KEYWORDS: cake, magazine, kind, bus, this

German Cake Dream, The

David Berg

—By Father DavidDFO 90130 March 1980

1. I HAD A STRANGE DREAM BEFORE I WOKE UP THIS MORNING. I don't see any particular significance to it, except it was very interesting. We were riding along in one of those monstrous German busses. We were sitting up very high—the luggage was stored underneath. It was one of those beautiful big machines—all bright & shiny & very efficient, as the Germans always are! Everything is done very very expertly & efficiently & their vehicles are made almost perfectly & everything is organised & disciplined.

2. WE WERE ON SOME KIND OF TOUR‚ & as the bus was rolling along I was thinking, "It must be time to eat, I'm getting awful hungry." And some of the other passengers were saying the same thing: "It must be dinnertime, time to eat."—our main evening meal. And so as we were wondering where the bus was going to stop for dinner, all of a sudden it drove right into a kind of bus–drive-in restaurant where you were served right in your seats, just like they do in the airplanes!

3. THEY PUT LITTLE TABLES IN FRONT OF EACH SEAT & HAD THESE WAITRESSES! It was almost like driving into a garage, except that everything was very neat & nice & the bus just very cleverly fit right into this sort of driveway where the stewardesses were serving us from both sides. It was funny as we drove in how the top of the bus lifted off, all the sides & windows too, so they could serve us right from the floor on both sides, the waitresses just reaching right over the sides of the bus & serving our tables.

4. I THOUGHT, "BOY, HOW EFFICIENT CAN THESE GERMANS GET! They always do everything so well-organised & so efficient & so on time!" Here we were being served & eating our dinner, there was no ordering or waiting. Like they do in a plane, you just take what they give you. I thought, "That sure is a clever quick way to do it!" I'm usually a pretty slow eater but I had to eat quick that time, & then I was thinking,

5. "NOW HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET TO GO TO THE TOILET?" And all of a sudden everybody was done eating & the dishes were cleared off & the top was back on the bus somehow—I don't know whether they raised & lowered it from the ceiling or what, but anyhow, the top was back on the bus—& we started rolling out. I thought, "My goodness, we're already driving out of here & we still haven't gone to the toilet! What are we going to do?" Several people were just dying to go to the toilet.

6. WE DROVE AROUND THROUGH THIS DRIVEWAY & OUT OF THE RESTAURANT PART & all of a sudden the huge bus we were in drove right into the toilets! The men's toilets were on the left side & the ladies toilets were on the right side‚ so that the men all got out on the left & the ladies all got out on the right & we were separated from each other by the bus & these nice open toilets were right there! If the ladies had chosen to look out the windows on our side, they could have seen us!

7. BOY‚ I NEEDED TO GO TO THE TOILET SO BAD, but I couldn't see an empty urinal. This short funny German fellow was standing there urinating in this one urinal & I said, "I gotta go quick!" & I started to go in the same urinal with him & he didn't like it & fussed at me—so I looked around real quick & another guy was just leaving a urinal so I quick hung on to it real tight & rushed over to the other urinal & went. I thought,

8. "WELL, THIS SURE IS AN EFFICIENT WAY OF GETTING EVERYBODY TO EAT & GO TO THE TOILET, but it's kind of rushed!" Then we all finished going to the toilet & we got back on the bus & drove through another sort of a driveway in the building & came out into this other real pretty part of the restaurant. This part was different; this was like a cafeteria, & everybody got off the bus & it turned out to be a dessert cafeteria where you got your dessert after having had your meal!

9. THEY HAD ALL KINDS OF DELICIOUS-LOOKING DESSERTS sitting on the serving counters, nice soft cream cake & things that I like but don't get anymore except on a rare indulgence, & there was this nice beautiful piece of what looked like Boston cream cake with a very light texture. When I was telling you folks about having chocolate cake for our Birthday Anniversary,

10. I NEVER DREAMED THAT SOME OF YOU DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO MAKE A CAKE, & you turned up with something that was as hard as a rock & with candy frosting like cement! But apparently some of our girls never envisioned the kind of chocolate cake I was thinking about. I was thinking about that very light fluffy soft almost lighter-than-air what they called "Devil's food cake" when I was a kid‚ with a very light soft spongy cake part & then real soft & creamy butter-cream chocolate frosting that you could swipe a finger-full right off the cake just by dipping your finger into it!

