In order to maintain the cake table, the church had to put the mean lunch lady in charge of the table which was sitting to the side of the Fellowship Hall, over by the old piano that no one ever used. Now the mean lunch lady also served as the disciplinarian of the church, so she was very well aware of the thieves in the church.
She wore black stockings with all white Sassoon shoes, you know da ones with the Pee Wee Herman heels, all white nurse’s outfit and she meant business upstairs and downstairs… She would make her rounds during devotion with a loose program and demand that you spit out your chewing gum while the deacons sang and prayed. She was so smooth with it, no one ever knew she was slick cussing us out one by one but she did… Thought I told yawl ashy knuckle Negroes no moe charring gum dering Devotion, spit it out and I mean now!!!
We obliged and gave up the stash but we knew that cake was in store downstairs… However, she would be waiting on us at the bottom of the steps… Listen up you dayum Hall’s; what we ain’t finna have all you heathens running around trying to sneak extra pieces of cakes today, ya understands me!!!
This was not a question, this was a statement and we were very well of the repercussions that stood before us had we been caught and best believe me, we were going back as many times as we could. Hey, you nappy headed lil phucka; how many cakes have you had already? Umm just one, buh buh but my momma told me to come up here and get her a coconut cake that Mrs. Pat made. Come up he’un one moe time and imma smack you so hard that you gone find out who yo real daddy is…
I’ve always wondered how many cakes St Mary’s made for Homecoming. It had to be at least 37 because we had over 1000 slices at our disposal. I mean the table would be set with all types of delicious cakes and as soon as you take one, they would put another one right in its place. You be licking yo fingers saying “Dayum they just put another slice on the table yawl and it’s a red velvet cake this time.
I bet Talyon’s momma made that one. She look like she can make a Red Velvet cake. Why you say that cuz? Because she light skinned and she look like Claire Huxtable and she smell like fresh peppermints. You see, I always judged the cake by the person, my peers considered me a Cake Connoisseur. Now, Mrs. Pecola made the Carmel Pound cake, because it was short and thick with that tan icing on the top. PREACH BOY! I’m trying to do da best that I can…
Okay, who made the German chocolate cake? Oh Aunt Deb made that one but you gotta eat one nem cakes fresh out the oven because if you eat one cold, its like eating oatmeal on dark skinned bread. Ahite Ahite, so I bet you don’t know who made the Sock It To Me cake… WHAT!?!?! I can tell by the way the white icing drips thru each crevice of cake cuz.. Don’t nobody narramate that cinnamon and pecans tweenst dat Yellow Duncan Hines mix better than Aunt Oneida…
Then there was the Lemon Meringue pie, which was prepared by Mrs. Alberta. That was one nem old folks pies that we never ate. Here boy eat this pie, I don’t want that old ass pie, it smells like Mrs. Alberta’s house. What does Mrs. Alberta’s house smell like then? Funky ice, like she needs a box of baking soda in her freezer and fridgerator. I was never a fan of The Peach Cobbler or Apple Pie.
I just didn’t like the fact of wet fruit mixed in with my cake. Ms. Ciola used to make dem Carrot Cakes while Ms. Juanita would bring dem two layer chocolate cakes, you know the one where you can’t breathe after you finish eating them because it got too much chocolate on it so you beat your chest like you the Incredible Hulk trying to breath?
Now that we are grown; and have moved from the comforts of our home churches, we notice that the Fellowship Halls have changed. I attend a Mega Church and I honestly can say that I’ve never been invited to a Homecoming dinner, Pastor’s Anniversary or an Usher’s Tea. So I reflect back on the good ole days and thank God for the mean lunch lady and the cake table. Without those events in our lives, we wouldn’t have received the structure from our elders. It takes a village to raise a child and my mother understood the mean lunch lady’s tactics so she watched from a far in hopes that one day her kids would understand the difference between right and wrong.