The Dissemination of Thought

Just because it's in print doesn't mean it's intelligent…

The Dissemination (of Thought) Files: A date for 8 with the Cake

with 28 comments

We’re going to try something new on The Dissemination of Thought: interviews. In an attempt to keep things fresh and, as someone so eloquently put it, stop me “whinging about everything”, the post published each Thursday will be, at least for the foreseeable future, an interview with another blogger or random inanimate object of my choosing. Yes, seriously. Haven’t you ever wanted to know what a toaster has to say for itself?

My first victim guinea pig participant is Cakes McCain, Canadian expatriate in Italy and author of Pasta for One.

Without further ado, I welcome you to the first instalment of The Dissemination (of Thought) Files.

A toaster like this has to have a good story. Source:


Lyndon Keane (TDoT): Welcome, Cakes, if that is your real name.  Is there any reason you’re 34 minutes late?

Cakes McCain (CMcC): My real name?  Who in their right mind would name their child “Cakes”?

Oh, and incidentally, I am 34 minutes early.

TDoT: In the “About Me” section of your blog, you talk about the differences between your expectations and the reality of Italy.  What makes the tomato sauce more amazing and the men more juvenile in this part of the world?  Is it the water?

CMcC: No, it’s not water.  It’s Mamma.

If you wanna make amazing sauce, find a Mamma to show you. I did. I had to, for my own sake. After I learnt how, I couldn’t believe it was such a no-brainer. Once, a dude ceased to be interested in me after I confessed my lack of skill in the culinary art of tomato sauce making.  Go figure.

Italian Mammas.  I have a love-hate relationship with them. Keep in mind that I am generalizing here; on one hand, they are a particular kind of saint: running an entire household and, more often than not, working outside the home.  They make it all happen and are the glue that holds the family together; they deserve a medal.  On the other hand, many are delusional. Extramarital affairs are common here, so these women harbour a false sense of security and power. While they are playing domestic house slaves, many of their husbands are out canoodling with other women or surfing for porn right under their noses.  In my opinion, the only control they really have is serving, coddling and manipulating their male children well into their forties.

It’s not uncommon to find an unmarried man beyond the age of 30, without any independence or life skills, living with his parents.  If you look at the statistics from the past 6 years, 3 out of 10 marriages bomb because of the unusually close attachment these men have with their meddling Mammas*.  I know 25-year-old men who can’t even make themselves a sandwich, and who won’t eat shrimp unless their mothers take care of the peeling for them. I mean, come on.  These dudes get girlfriends and marry them with the expectation that Mamma’s job description is transferrable.  Obviously, I want no part in this debauchery on any level.

* Author’s note: random facts and figures have been provided by one Cakes McCain.  Sue her.

TDoT: You say that Pasta for One is your life and your movie.  Will it be released in 3D?

CMcC: It is in 3D…hey, are you making fun of my bra size? I’ll have you know I am only a Euro-size 3B.

TDoT: Moving on. In one of your most recent pieces, you purport that “crappy blue Fiats” are the vehicle of choice for “quintessential Italian” perverts.  Does the car really maketh the man?  Are the bonnets or passenger seats of bright yellow Lamborghinis more conducive to multiple orgasms?

CMcC: I have become a Pavlov’s dog of sorts for the blue Fiat: I see them and I dart away in repulsion. Sex in any car is overrated, but I’d say the latter is the automobile of choice for ‘Mr Mid-Life Crisis’. I don’t care how much it costs; the cheese factor is off the map.  I stay away from men at the age of retirement and beyond who buy supermodels in bulk.

"Gallardo": Italian for "foreplay". Source:

TDoT: For some people, life seems to be one giant cliché after another.  Where do you stand on clichés, and what’s the worst one you’ve ever heard?

CMcC: I think Italy must be the world capital of clichés, that’s why so many expats move to Tuscany.  Rivet those rose-coloured glasses to the sides of your heads folks: I live here, and my eyes are on sensory roll autopilot.  “Italians are the best lovers”: definitely the Mecca of all clichés. “La Dolce Vita” is a close second.  Bureaucracy rules; last spring, I killed over 500 ticks that were squatting in my small garden.  My apartment has no heat.  When I got home this evening, I discovered my olive oil had solidified.  How sweet is that?

Never let it be said that rose-coloured glasses don't make a difference. Source:

TDoT: The name “Cakes” centres on your love of everything sweet, but how different do you think your life would have been, had you not shown fondness for cakes and desserts?  What would have happened if you were partial to fruit and vegetables instead?  Cauliflower McCain just doesn’t exude the same panache.

