The basic meaning of “have your cake and eat it too” has been lost in the wording. What is trying to be conveyed is, “you want to eat your cake and still have it when you are done.” (That’s not funny!)
I was hoping the saying meant. You want to halve your cake and eat it two. Basically meaning, you cut your cake in half and eat the two pieces in two separate sittings. (That would have been funny!)
Here is my story breaking down the origin:
A long, long time ago…
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile. Wait a minute! I think those are the lyrics to Don McLean’s song American Pie. (Sorry about that!)
There was a time, a long, long time ago. Chevys and levees played on the radio. No cell phones, just twenty thousand lights, swaying on a Saturday night…alright. (I think I screwed up again. Those are definitely the words to Five For Fighting’s song Slice!)
Once upon a time, the world was under the rule of one mighty king. The king, whose name has never been uncovered, had all the wealth that a person could wish for. He was a stern, but fair ruler. Most of the towns inside his massive kingdom were prosperous and peaceful.
There was one exception; a small town, near the outer rim of the kingdom. The people were hardworking loyal subjects, but their location created unimaginable hardships. Most families failed to get the proper nutrition, but everyone did their best to ensure that no one starved to death.
The king wanted to do his best to help these people, but he didn’t want to create an atmosphere where laziness became accepted; a daily ration was given to his poorest subjects and nothing more. The caring king ordered his advisers to put in motion a five-year plan to improve the quality of the soil. With better farmland, the people would finally be able to provide for themselves.
In the meantime, each month, the king would hand out cakes to ten lucky families. These families were selected by the advisers and each clan was chosen based on their execution of the massive five-year plan.
The cakes were delivered to each home on the first day of the month. (Hence the famous song by Cleveland rap group Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony!)
The fortunate families had two choices. They could cut their cake into pieces and have their easiest meal. (Hence the saying “piece of cake,” when talking about things being easy!) This was truly the only option, because these were hungry people who couldn’t afford to pass up any meal.
The second option was to keep the cake for the entire month in order to receive a grand reward. Any family which managed to save their cake was invited to the castle for a massive dinner with the king. (Hence the term “a king’s feast!”)
Sitting down to dinner in the king’s castle was the ultimate prize, but an impossible dream. The longest any family held out was thirteen days. (Hence the number 13 being unlucky!)
On the twelfth day, the man’s best friend, Thomas Jinx, was heard guaranteeing that his buddy would be the first man to save his cake. (From that day forth, the name Jinx became synonymous with a curse!)
After the infamous Jinx incident, the chosen families no longer attempted to save their cakes; there was no point. Everything changed a few years later. A man named William Spender vowed to save his family’s cake for the entire month.
The Spenders land contained a small sliver of fertile land which provided enough extra food to share with some of their neighbors. Due to Mr. Spender’s generosity, his family was chosen to receive a piece of cake. Spender anticipated receiving the cake and he prepared accordingly. For a few months, he stored away some food to be served during his month-long wait.
As predicted, the Spenders were able to save their cake and the king sent a coach to transport the family to his castle. The Spenders thought they were going to see a large amount of food, but they were not prepared for the gargantuan meal.
William’s wife, Elizabeth, mentioned how difficult it was to save the cake. “The journey to your castle was the longest ride of our lives; it took all of my will power to keep from eating that cake.” Elizabeth said.
“Women are impossible to satisfy. It would appear that your wife would like to have her cake and eat it too!” The king said. (Hence the famous saying!)
Another first occurred during the long journey. The trip was the first incident in which children were heard asking the world’s most annoying travel query. Repeatedly, they yelled out “are we there yet?”
This incident is also the origin of the famous oxymoron “save like a Spender!”
***OK! We all know “save like a spender” is not a famous oxymoron, but it can be! (Let’s all do our part and make it happen!)***