Published December 17, 2023

The Muffin Caper 

Written by
Kim Fundingsland
| The Dakotan
(Photo: Kim Fundingsland/The Dakotan)
(Photo: Kim Fundingsland/The Dakotan)

A Slice of Life 

Recently, dear reader, I was the mastermind, the architect, of a clever plot very carefully planned so that I could gain the upper hand. However, like the flinging of a boomerang, all is wonderful until it hits you in the back of the head. 

Of course, as is my very nature, I meticulously weighed the possible consequences of my trickery against what was to be gained. I determined my scheme was a good one, well worth pursuing, and it would be rather simple to evade any “return of the boomerang” should such a need develop.  

However, events didn’t quite unfold exactly as envisioned in my precise and sly plan. Nevertheless, dear reader, I share with you the details exactly as they occurred so that you can make your own judgement as to whether my chosen action was worth the risk. 

A scant few days ago I was a privileged guest of a long-time fishing companion at his ocean front home in the Florida Keys. Trusting my always solid judgement, he graciously allowed me to invite a guest for a week of fishing in the famed waters of the Keys. As is our kind nature, we treated our newcomer as royalty on the first day in the boat – kindly teaching him our highly successful and secret tactics of saltwater success. 

It was sometime during that day, I cannot remember precisely when, that I sensed a certain jealousness that our third fisherman was learning a little too quickly, primarily from the advice of our fine host whose expert guidance was acquired from thousands and thousands of hours on the water with fishing rod in hand. 

Now, and I must be clear here, I fish for the fun of fishing, the camaraderie, and the subtle “smack” talk shared amongst angling companions. Still, I look for advantages to gain the upper hand whenever an opportunity presents itself. Sometimes that means you set the hook on the unsuspecting and, when successful, it is more rewarding than doing so on any fish in the sea. 

At the dinner table that evening, an extraordinary meal prepared by our host whose remarkable culinary talents have been perfected by years of professional experience in the kitchen, I saw an opportunity too good to pass up. There on a small plate in front of me was a magnificent blueberry muffin, a freshly baked addition to our wonderful meal. 

Our host bakes incredible muffins. Each one is precisely the same size. Every blueberry is chosen for its perfection and placed uniformly in each scrumptious muffin. They are baked to perfection, mouthwatering gems in every way. Award winning by all standards. 

Having experienced those muffins on previous fishing trips, I knew that our kind host always held the proper amount away from the dinner table so they could be offered a special treat as part of a boat lunch the following day. Those extra muffins were placed in a Zip-loc bag on a kitchen counter for safety until our host began preparing our lunch the next morning. This I saw as an opportunity to throw the boomerang. It worked out beautifully, at least initially. 

I arose early under the guise of making coffee and breakfasting on an English muffin, but in reality, hoped to craftily enact my plan to gain the upper hand over my invited guest. He was, you see, on his best behavior to remain in the good graces of our host. If my plan worked, and everything was perfectly in place to do so, he would soon be revealed as a villain of the worst sort, and I elevated to hero status.  

As my targeted friend emerged from his room, we exchanged a very pleasant “good morning”. He put an English muffin the toaster and turned around to see those incredible tasting blueberry muffins on the counter on the opposite side of the kitchen. Assured that he was salivating beyond the point of self-control, I encouraged him to have one for breakfast. This, I knew, I would have to deny a few minutes later. 

My friend gobbled that muffin, remarked how good it was, and was inquiring about having another so they “didn’t go to waste.” He gave me a quizzical look when I said, “Let’s see how this plays out.” 

Right on cue our host came down the stairs from his overnight slumber. Perfect, I thought while doing my best to suppress a grin. As expected, he walked directly to the counter where the muffins were secreted, threw his arms out, opened wide his previously sleepy eyes, and exclaimed, “Who ate a muffin!” This, I knew, was a heinous violation since the number of muffins was precisely calculated to have enough for the upcoming boat lunch.  

My unsuspecting friend raised his arm in the air to identify as the guilty party while his eyes were simultaneously delivering daggers in my direction. I, of course, could no longer contain the glee at the flawless execution of my ingenious plan. My joy was momentary, interrupted by that boomerang hitting the back of my head. 

Addressing my friend our host said, “Don’t trust him.” 

Then, turning to me, he said, “Easy enough. No muffin for you for lunch.” 

Aah. That turn of events was not the reaction I had hoped for, yet I was infinitely pleased at the success of my clever plan and wore a smile all day. As for the boomerang, fortunately, it was only a glancing blow, and I was awarded a muffin for lunch. 

There you have it dear reader, the exact details of the now famous Muffin Caper. I leave it to you to determine my flawless character. 

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