Maybe you knew this. I did not. Congressman Earl Blumenauer loves fruitcake. He bakes hundreds of tiny ones each year, and just dropped this off for us at the Mercury offices.


And maybe you're thinking: "Sort of impressive, but who's to say the congressman whipped this up himself. He could have just purchased it from a bake sa—-" BUT STOP RIGHT THERE. This baby's certified.


Along with the cake, which is spongey and passably tasty, Blumenauer also left a prodigious typed-up note—title, "The Zen of Fruitcake"—detailing his quarter-century-long tradition of baking fruitcakes, the "high" he gets from making them, and the "drive-by cakings" he carries out each year.

I'm told by Bobby Roberts the congressman dropped the cake off personally (and also that Roberts "charmed the pants off" of him, something that was related to me in an overly suggestive tone via iChat).

One of the letter's characteristically earnest passages:

Over the years, making fruitcake has become very important to me. I'm really not much of a cook and my career is such that I rarely have any free time anyway. Much of what I'm involved with is simply words.... words I read, hear, speak, write, and interpret. I spend my time in persuasion, developing ideas, and sharing them with others. It is important work and I have no regrets, but at the end of the day, I really don't make anything. Most people actually make something or deliver a product or service. They are carpenters, nurses, farmers, or factory workers. They create something tangible to eat, wear, lift, store or use. Others make the world better in concrete ways. Kids blossom in front of their teacher's eyes as a result of their efforts. My fruitcake at least was something real.

You frame houses. Earl Blumenauer makes hundreds of fruitcakes.

Anyway: Thanks, congressman. From Dirk VanderHart.

I'm not telling anyone else that this is here.