Ok, so this one was a little weird….I guess I should have known to be a little wary of this cake in the first place because it was located at a MetroLink Station, which in and of itself is not sketchy per se, but, on that day and to this day, I keep coming back to one question, “Why?”
With the majority of the other cakes on this and my other hunts, I can usually think to myself, “Surely this old building/museum/statue has some historical significance to St. Louis or the mid-west, even if I don’t know what it is yet”, but a MetroLink Station? In Shrewsbury? Still not too sure about that one. And even after searching for some fun tidbits or interesting data about the location, the best I could come up with is that this branch of the MetroLink was built in 2006 and was renamed in 2008 to the Blue Line…other than that…not so much! Granted, I will give St. Louis some props for having such a transit system in place at all, but I’m not so sure that decision warranted a cake.
So even with questions on my mind on the day of the hunt, Miles and I still went on with the show and I parked the car in the parking lot so we could walk to the cake which was under an enclosure. Now this enclosure is right where the MetroLink takes on passengers and leaves them off, so I waited for what I thought was an opportune time to examine the cake and take our customary photos with it. Should be easy peasy, right? Wrong. Because right then something strange happened: a young woman who I had never met before got off the MetroLink, made a beeline for Miles and myself and plunked an elbow down on the cake as she started talking to us.
Initially her behavior wasn’t that unique, as I had encountered other cake hunters and curious strangers who had stopped for a moment or two to talk with me along the way, but what set this encounter apart was that she just didn’t leave. At first this was fine, maybe she wanted to make a new friend, but the conversation she struck up with me was mostly one-sided. She wanted to talk about her boyfriend and the dates they went on, and she even went so far as to ask my opinion about whether or not I thought they should move in together. Now at first I was game for her conversation; I listened patiently and tried to respond as best I could, but she quickly outwore her welcome, mostly because it was pretty obvious what I was trying do: as she was resting on the cake, I was standing a few feet away from the cake with my camera in one hand and the other raised and snapping to draw Miles’ attention to it so he would look in my direction for the picture. However, despite this, or maybe in some strange way, because of it, my stance and gestures did not even give her pause and she continued right on with her thoughts as if I were an old friend, intently interested in what she had to share.
As she continued on, it quickly became apparent that, like it or not, some part of her was going to be in the picture, and if our interaction had been even an ounce less sketchy, I may have considered asking her to be in it in a more formal way, but as it was, I just zoomed in as much as I could on Miles James and thankfully only captured a part of her leg and some elbow/arm.
After the pictures were taken, the next obstacle remained how to leave this conversation that I had not wanted to participate in in the first place. I started by making some small shuffling moves away from the cake while emphatically putting my camera away and grabbing my keys, but true to character, she was undeterred. Next I tried the more overt tactic of saying, “Welp, it was nice talking with you,” and hoping she would respond in kind and I could slink away, but this only served to help her change her course of conversation to something about how nice it was to get my thoughts on things. Finally I just decided to spit out a quick, “Goodbye and good luck,” and flee as inconspicuously as I could. And without looking back, Miles and I headed straight to the car, leaving the parking lot in record time.
But, you know, from time to time in my current life, I pass the Shrewbury MetroLink Station, and each time I do, I pause for a moment to think of this unique young lady who shook up my cake hunting experience so drastically that I still associate her with that location even more so than the actual cake placed there. So, wherever you are, overly friendly lady, I hope you got home safely that day at the MetroLink Station and thanks(?) for making that event so much more memorable if a bit strange.