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I’ve never been very fond of fruitcake.

I mean, the different parts of it are okay—the cake part, the nut part, the fruit part—it’s just that, when you put it all together, it sometimes doesn’t exactly mesh, if you get my drift. So I’m one of those people who pick out the cakey part and leave everything else…when the cake is good, that is. I have to admit though, sometimes there isn’t much cake there and it’s pretty much all just dried up old fruits and nuts.

Now I’m not dissing people who like fruitcake—my dad likes fruitcake now and then—but I have to admit, since he had his wisdom teeth pulled—by the way, waiting until you’re in your forties to do so…not such a good idea—he doesn’t have the most discriminating taste buds anymore. The doctor said something about actually seeing the nerve after the tooth was yanked out, which I took to not be a good thing.

Anyway, when it comes to fruitcakes, I guess what I’m trying to say is that sometimes you gotta pick out the good parts and ignore the yucky stuff…or else learn to bake your own.

That was how I came to see the fruitcake that lived down the street. Of course, that took some time and effort on my part and was totally unintentional at first, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

From the get-go the whole town knew the old guy had to be a fruitcake because, from the view we had, he belonged in a padded cell. From the day he moved in, which would be about two months ago, we knew he was different…and that’s putting it nicely.

If you’ve ever lived in a small town, you know what it’s like to live in a tight-knit community and, while a lot of that’s good, we tend to be an incurably nosey lot—that’s probably because there isn’t much excitement to be had in the normal way of things—so you can imagine how many noses were pressed against window panes when the new guy moved in.

We were all wondering what was gonna happen, because that house just seemed to speak to fruitcakes. I mean, everybody called it the fruitcake house and had since…well…forever.

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