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We’ve all been there.

Maybe not all of us. I don’t know the birthday rituals of almost every culture outside of my fairly limited scope. Most of the birthday parties I’ve experienced have involved arriving, running, playing, consumption of foodstuffs and saccharine indulgence, and leaving in a pool of one’s own vomit and effluents. Some parties involved getting covered in the effluents of others, but those are best left for another day.

One of the pinnacles of the Standard North American Birthday Celebration is the birthday cake. A confection of both delectability and sensory pleasantries, the cake is lit ablaze and exhaled on by a potentially plague-ridden tot. A massive blade is swept in, and the cake is hacked to pieces and served to the slavering masses on brightly-coloured platters.

All of this is a wonderful, delicious, and most triumphant end to the festivities. That being said, I was always left wanting after the final bite.

This is a truly horrifying plight I found myself in on more than one occasion. Suffice it to say that I did not address this crushing oppression until much later in life.

Birthday cake only ever comes in two flavours: chocolate or vanilla.

It is the height of rarity to see a cake of another ilk. Is it dessert-based racism, or have our palates been so dulled that we no longer have the ability to recognize another hue of gateau?

How did lemon fall by the wayside? Where was Che when strawberry fell under the thumb of the mighty cakemakers and their cocoa-fed tyranny? Why did vanilla turn a blind eye to the demise of blueberry, saskatoon berry, and coffee?

These questions and others may never have answers. History may look back on these dark times and wonder how we ever survived. Until then, we must ask ourselves one question: can we tolerate other flavours of birthday cake, or can there be only two? What would the Cakelander do?

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