11. CAN YOU IMAGINE MY SURPRISE WHEN THEY BROUGHT OUT THIS CAKE FOR MY LAST BIRTHDAY ANNIVERSARY, & since we were also celebrating Techi's birthday, I, the indulgent Papa, figured she could have most anything she wanted—so I reached out to dip my finger into the nice soft frosting & give her a little taste right on the end of my finger, & my finger hit the frosting & I nearly stubbed it! And I tried to scrape off a little bit & it was just as hard as a block of ice! I did my best to dig into the frosting & I couldn't even make a dent! It was just like cement! And I tapped on it with my finger & it went "Knock! Knock! Knock!" I said,

12. "MY GOD, THIS ISN'T THE KIND OF CHOCOLATE CAKE I HAD IN MIND! This thing is as hard as a rock!" And sure enough, when we finally got around to cutting it—I had envisioned myself having a chisel & a hammer to try to break it open—it certainly was not the nice soft fluffy light sort of a chocolate cream cake that I always loved when I was a kid, that you could just put down in about two mouthfuls & it melted down into almost nothing in your mouth!

13. THIS STUFF WAS SO HARD YOU HAD TO CHEW IT‚ YOU COULD HARDLY BREAK THE FROSTING IT WAS SO TOUGH! It was almost like concrete, it was terrible!—And the inside was so hard & so heavy & so thick & dense, it was more like a piece of candy than it was a piece of cake! It was sort of like these old fudge brownies that they used to make that were kind of a cross between cake & chocolate fudge. In fact, that frosting wasn't even as soft as chocolate fudge, it was just hard as a rock! I couldn't imagine such a cake!

14. WELL ANYWAY, I GAVE THE GIRLS A LITTLE LECTURE ON THAT, & THEY ARE GOING TO TRY TO DO BETTER NEXT TIME. But at least, thank God, there shouldn't be a next time for quite a long while! But anyhow, I thought one chocolate cake, a nice soft fluffy airy chocolate cream cake like that once a year wouldn't hurt you—especially if they made it with good honey, but anyway...

15. HERE WERE ALL THESE DELICIOUS LOOKING DESSERTS SITTING ON THIS COUNTER, & here was this nice fluffy Boston cream cake, which is like a light feathery sponge cake with a big layer of whipped cream in between & a little whipped cream on top.—Oh, so good! And really good for you! It's whipped-cream & nice light airy cake!

16. SO I ASKED FOR THAT PIECE & THE LADY PICKED IT UP, & then, all of a sudden‚ she took her spatula & smashed it flat! I said, "What are you doing to my cake?!" She said‚ "Well, we have to do this to all the desserts at this time of day when we're about to close. We have to smash them all to make sure you don't take them out & resell them." I thought, "What a crazy thing, I'm not going to take it out & resell it, I want to eat it!" I said, "I'm not going to..." She interrupted, "Well, we can't be sure, so we make sure. You just have to eat it like it is, smashed!"

17. IT REMINDED ME OF HOW WHEN I WAS A KID THEY USED TO GIVE AWAY THE OLD MAGAZINES in the newsstand when we were poor & it was the Depression & you couldn't afford five cents for a magazine‚ five cents for Saturday Evening Post & Liberty magazine‚ five cents for a great big magazine, imagine that! Liberty was kind of a news magazine about the size of Time & Newsweek, & The Saturday Evening Post was a big magazine about the size of Life magazine. You could buy either one for a nickel!

18. AND I USED TO SELL THE SATURDAY EVENING POST EVERY SATURDAY EVENING. They were trying to get all the little boys in the country to be delivery boys for magazines. And we earned about one or two cents on a magazine.—Plus, if you were a shiner & sold more magazines than anybody else, you'd get special prizes! I really earned some good prizes because I was a good seller! But anyway, we were so poor in those days before I got to selling magazines, we couldn't afford to buy even a magazine for a nickel, so

19. WE WOULD GO DOWN TO THE MAGAZINE SHOP & NEWSSTAND & WE WOULD BEG FROM THEM THEIR OLD MAGAZINES that they hadn't been able to sell. What the newsstand did was this: As soon as the new issue came in, they traded in not the whole old magazine to the distributor, but they gave him only the front covers & thereby got credit for the magazines they didn't sell. They just ripped off the front covers of all of their leftover magazines & they would give him a handful of these front covers—one cover for every magazine they hadn't been able to sell. Apparently the company didn't want the whole mags back because they were just a big nuisance & very heavy & they certainly couldn't send them back to the publisher.

20. SO TO PROVE THAT THEY HADN'T SOLD THE MAGAZINE OR THAT THEY WEREN'T GOING TO SELL IT, they would rip off the front cover & would get a certain refund allowance on every magazine they hadn't been able to sell, like maybe a penny or something like that for each front cover that they turned back in to the distributor. The magazine only sold for five cents, & they probably only paid about two or three cents for it, & then the newsboys, they got, I think one or two cents on each magazine, which was a lot!

