday morning. "I called her as soon as I read the article," said Sal Ebake, a Williamstown resident. "I've held a few bake sales in my day as fundraisers, and they were always a lot of fun. Bake sales are what helped my Rotary club afford a new phone to replace that bizarre touch-tone one that came with the place. I've known Ivy [Felix] for years, and she's even a better baker than I am, so I'm sure she'd make a ton of money. Have you tasted her peanut butter cookies? They're delicious!"
By Thursday evening, Felix had received fourteen more calls, all from well-meaning individuals who were suggesting in one form or another that she try to raise money with a bake sale. "Felix, she's got the dough, but she's got to get the bread, if you know what I mean," offered Vinny 'The Baker' Corleone. "Actually, she's got the bread, but she's got to get the dough. What I'm trying to say is, she has tasty baked goods, and needs to have money. I think a bake sale is probably the best legal way to accomplish that."
Felix has managed to remain polite with all of the callers. She thanks them all for their bake sale suggestion, and then tries to hang up before screaming in frustration. Friday afternoon, she received a long phone call from Mrs. Adbre's entire third-grade class at Mount Greylock Elementary School. As a class project, they had decided to call Felix with a list of reasons why they thought a bake sale was a good idea, and each student got to say one good thing about bake sales. "We raised $83 for our field trip," offered one student, "so I know that bake sales can help you earn a lot of money for something you want." Other helpful tips from the students included, "Brownies are yummy!", "If you make chocolate chip cookies, I'll buy one from you when I get my allowance.", and "You can get your mommy to help you if you aren't allowed to use the oven."
"That was a really tough phone call," said Felix. "I was very tempted to scream and tell them that $83 doesn't even pay off one day's operating expenses. Not to mention the fact that I own a bakery. I am having a bake sale ALL THE TIME. That's my job, that's what a bakery is. But since nobody else in the Berkshires seems to comprehend this, why should I expect a bunch of third-graders to understand? I know that they are trying to help, and I really need the goodwill of the community now, so I'm trying not to hurt anyone's feelings. But every phone call I get from someone saying, 'Gee Ivy, have you considered having a bake sale?' makes me want to hit them in the back of the head with a baguette."
Calls continued to pour in all weekend, and showed no sign of letting up this week. Katie June, director of the Lenox Council on Day-Old Bread, called Felix just yesterday with an idea for a bake sale. "We were having our weekly meeting on Monday morning," said June, "and many of us had seen this article in the Advocate. I heard something about her selling bread at Kentsburg Bakery, but maybe the problem is that she didn't put up signs. After chatting with a few of the other members, we came up with a great plan. I called her to suggest that she try having a bake sale, and also putting up signs around town that say, 'Bake Sale At Kentsburg Bakery-- We Knead Your Support!'. If she doesn't put up signs, how will anyone know that she is having a bake sale?"
Ivy Felix is still hoping that a solution to her problems presents itself, and continues to welcome any ideas for financial help, but kindly asks that you please not call her to suggest a bake sale.