Summer Job, With Icing

Being a cupcake is no bowl of cherries

cupcake.jpgMy source is wearing a pink and brown cupcake suit at the northwest corner of Serene and Eastern avenues. He’s out there from about 3 to 8 p.m. most days of the week. His job is to encourage motorists to take the calorie hit at nearby Project Cupcake.

Gaining access to cupcake guy can be a challenge. There are actually several people who wear the suit. It’s a proprietary list, and Project Cupcake keeps it close to the apron.

But on one recent 110-degree afternoon, Jonathan Yang, 21, was willing to talk up his cupcake-guy gig while waving to honking cars. Before I showed up, an iPod was helping him through the afternoon and his dance steps seemed a bit lethargic.

But hats off to the laid-off construction worker for wearing the pink-frosted suit filled with packing peanuts for waistline heft. Project Cupcake’s owner, Don (who refused to give his surname), says the cupcake suit was engineered to include a harness inside so as to not put too much weight directly on the body. He also tried several different types of fabric before settling on the one that breathes the best.

Alas, Don says the cupcake suit may soon be mothballed for the summer because of the heat.

Right now, though, Yang’s willing to get a little toasty. He’s trying to pay off some bills and get back to school for auto-body repair while playing the role of huggable street-corner cupcake by night.

I say goodbye, shake the cupcake’s hand.

Before I get in my hot car, I cast one more glance back. From a distance, Yang seems comfortable. Maybe it’s bottomless water and free cupcakes.

Or maybe it’s the hugs. Turns out everyone loves a cupcake.

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