Every year, Christmas makes me feel like a kid again. In fact, years ago, I was a kid. And, as a kid, my mom would ask us to circle items in the JC Penny catalog in order to give her gift ideas of what we wanted. Well, I wanted everything.
I’d circle toys, swimming pools, draperies… EVERYTHING. I think the only thing in the whole catalog that wasn’t circled was on page 918 – cologne. I could even find a use for a Diaper Genie (disposing of any radishes or beets that may find their way to my Christmas dinner plate).
Helping me with this week’s collision of comedy and the Christmas spirit is my buddy, Know It All Guy, with gingerbread house building tips.
In fact, most people are unaware that Know It All Guy has been a gingerbread house building inspector for the past 35 years. The key to successful gingerbread construction is to start with the principles of the Good Book – build upon a strong foundation:
“For woe is the man who builds his house upon confectioner’s sugar, where wind and wave can destroy, and dissolve. But, the wise man builds his gingerbread house upon a ¾” layer of #2 brown sugar compacted to a density of 92% or greater using a heavy gauge rubber-tipped spatula. That’s a house that will withstand the wind and waves, and most importantly… pass inspection!”
And don’t forget to undergird your GBH (gingerbread house) with your load-bearing, high density sugar cubes, mortared with some Portland icing and preferably interspersed every three courses with #4 steel rebar.
Next, when it comes to your roof shingles, they need to be made with your basic cereal wheat squares, wafer cookies, or nonpareils… as long as they are constructed with non-asbestos fire-retardant material. So, be sure to check all labels!
And, when it comes to your GBH walkways or egress, many people prefer to use multi-colored, hard-shelled candies to create a cobblestone effect. But, Know It All Guy vehemently disapproves. Those lethal little colored candies such as Skittles or M&M’s were deemed hazardous and outlawed by the G-Bread Safety Act of 2001. These days, GBH contractors must use non-skid surfaces, such as your medium density sugar cookies or commercial grade peanut butter frosting.
Finally, when it comes to lighting, your exterior illumination can be constructed with standard issue candy canes attached to a UL approved gumdrop. However, that gumdrop needs to be hard-wired to a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. Never abandon common sense when it comes to street lamps of any variety!
But, what about those parents who simply want to make something cute with their kids this time of year… you know… cookie flippers? These are those domestic demons who go about teaching their kids to build little gingerbread death traps every Christmas. Truth be told, if you don’t know what you’re doing, play it safe and hire a licensed gingerbread contractor. The money you spend on doing it right will be well worth the peace of mind it brings.
After all, remember: Shoddy construction – THAT’S the way the cookie crumbles!