Two rules about king cake: 

1. You don’t eat it before King’s Day, which is January 6, or after Mardi Gras. Now, you can eat something that looks like a king cake at other times, but it ain’t king cake. It’s fake cake. Even if it has a plastic baby in it. 

2. The baby has to be IN it. Not on the outside with some legal jabber about eating plastic babies at your own risk. Nope. It has to be baked right in, like God intended. Just don’t bite down hard.

And here’s a third rule, that don’t strictly have to do with king cake, but sort of.

3. Do not make New Year’s resolutions. Make them for Lent instead. Not only does that earn you brownie points in the Afterlife, but Lent only lasts 40 days – not counting Sundays – instead of a whole year. You can probably last 40 days. (You don’t even have to be religious to follow this advice. It works for everybody.) Also – and this is important – Lent don’t include king cake season.

Unfortunately, this year, my sister-in-law Larva got terrible guilts from Christmas eating and goes to WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) and turns herself in right after New Year’s. 

She’s two weeks into it – and king cake season has started – when she gets a text from my other sister-in-law, Gloriosa, asking her to bring a king cake, like she usually does, to the St. Mary’s Mothers’ Club Fried Chicken Carnival party. 

 She texts back that no, she’ll bring the salad. 

Gloriosa texts no, Tiffany LeBouef is going to bring the salad. 

Larva texts “Tiffany always brings Snickers salad!” – which if you don’t know (and this is true) – is made out of vanilla pudding mix, whipped cream, caramel, cut-up Snickers candy bars, plus green apples (to make it healthy, I guess.)

“There won’t be nothing at this party that I can eat,” texts Larva. 

“So eat before you come.” – Gloriosa.

“So I can sit there and drool?” – Larva

Afterward, Gloriosa is fuming. “I got everything all organized and assigned and now Ms. Thinks-She’s-Fat wants to mess it up,” she tells her husband, waving her phone around for emphasis. Her finger hits the transcribe button, just when she finishes up with, “That bitch!” 

And that is what Larva reads. 

There’s a ding on her phone and Gloriosa looks down – and realizes what she just said has been transcribed into text and sent to Larva. Who is now texting her back. Things that ain’t nice.

So Gloriosa answers back, likewise.

Fingers are flying; manicures are being ruint, and they are both texting stuff they’ll don’t mean and will regret.

The thing about texting is when your fight is over, you can’t pretend it never happened. You can reread it and get mad all over again. (This might be a clue to why the world is in the state it’s in now. Too many stupid things recorded online, and once you’ve posted it, there’s no taking it back.)

Finally, Gloriosa tries to get Larva to believe she was talking about her mother-in-law and just happened to hit the ‘send’ button. Larva ain’t that stupid, but she pretends to believe it. She says she’ll brink the cake to the party, but she has to leave early. 

Anyway, Larva dropped off a gorgeous king cake – with “That Bitch!” written in purple on the paper lining underneath it. 

Gloriosa cuts the first few slices. Her eyes bug out. She knows – without even having to see the whole thing – what it is going to say. 

So she has to rush the cake into the kitchen, slide it onto a cookie sheet, and ball up Larva’s nasty message and hurl it into the trash. 

She don’t say a thing to Larva. She starts plotting revenge instead.

She thinks of getting some of them new giant beads that people are decorating their houses with, and decorating Larva’s house to spell out – well, you know what she would spell out. She has a real good time thinking about that.

Almost as good as doing it. But she don’t. She lets it go. 

After all, it’s almost Lent.