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When in a jam

I am a victim of identity theft.
I can’t believe this. My poor brain is flogging itself.

I won’t go into the details in this loud, echoing, painfully public venue, but yesterday I was weaseled out of the last four digits of my Social Security number by a nasty scheming liar. And then he—no doubt rubbing his hands with devilish glee—called my wireless telephone provider, bought a $600 cell phone in my name, and had it shipped to himself.

But my mother and I, an unbeatable cross-country sleuthing duo, put a stop to the madness in less than two hours. There will be no fancy cell phone for you, Mr. Evil Liar-Man, nor will you be buying any flashy hookers with the money you’d make selling that fancy cell phone. I called the cops on you, and the Federal Trade Commission too. And I’ve fraud alerted myself up and away to safety.

After all that crime-fighting, a lovely low-key dinner with lovely friends was the only way to redeem the day. Kate bravely roasted her first chicken—with lots of help from foxy visitor Ian—and likewise foxy Nicho chipped in with roasted acorn squash and squash seeds. There were also roasted potatoes with loads of garlic and rosemary and olive oil, and rounding out the color palette was a salad of watercress, spinach, cherry tomatoes, and feta. And I brought up the rear with dessert, of course: a buttery cake scented with almond and lemon extracts, with a layer of homemade strawberry jam in the center.

As the saying goes, when in a jam of identity-theft proportions, eat buttery jam cake:

Flo Braker’s Plain & Simple Jam-Filled Butter Cake

[Note: I modified the recipe slightly by using high-butterfat European-style butter. Also, I did not use Braker’s jam recipe, preferring instead to tap into my stash of early-summer strawberry jam. And I made an only somewhat successful grid pattern on top with powdered sugar, using strips of waxed paper I cut while on the phone with the police. Nothing gets in the way of my dessert preparations, but nothing.]


Blogger pipstar said...

Oh you poor thing! You are SO lucky that you found out what Mr Evil Liar-Man was doing so quickly!

I bet the cake made you feel so much better -it definitely sounds delicious. Am I going to have to add another Molly recipe to my list of "must-dos"?

7:27 PM, October 06, 2004  
Blogger hoojeebo said...

Ever since I blithely commented to you that everyone has a blog site these days, I've regretted it. So I checked yours out, partly out of guilt. I admire the way you write, possibly because it makes my mouth water when words so rarely do. (I never thought cauliflower could sound so delicious.) And yes, I too now have a blog site, I too am now part of the dismissable "everyone". And yes, I do adore starting a sentence with "And", grammar school be deviled. Me thinks I'll keep reading. Hold on to that identity with a tight little fist. TTFN

4:27 AM, October 07, 2004  
Blogger amylou said...

Shit, this is so "The Net." Do people really steal social security numbers, and how in the hell does one go about buying a cell phone with one?

I'm glad you got your identity back before it was gone too long. Oh, and butter cake? Yum.

1:39 PM, October 07, 2004  
Blogger Molly said...

Pipstar, add it to the list! I’m kicking myself for leaving the leftovers with Kate and Ian. I’m crazy about those two, but what was I thinking? It must have been the Red Stripe-induced euphoria.

Evan, glad to see you here—even if only guilt made you do it. [Grrrrrrrr…] Always happy to induce salivation. And spread the gospel of selectively good grammar. Yes.

And Amy, it’s a long long story. Radically condensed version: the bastard called me at 8:45am and caught me trying to negotiate an armload of bag, ratatouille, Les Savy Fav, and the phone. Claimed to be from my wireless provider, saying I had an overdue balance. I was suspicious from the start and actually did get testy with him, but I just had too much going on to be fully “with it.” I said I wouldn’t pay over the phone, but he knew all the usual and official things to say, and well, I figured that even if he was a fraud, what could he do with only the last four digits of my SS#? Hot damn, now I know. But even if I feel like an idiot, I’m proud to have sniffed out the rat from the start…which is why I looked into it as soon as I got to my office. [By the way, this business of having an office is pretty hot stuff. I mean, fancy building, my own phone line, computer, windows that look out on a concrete wall. I correct other people’s punctuation all day, and I'm ruthless. Hot stuff, I am.]

2:23 PM, October 07, 2004  

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