CMcC: Let it be known, I am a quasi vegetarian now, and will eat any cake that is put in front of me.

The name really centres on a Canadian company called McCain that makes frozen cakes. I ate many of them back in the day until my friend Leanne ruined it all by telling me that frozen cakes are made with antifreeze.  Bitch.  Lies, I tell you.  Come to think of it, Leanne has gone underground.  Hell, she could even be in prison now because of her exaggerations.

Antifreeze: a key ingredient in frozen cakes, if you believe some people. Source:

I probably could have called myself “Steaks McCain” back in the 80s and early 90s: I ate a lot of meat and drank a lot of Diet Coke back then and not much else.  That said, had I never left my home town in Northern Ontario, I could have become a lumberjack, collected red plaid bushjackets and snowmobiles, and developed “fat arm disease” like many of my relatives.  But hey, this is supposed to be “La Dolce Vita” here in Italy, remember? Poor Fellini.  Idiots beat it to a pulp and ruined a good movie title.

TDoT: I’m sorry, I just realised that my zipper has been down for the entire interview.  Did you notice, and if so, why the hell didn’t you say anything?

CMcC: Really? I never noticed you were wearing pants, and I thought that maybe you were holding a hot dog left over from lunch. I have this theory that “it’s easier to stay in denial without your glasses”. Notice I am not wearing mine?

TDoT: Mick Jagger once sang “I’m so hot for her and she’s so cold”.  Do you believe this to be an isolated incident, or is global warming to blame for the appalling quality of the dating world in 2012?

CMcC: Such a complex question. Personally, I have never met Mick. I only felt like I was waiting for him with the other cattle outside the Italian immigration office. I, myself, am aloof by nature. Goofy, love-muck romanticism embarrasses me; few know that I have a heart like a marshmallow and a tongue that can cut through glass.

TDoT: Love-muck? Care to clarify that?

CMcC: Shut up. Maybe we’re all just crazy from the heat, but I’d say narcissism is alive and well and growing like a cancer. These are scary times. There are a lot of agendas out there, good and bad.

Online dating is bigger than ever; it can be hard to tell a faker when you can’t look him in the eye. I have read so much dating advice, sometimes I think my head is going to implode, so now I stick exclusively to a couple** of really great blogs for insight: Couple-tastic! and Never Kiss a

** Author’s note: I have to assume this is a pun.

It’s a whole new game and, foremost, we – especially women – need to keep our wits about us and protect our privacy. If I meet a guy I fancy online, I am the first one to launch a full-scale Google inquiry. I’ve been burned, baby. Here’s hoping the next one isn’t driving a blue Fiat, or Naomi Campbell’s ex-boyfriend.

TDoT: Or Naomi Campbell’s blue Fiat-driving ex-boyfriend?


This concludes The Dissemination Files for this week.  If you want to play along, and think your story can amuse people (or at least make them feel better about their own lives), send me an email with an obscure fact about yourself.

28 Responses

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  1. Hilarious… after reading some of CMcC’s blog this interview is even funnier on a second look. Outstanding.


    February 9, 2012 at 12:11

  2. i’m so lookin forward to future interviews… had fun… after a long sulky boring day in office i finally had a good laugh… 🙂


    February 10, 2012 at 03:51

    • Did you spend all day in a cubicle sulking and talking to yourself?


      February 10, 2012 at 09:46

      • something like that… and how did you know i was talking to myself..i wasnt…… okay maybe i was…just a little..
        okay fine i was talking to myself… 😉


        February 11, 2012 at 03:33

  3. I am willing to sit on the passenger sit of a yellow Lamborghini… in the name of science of course!
    I also want and need this toaster, at least if I put it next to my kettle I will be really awake by just looking at it instead of my usual zombie self.

    McMademoiselle Likes

    February 10, 2012 at 04:18

    • Ah, the old “in the name of science” disclaimer.

      Thank you for stopping by, and welcome to TDoT. Can I have two pieces of bread? My toaster looks hungry.


      February 10, 2012 at 09:59

  4. Cheers you two… Even though I am no wiser about that saucy little toaster, I am nonetheless thoroughly entertained. Also, Cakes, I want the secret of that sauce, pm me if you are sworn to secrecy.

    chesty (morefuckingopinions)

    February 10, 2012 at 09:32

    • I think she should share the recipe with all of us, if for no other reason than to antagonise the Mamma of a Fiat-driving ex-suitor. Call it saucy street justice, if you will.

