It was her 21st birthday, and there was a big party at the house for all her friends and family. What better day to ask her to marry him thought Sean. After all, they’d been dating for two years.
Since he would be the one cutting the birthday cake, he thought it an inspired idea to slip the engagement ring into the slice of cake he would serve to his beloved Siobhan. The diamond was of sufficient proportions as to be visible to her when she speared the cake with her fork, so what could go wrong? He thought it would remind her of their shared Irish heritage, and an old custom both of them remembered from the old country involving putting a ring in the Barmbrack at Halloween, bringing fortune evermore to whoever received it.
And so the day dawned and a wonderful time was being had by all, despite Aunt Matilda’s yappy pest of a Chihuahua who busied himself humping the legs of the male guests and peeing on the shoes of the females until someone gave him a swift kick which landed him under the table.
And then the time came to cut the cake and Sean successfully negotiated the transfer of the slice to the plate. But, as he reached over to hand it to Siobhan, the pesky dog started nipping at his ankles, sending the cake tumbling to the floor. The cunning canine, darting out from under the table, attempted to wolf it down but got the ring caught in his throat. Unable to breathe, he began spinning in circles gasping until finally, he collapsed, the force of his last breath sending the ring shooting across the floor to land at Aunt Matilda’s feet.
Stunned by the scene unfolding before them, it was a few moments until anyone managed to rush to the animal’s aid, but alas, the dog was dead.
Not a word was uttered as Aunt Matilda rose, gathering herself up to her impressive height of six foot two and, staring first at the ring and then at the dead dog, bellowed “which of you nincompoops decided to put a ring in a birthday cake”.
All eyes turned to Sean.