21. IN THOSE DAYS WE WERE POOR & YOU WERE THANKFUL FOR A PENNY! In those days a penny could still buy quite a bit. You could go down & buy a little candy or you could stick the penny in the candy-ball–chewing-gum machine & you could get out two or three balls of this candy-coated chewing gum‚ of all the terrible things! But anyhow, we didn't have too many pleasures in those days & we didn't know it was bad. And they also had little prizes that came out with it, out of this kind of a glass globe that looked like a fish bowl full of things that you just stuck a penny in & you got out with the candy.

22. THERE WERE A LOT OF THINGS YOU COULD GET FOR A PENNY: You could get sticks of gum for a penny & these little prizes & gum balls for a penny. So, the magazine lady would give us little boys several different kinds of old magazines, minus the covers which she had returned to the distributors in exchange for half-a-cent or a penny for each one. They just threw away the magazines or burned them or gave them away‚ & so we little boys would go around & get copies of the different magazines that we liked like Boy's Life & Saturday Evening Post & others that had stories & pictures in them.

23. ALL THAT WAS MISSING WAS THE FRONT COVER, & we didn't care about that anyway. As long as it was free we didn't care if the front cover was ripped off! So they did that to make sure that you didn't resell the magazines.

24. WELL, THIS CAKE LADY WAS DOING THE SAME WITH THE CAKE: She didn't rip off the frosting or the top cover, but she just smashed the piece of cake with her spatula! I said, "Listen, what's the big idea!" She said, "Don't worry, it's all there, it's all there. Just eat the crumbs!" And I was pretty disgusted, but I picked up my smashed piece of beautiful, well, it had been beautiful, light airy puffy Boston cream cake, smashed about as flat as a pancake, & started to walk over to this table to eat it.

25. IT SEEMED LIKE AT THIS TIME OF DAY JUST BEFORE THEY WERE CLOSING YOU COULD HAVE AS MANY DESSERTS AS YOU COULD EAT. It was one of those tours where everything is already paid for. So you just went along collecting desserts! Well, I knew I couldn't eat more than one or two‚ but she'd made such a mess out of this one I decided I might get another kind & try it. And I thought, "I'll get something she can't ruin!"

26. I SAW A NICE FLAT PIECE OF CHERRY CREAM CAKE, a custard-like cake with thick cherries on top. I thought, "Well, she can't smash that much flatter than it already is!" So I asked the lady for a piece of that, & lo & behold, she was going to smash it, so I kind of kidded her,

27. "LISTEN, IT'S AS FLAT AS IT CAN BE ALREADY, PLEASE DON'T SMASH IT!" And I put on my best charm & she looked at me & smiled & said, "OK, but don't tell anybody!" And I took it & put it on my tray & I went & sat down at my table with my smashed Boston cream cake & my nice little flat piece of cherry cake! And just as I was about to dig into it,

28. HERE COMES THIS MIDDLE-AGED ... LADY all dressed up real smart & business-like—obviously the manager of the cafeteria—& she looked over my shoulder & said to me, "What are you doing with that?" I said, "What do you think I'm doing with it, I'm eating it of course!" She said, "Well, you're not supposed to have a good piece of cake like that!"

29. AND SHE CALLED THE SERVING GIRL OVER & SAID, "WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA? You're not supposed to serve things like that!" And the serving girl tried to make some excuse, "He begged me not to," or something like that, & the boss bawled her out & said, "Listen, you're not supposed to serve them desserts on their own conditions! You do what you're told to do or you'll get fired!" Then she stomped away & left me alone & the poor serving girl whom I really felt sorry for!

30. ANYHOW, I GOBBLED UP MY TWO CAKES AS FAST AS I COULD, & THAT SEEMED TO BE THE END of our tour, because we just walked out of the cafeteria then, & no more bus & no more group, & that was it! It was a real smash! Anyway, somehow or another we continued our trip then by car, & I don't know‚ I must have missed something in the middle of the movie somewhere—maybe I went to the bathroom or something, I don't know—but in my dream, I can't remember how it happened, but

31. I HAD A BROKEN LEFT WRIST & I WAS DRIVING ALONG THROUGH GERMANY IN MY CAR‚ my broken arm lying limp in my lap beside me. I don't know how I had broken it between dessert & driving this car! But somehow or another maybe I was eating my dessert too fast or something, I don't know. There I was driving along with some of the Family in the car with us, when

32. UP PULLS ALONG SIDE ME THIS GERMAN POLICEMAN who makes me pull over & says, "What's the matter, buddy? Why don't you have both hands on the wheel?" I don't know how come I understood German‚ but somehow dreams make everything possible. I replied‚ "Well, I have a broken wrist." And he said, "Well, if you have a broken arm, you can't drive a car in this country! You have to keep both hands on the wheel!

