So last month Rog was in town for a few days, and while he was here we did the usual manly things that manly men do, like peruse Michaels for Halloween holiday decorations. While we wandered the store Rog stumbled across this Haunted Mansion Kit, which is somewhat similar to the Halloween Cookie House he made several years back. He said that he would pick it up if I would construct it and write up an article about it. Free gingerbread mansion to devour? Done, and done!
Knowing that I barely know the difference between a spatula and a cheese grater, my girlfriend Ducky decided to help me construct the house, so that it hopefully wouldn't end up being some non-Euclidean construction horror out of an H.P. Lovecraft story. But all the same, I was determined, nay, hellbent, on ensuring that the final result of this labor was so alien, so horrific that the mere sight of it would be enough to drive one to the very brink of madness! Okay, not really. It's just a gingerbread
house mansion, people. Let's get some perspective here. Inside the box were the following ingredients:
What we have here are a shrink-wrapped packet containing all the gingerbread pieces of the house, two icing mix packs (one green and one black), two cone shaped icing bags (with plastic tips), three bags of candies to decorate the house with, and an instruction/binding pact with the dark lord Satan booklet.
There were a couple things we had to go out and purchase that didn't come in the kit: a bag of shredded coconut (I actually didn't know they sold this--I had some vision of us having to tear apart a coconut and shaving the bits off ourselves) and yellow and green food coloring. But of course, the most exciting thing to me that came inside the kit was this:
BUBBLE WRAP!!!! Where have you been all my life!?!? Oh shit, where were we? Oh yes, we're supposed to be building a gingerbread house or something. Ahem. Excuse me. I don't know what came over me. Now, before we could get started, we had to decide which of three designs we were going to build:
Our options were Ghoulish Inn, Frightening Facade, or Possessed Address. After careful consideration, we decided that the one in the bottom right (and also featured on the front of the box), Frightening Facade, looked the most interesting. But wait! What's this?
The instruction booklet seems to disagree with the back of the box! What is labeled "Frightening Facade" on the box is listed as "Possessed Address" inside the booklet! What kind of shoddy fly-by-night operation was this Wilton company that made this gingerbread house anyway? This was an outrage! Eventually after calming down, we decided to continue with the same house design, regardless of what they actually called it. First, we needed to break out all of the gingerbread building blocks and make sure they were all present and accounted for.
The instructions told us to carefully measure the gingerbread pieces to make sure they matched up. But surely such a step wouldn't be necessary. Each piece that wasn't unique had an identical corresponding part--why on earth wouldn't they match up? They would have used the exact same molds after all. So we naturally skipped this useless step. Oh dear reader, I tell you now, if only we had the powers of precognition, we could have saved ourselves... saved ourselves so much pain and horror... but I get ahead of myself.
Next up we had to blend the icing mix packets, which is very serious business. So we used a very serious blender to get the serious job done. Seriously.
The instructions said to mix it until it had the consistency of toothpaste, which we did, but it turned out to be a bit too thick to be easy to work with. Fortunately the black came out a little less thick, because we needed more of that one for our decorating.
Then it was time to scoop all of the icing into our handy little icing cone (just like the professionals use!). It ended up looking just like Slimer ejaculate, so naturally we just couldn't wait to taste the stuff.
Once we repeated the process with the black icing, we were ready to begin. We pulled out the cardboard base that the house would eventually be glued onto (all of the best foods come glued to cardboard), and the construction was about to commence!
First we had to glue all of the main sides of the house together using the Slimer ejaculate (ectojism?), and then we glued the entire house to the base. Due to my manhandling of all the pieces when picking them up, the house collapsed in on itself once and had to be reglued. Whoops. Clumsy me! I guess I'm just too manly for this kind of work!
Then we had to do the same thing to put the roof together. I believe I also caused this to cave in on itself at one point. It's a good thing I didn't get into construction work. Of course, they don't usually make life size houses out of gingerbread and spectral spooge, so maybe that wouldn't have been an issue anyway. Still, I sunburn easily, so it's also good that I didn't get into construction for that reason.
Then we simply put on the roof, and--BEHOLD! A giant gap confronted us on one side of the house. So, uh, I guess maybe we should have followed that previous step about measuring and cutting the pieces. Oh! The horror! We were undone by our own hubris! Hoist by our own petard! Stupid gingerbread mansion. So after much careful deliberation, we decided that this was going to be the back of the house, or the "ass-end", if you will.
We were then ready to stick the front piece onto the house, and with the final construction piece done and the basic building fully assembled, it was time to start decorating this bitch! One of the reasons we chose this design is because it had a black roof rather than a green one, which looked more evil, and we also benefitted from the fact that our black icing was a little thinner than the green and thus far easier to work with.
Ducky drew the little squiggles on the roof (which are apparently called "scallops"--when I first looked at the instructions I was afraid we were going to have to glue seafood to the top of this thing), while I prepared the gum drop windows by rolling them flat with an empty glass (Rolling pin? Fuck that, I punched them with fury!) and sticking them to the house.
It was around the time that I started putting the curtains on the windows that Ducky gave up all hope that this house would in any way resemble the picture on the front of the box. It didn't help that the green icing was far too thick to squirt out of the icing tube in a controlled manner, and that is what I blame for the appearance of this abomination. I suppose one could just as easily blame my lack of artistic talents, but why even go there when I have the thick icing scapegoat to fall back on?
Here is a closer look at my curtain-making skills. I can honestly say that I really did try to replicate the way the curtains looked on the front of the box. The icing just didn't want to work with me. I guess I shouldn't be allowed to decorate gingerbread houses in the future. Do they issue restraining orders for that kind of thing?
We put the finishing touches on the roof, added some coconut grass to the yard, and our house was basically complete!
Here's a side view of our lovely gingerbread home. Just check out those amazing curtains!
Of course, one thing about the house was still bothering me. Ducky had managed to plug up the hole in the back (ladies...) with enough icing that it was no longer very noticable, but the back wall of the house was just completely devoid of anything. The kit had only included enough candy decorations for the front and one of the sides in the house, because apparently gingerbread houses exist in the same kind of sitcom worlds where you only ever see rooms from one angle because they're missing a wall. So I decided we needed to spruce up the back of the house a little bit:
There! Now it was perfect! This finally captured the true depths of evil that I knew this gingerbread mansion was capable of! Now all the gingerbread neighbors who lived next door to this abomination would finally realize the danger that lurked right outside the safety of their own homes!
And here you can see our final creation and how it stacks up to the official photograph. I don't know, I can't really tell much difference between the two so I'd say we did a pretty good job, wouldn't you?
JOB WELL DONE! BONUSES AND GOLD STARS FOR EVERYONE!!
Of course, some people were less than enthused with the final result. I guess that just goes to show you that where evil gingerbread is concerned, there's no telling what could happen. Sometimes the powers of evil and chaos are just too strong to be contained!
So now you've seen how the gingerbread mansion was "supposed" to look according to the empty suits behind this Wilton Corporation. But you, dear reader, you're not an empty suit at all! How do you think we did?
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