Gut Check is not typically a consumer of fruitcake. Or of Williams-Sonoma products for that matter. Thus, we heard about the $39.95 Williams-Sonoma fruitcake via Deadspin. Right there on the Haters Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog, sandwiched between the European Cheese Hamper and the Found Grain Sack Stocking (made from a Hungarian grain sack), was this:
Naturally, being the dedicated reporter we are, we had to investigate. Are these monks rednecks? Does this fruitcake contain uppers? Most importantly, is it worth $39.95, plus shipping?
First the easiest question: No, this fruitcake is not worth $39.95. If you buy it directly from the Assumption Abbey website, you'll only have to pay $31, shipping included.
Next, the monks are not rednecks. At least not based on photos on the Abbey's website. Which we admit may be subject to photo doctoring. However, since the monks habitually wear hoods, it appears that their necks are regularly protected. Also, says Michael Hampton, the bakery office manager, the monks usually spend eight hours a day making fruitcake, all during daylight hours, which limits the amount of sunburning time.
Oh, wait, now we get it! Deadspin was referring to the stereotypical Missourah resident, particularly the sort that lives in the Ozarks and has no teeth and spends his time alternately shooting squirrels, cooking meth and beating his woman. That's exactly what these monks should be like since their abbey is down the highway from the Ozark town of Ava.
But, finally, yes, this fruitcake is very, very special, in ways no one can quite describe. And it has nothing to do with meth!
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