33. "YOU'LL HAVE TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY AT THE NEAREST BORDER CROSSING as quick as you can. Meanwhile you've got to carry this sign on your dashboard, facing out the front windshield." It's the same place that you put a parking ticket to show how long you've been in the garage or where you put one of those little time cards with kind of a clock with a pointer on it to show when you parked there, so that you can prove that you haven't been parked too long.

34. IT WAS THIS BIG YELLOW SIGN WITH RED LETTERS, nearly a foot long & about eight inches wide that said something on it in German that meant I was not allowed to drive in Germany except to the nearest exit or nearest border crossing. And so he put that sign on there, & then he drove on beside me for a little while to make sure that I kept it there & headed the right direction, looking kind of stern & gruff at me.

35. YOU KNOW HOW EFFICIENT & HOW WELL-ORGANISED THE GERMANS ARE, & how strict they are about discipline & obeying orders & laws! So I very meekly drove on while he made sure that I was able to drive at all, adding, "Oh yes, you'll also have to drive over next to the curb in the slow lane. You're not allowed to drive in the fast lane at all with only one hand, so you'll have to drive over to the right in the slow lane.

36. "STICK TO THE SLOW LANE‚ DON'T GET IN THE FAST LANE." So I meekly drove slowly along, & he rode along on his motorcycle beside me for awhile to make sure I was behaving myself‚ & then he roared off! And that's the last I remember.—Isn't that a funny dream? Ha! Now, what in the world would a thing like that mean, unless it was just to entertain me or something! It was fairly pleasant.

37. I REALLY ADMIRED THE EFFICIENCY OF THE GERMANS ON THIS GUIDED TOUR, & the good food & the efficiency of how they took us to the toilet with the bus‚ & then we went into the final stage of the dessert cafeteria & all those delicious desserts that they smashed before you ate them! How I wound up driving a car with a broken wrist I don't know, causing the policeman to stop me & order me out of the country!

38. NOW WHAT POSSIBLE MEANING COULD A CRAZY DREAM LIKE THAT HAVE? I don't know, maybe you can figure it out. But now it's still morning & I'm in bed & I'm hungry & I'm going to drink my coffee, cake or no cake! God bless you! PTL! I love you!—I'm not even going to attempt to interpret that one, that is a corker! About the only real meaning I can get out of it is that the Germans are so efficient & they do everything just so well–organised & disciplined & well-planned,

39. THAT I WAS ORDERED OUT OF THE COUNTRY BECAUSE I WASN'T TOO EFFICIENT, especially with a broken arm. The only thing I can think of was that it was some kind of a sign that we'd better watch out for Germany! And then there was that old ... lady who poked her nose over my shoulder & criticised the girl for giving me a nice dessert. That's kind of significant, because

40. IT'S MOSTLY THE [ACs] WHO HAVE STIRRED UP ALL THE TROUBLE against us in Germany. If they don't like the nice piece of cake we've had in Germany, where we were doing real well & the people were being real good to us, like that service girl, then that does make some sense in a way. And then finally the policeman‚ representing the law itself, ordering me out of the country, just like deportation, so maybe it's a warning about Germany again, where we've had lots of trouble.

41. WE DID REAL WELL THERE & PEOPLE WERE REAL GOOD TO US & we really really had tremendous distribution of lit in Germany almost more than anyplace else‚ the kids were getting more income in Germany than anywhere in Europe, because Germany's become one of the richest countries in Europe now, until the [ACs] & the church & the parents began stirring up all kinds of trouble for us & really ran the kids out for awhile! I hear they are back in again & going strong again, but not as much as before, since they've got to be more careful.

42. MAYBE IT WAS A WARNING DREAM that even though the Germany tours are well-organised & efficient & very good‚ nevertheless we had better watch our step in Germany or they're apt to smash our cake & we're apt to get scolded by some old [ACs]! How I got my arm broken I don't know, maybe they broke it for me, & then the law ordered us out of the country. So that could have some kind of meaning. Watch out for Germany, even if they do have delicious desserts & efficient bus rides! Watch out for the old [ACs] & the law! PTL! Hallelujah! GBY! Amen!—ILY!—D.