Book status: Sensei of Cool Ted is working his magic. I am waiting patiently, trying not to infect any more computers.

So, my little Newt pulled through. Survived. And it's been... ummmm... awkward between the two of us. I couldn't quite put the feeling into words, until I remembered the parable of the licked cheesecake.

Do any of you know it? It was told to me when I was on the verge of teen-hood, and one of my church leaders sat all of us hormonal preteens down one evening for a special night of fables. The way he put it, as we got older, it's like we received Boeing 747's, and yet, we didn't have our pilot's license. Even though it looks like fun, and the jet is parked in our driveway, do we really want to try to fly it? And risk the hundreds of lives in the cabin of the plane just for the one moment of... ummmm... flying it?

Then they passed around a plate of oreos, instructing us to each take one. Only one of the oreos had a bite out of it! Disgusting! Of course, by the time the plate had traveled the entire room, every oreo was taken except for the one with the bite. Poor little bitten oreo. All alone. No friends. No Gooey middle. All she has left is a bad reputation.

But the highlight of the evening was the parable of the licked cheesecake, and this story has stuck with me for years and years. Apparently, deep inside, we are all pieces of delicious cheesecake. When we turn 12-years old, we receive the gift of strawberry topping.

Now, here's where it gets scary. Sometimes, as pieces of cheesecake, we can make really stupid decisions. Like hanging out with the dark chocolate cake, or messing with the sinfully gooey caramel turtle cakes. Anyway, apparently when we do this, our strawberry topping systematically gets licked away. Licked away! Gross!

Once the cheesecake realizes what she's done, it's too late. Frantically, she plants her own strawberry fields, and tills the harvest (does that even make sense?) so she can make her own special strawberry sauce. She works and works, cooking and adding gelatin, and sugar, and waits for it to set in her refrigerator, until that happy day when she can drench herself in the strawberry topping once more!

Sadly, her desperate work is all for naught. Because as pretty as she looks covered in her homemade strawberry sauce, no matter where she goes, she will never be able to escape the fact that underneath it all she is just licked cheesecake. And licked cheesecake is all she'll ever be. And no one will want to socialize with her, because that's disgusting.

Undeniably, it had been the most entertaining night of my twelve years thus far. The stories were compelling enough, but I had to admit, I didn't know what the blazes they were talking about! I never wanted to be a pilot, I really didn't care for oreos, and as for the cheesecake, well let's just say that if my neighbor's dog had licked it, I'd still eat it!

At the end of the evening, they served cheesecake for dessert. Many people were hesitant to dig in, so I just ate their pieces for them. Clueless as ever.

I finally understand the moral of the parable of the licked cheesecake. My church leader had been talking about computers. (Of course, at the time, they were only Atari's). But he was so brilliant, he could see where the future of computers was going, and he was warning me to keep my laptop away from FTD's. (Facebook Transmitted Diseases).
Guard your Atari: Use Protection!

Because now that my little Newt is supposedly "cured", and everyone keeps telling me that there are no traces of the nasty virus, I can't help thinking of little Newt as licked cheesecake. Sure, he looks all pretty on the outside. But I wonder, how much of his gooey center has been licked beyond repair? And who's been licking it? What kind of germs are hiding out in his gooey center, just waiting for me to make one mistake?

So yes, I am blogging from Newt. But I feel a little dirty. I can't help it. Excuse me, I have to go take a shower. And I'm suddenly craving Cheesecake.

Here's your hyperlink for today. This book is a great read for Young Adults and Adults! It should have topped my previous list.


From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 9 Up–Zusak has created a work that deserves the attention of sophisticated teen and adult readers. Death himself narrates the World War II-era story of Liesel Meminger from the time she is taken, at age nine, to live in Molching, Germany, with a foster family in a working-class neighborhood of tough kids, acid-tongued mothers, and loving fathers who earn their living by the work of their hands.