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These tales take cake this holiday


My best friend brought me a dozen cupcakes for Christmas.

That’s a huge improvement over the last thing she brought into my house: a bag of boiled peanuts, each one a gag reflex waiting to strike.

These cupcakes, from a bakery in Brooklyn, were particularly good, smothered in frosting made of equal parts butter, sugar and fairy dust.

Luckily, my best friend drove down from New York to deliver them. Had she flown, the cupcakes likely would’ve been confiscated in keeping with the Transportation Security Administration’s new war on icing.

I’m referring, of course, to the pre-Christmas incident at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, where an alert TSA agent seized a passenger’s red velvet cupcake, declaring its “gel-like” frosting a security risk, which I’m pretty sure is TSA-agent-speak for “I bet that cupcake would pair nicely with the 8-ounce bottle of breast milk I confiscated earlier today.”

Don’t get me wrong. I can totally see where the presence of a delicious cupcake might interfere with a crew’s ability to focus effectively on flying an airplane.

Even the most highly trained pilot would probably struggle to concentrate knowing that a cream cheese-frosted red velvet pastry lurked in a nearby carry-on bag.

But I think the greater threat to human safety comes from snatching a cupcake out of the hands of a woman about to submit herself to three hours in coach during the holiday travel season.

That she didn’t beat the agent senseless with a plastic baggie full of travel-size toiletries is nothing short of a Christmas miracle.

The TSA says it’s investigating the incident, but I bet if you send that security employee through the airport X–ray machine, you’ll find he neutralized the red velvet threat during a snack break.

Speaking of X–rays, doctors in England recently used one to discover why a 76-year-old woman was suffering from severe stomach pain. The culprit? Diverticulosis—and also there was a felt-tip pen lodged in her innards.

When questioned, the woman explained that 25 years ago, she’d been standing on a staircase while using a pen to poke at her tonsils—don’t act like you haven’t done this—when she lost her balance, fell, swallowed the pen and then promptly forgot about the whole thing.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Certainly there are other office supplies better suited to tonsil-poking than a felt-tip pen. A letter opener or a straightened paper clip, perhaps.

While that may be true, let’s just be grateful she didn’t attempt the maneuver with a tape dispenser or a three-hole punch.

Doctors say the pen is not to blame for the woman’s gastrointestinal problems, but they opted to remove it anyway.

The most amazing thing? Even though the cap’s been off for 25 years, the pen still writes.

In other abdominal news, a 49-year-old San Francisco man was charged with several felonies last week for allegedly performing plastic surgery without a license.

The patient at the center of the case paid this man the bargain-basement price of $3,000 for liposuction on her stomach and an eye lift.

Here’s a little quiz for those of you playing at home: At what point did the patient begin to think, “Hey, maybe this guy isn’t a real doctor”?

A. When he had her hold her own IV bag during the surgery

B. When he smoked a cigar throughout the aforementioned surgery

C. When he showed up at her house a few days after the surgery with a bag holding what he claimed was 6 pounds of her fat, which he said he needed to flush down her toilet

D. None of the above

The answer, of course, is D. It took a raging infection in her abdomen to clue her in.

Don’t worry. I’m sure it was nothing a little cream cheese frosting couldn’t cure.

Edie Gross: 540/374-5428