I’ve been in love with The Wayne Brady for some time now. I love his lack of fashion sense, his humor, and most of all his complete lack of shame. We’re kindred spirits, you see? The first time I set eyes on his ill-fitted turtle neck, glowing, white tooth regions, and dark, silky skin, my brain shorted a circuit. Frazzled, even “hot and bothered” as my sexier friends might say, I found him sweet, and I was smitten.
Over time I began talking to The Wayne Brady as I watched late-night reruns of Whose Line Is It Anyways? “I love long walks on the beach, dogs that don’t smell, sugar, ceiling fans, hunting with pitchforks, candy, babies that don’t smell, cake and you, ” I told him. He mostly hitched his voice to fashion Kermit The Frog and sang that cartoon key to the bank. On lucky nights, The Wayne Brady performed odd party tricks involving broom sticks and chorus lines for studio audiences. I scribbled “Super Dependable <3” in my Algebra notebook, a reminder of the man’s flawless ability to always be there for me (11:00 EST, Mon/Wed/Fri) .So, I dozed atop piles of homework and half-written love letters confidently dreaming that The Wayne Brady really understands the heart of me.
As soul mates are wont to do, we developed code words for one another. I noticed his particular fondness of himself, a secret message of sorts as I concluded that by “Wayne Brady” he meant “Tori: Ivory to my Ebony”. I affectionately called him Cake. The pet name I bestowed upon him took a savvier grasp of stream of consciousness as it went a little something like this:
I like your skin. It’s all dark and dreamy, milky, milk chocola-The Wayne Brady is like a fine, singing hunk of chocolate ca-I love you like a fat kid lo-Wait. I love you like I love cake. CAKE! CAKE! CAKE!
It made sense at the time. He was irresistible, made my wee heart go pitter-patter, and offered something I could never, ever tire of.
Well, I’m here today to tell you that 13-year-olds are super dumb, and I have finally forsook Cake. No, it wasn’t my engagement to be married to another man that sent this love affair to the trash. The whole white baby thing? Not even a deal breaker. In the end I called it quits with Cake because he called it quits with cake.
A lone tear drizzled my cheek as I cast eyes upon this blasphemy over mid-morning cartoons with my toddler. The baby danced and danced, fumbled the word “carrot”, and jigged some more to the catchy tune. “Shut up dancing at me, Baby,” I shot fireballs at the child, so willing to musically support The Wayne Brady’s clear decision to betray me.
Amid talk of lean meats and scenes of break-dancing kids, I tried to collect myself. Okay, I ate a fistful of M&Ms, and then I collected myself. Over cinnamon-sugar-laced cereal, I chose the words for my next conversation with Cake The Crook. I would show the veggie advocate just what sweetness he’d have to live without come next Monday at 11:00 EST.
“If you are what you eat then I’m finger-lickin’ sweet and ready to give a brother a heart attack. Your loss, Cake. Your. Loss.”
“Have fun with that carrot, Little Spoon.”
Out of clever remarks before I really began, I resorted to baseless immaturity to console myself. And cake. Maybe a sheet cake. Maybe a whole sheet of sheet cake. Sure that I looked just that much more desirable with crumbs and icing smeared across my chin cracks, I flipped my ponytail, popped a Skittle like a breath mint, and let the old flame have it:
” Also? Your teeth are stupid fake. Everyone knows that thing is straight off the Toddlers & Tiaras set. I bet you spray tan. You’re like a poor man’s George Hamilton.”
“I bet your breath smells like bad tofu. Old, bad-tofu-lookin’-head- ass. And yes, I just learned that from a rap video. Because I love being well-rounded like a fat kid loves cake.”
“You are what you star in, Cakeless. That makes you second-rate, crowd-displeasing, ready to put a sister to sleep.”
“Stop smiling, stupid.”
“I said, shut up smiling at me!”
My son clapped as the song came to a close, my love serving up a closing jab with a final sing-song “Tangerine”. I watched spitefully as the toddler munched on fruit for lunch. I stirred a spoon through Full-Fat-All-Fat-All-The-Time pudding, and cursed the day Cake fell on my plate. In the end it’s hard to know which came first, the heartache or the heartburn.