      Welcome to The Dissemination of Thought, where everything has a voice, even the kitchen appliances.


      February 10, 2012 at 09:53

  5. Lyndon, you’re a snarky bastard! Okay, not realllly, but I love the new segment. Cakes is perfect for the first! Good call!


    February 10, 2012 at 13:34

  6. As yet another Canadian, I’d like to reiterate the awesomeness of McCain cakes. They’re chock full of chocolately goodness. Also, they’re only $2 so you can’t really go wrong with a cake like that, right?

    By the way, loving the idea of interviews! 🙂

    PCC Advantage

    February 11, 2012 at 00:45

    • I can’t see anything wrong with the concept of a $2 chocolate cake.


      February 11, 2012 at 08:09

    • How is it possible that a Mccain cake is 2$, that is like less than a ride on the Toronto subway! God, I love those folks at McCain!

      Cakes McCain

      February 13, 2012 at 08:41

  7. Hilarious!! Wicked idea with the interviews! And I feel her pain about the internet dating. I used to google stalk the sh*t out of online daters like it was nobody’s business!


    February 11, 2012 at 02:15

    • “Stalk” is such a harsh word with creepy connotations. What if you call it “electronically scrutinising”?

      Did you ever discover something incredibly dodgy about a date as a result of your obsessive searches?


      February 11, 2012 at 08:18

      • Not really. But I can tell you this, and I think other women may agree with me but I feel that women on these site are more “normal” than the males. A lot of the males turned out to be nothing like they described and unfortunately, most people post very flattering photos of themselves that are very representative of how they look in the day to day. It was an experience to be sure but I’m glad I’m not doing that anymore.


        February 11, 2012 at 10:25

  8. I’m with the Canadians here when I say McCain’s is gold. Even if gold is made out of antifrreeze. And even if I’m not actually Canadian. I’m intrigued about this interview…or maybe I’m just intrigued by your friend Cakes. Either way I have many amusing stories, some warm friendships with Mammas (I help heal the arthiritic hands and feet of old Italian mammas for a living) but not as many skills in the culinary department. Could any of those be counted as obscure facts? hmm

    • Everyone’s intrigued by Cakes; I think it’s the sunglasses.

      Have any of the Mammas ever shared their secret tomato sauce recipe with you as recompense for relieving their pain?


      February 12, 2012 at 10:41

  9. The scope of this interview–especially in a Q & A format!!– is flabbergasting and kick ass. How did you both get through this without cracking up constantly? The repartee is impressive on both your parts, but Cakes was apparently born to be interviewed. Her answers include facts, snark, and snippets of juicy disclosure. Lyndon, you roll with each answer and volley it right back with questions that are alternately random, probing, and hilarious. You obviously did your homework on her blog, and the pictures are fantastic!

    It’s gonna be hard to follow this! Great debut for the series. I’ve written plenty of profiles, but Q & A’s are an art in themselves. This makes me wanna dig in and try it!

    Unrelenting Amee

    February 12, 2012 at 18:58

    • This will probably be like the magician revealing how the tricks are done, but I actually wrote the questions and then emailed them to Cakes for her to answer. Once I had her responses back, it was a matter of cutting and pasting. Because I know Cakes reasonably well, I was fairly confident I could anticipate her answers and what direction the “interview” would take; that – and the research – definitely made writing the questions a lot easier.

      I’m toying with the idea of doing a Skype interview for one of the instalments, but all I can picture is a laugh-filled, unusable mess.

      You should try it, it’s fantastic fun.


      February 12, 2012 at 22:01

  10. Fine. I’ll post that damn tomato sauce recipe next week. It’s so simple, it’s embarassing. If you get the jet pack fueled up, fly on over.

    Cakes McCain

    February 13, 2012 at 08:47

    • It’ll be embarrassing if I fuck it up after you’ve told everyone how simple it is.


      February 13, 2012 at 09:36

    • Yeah baby! I mean I just heat a bit of garlic in oil and dump a tin of tomatos in on top. It works for me, but I’d be too insecure about my sauce to actually cook it for anyone else…

      chesty (morefuckingopinions)

      February 14, 2012 at 09:09

  11. So very well done – Cakes has become one of our favourite femme heros. We wish her well in the fight against blue fiats! …J

    Lill and Jill

    February 22, 2012 at 02:33

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