Usually, when I read about people who see a striking resemblance between their food and something else, the story tends towards the religious. There’s a whole tradition of Jesus and his mother spontaneously making appearances on toast, muffins, Marmite lids, breakfast tacos, and the occasional cluster of shower mold. Some people find these not only inspirational, but financially profitable.
In 2005, Donna Lee of Point Place, Ohio, was cooking pierogis for Easter when she found one with the face of Jesus. The divine pierogi went for $1,775 on eBay. But as divinely decorated baked goods go, that was chicken feed. The year before, a grilled-cheese sandwich with Jesus’ face sold for $28,000. (Last year, Michael Leaverton documented how Jesus appeared on a dog’s “caboose,” but we don’t think the dog’s owner resorted to selling the holy canine.)
In that context, my first thought on reading about Kaelin Bell was to wonder whether a religion might sprout up around Chico, her pet Chihuahua. The 14-year-old posted a picture on her Tumblr page comparing Chico to the blueberry muffin that she was about to eat.
“My blueberry muffin looks exactly like my dog,” she wrote. “I’m gonna cry.”
Whereas the pierogi, the grilled-cheese sandwich, and even the Shroud of Turin look like cases of desperately overactive imaginations to me, I have to admit: There is an uncanny resemblance in this photo between Chico and the muffin. They’re both kind of adorable, actually.
Unlike the three things above, it doesn’t look like Kaelin and her family will get much money from the muffin.
“I couldn’t eat it,” she told The Huffington Post. “So we froze it in a plastic bag. My dad is wondering if we’ll be able to sell it, but, so far, no one has offered to buy it.”
On the other hand, thanks to coverage of the funny photo by Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, and now us, Chico might well be on the way to being the next Internet meme, which is kind of like becoming a religious figure. And, as we saw with the Jamaican bobsled team yesterday, sometimes the right meme can be worth money.
Kaelin is very excited about all the attention, but she says that Chico has remained blissfully unaware of all the fuss.
“Today, he just laid in bed,” she told HuffPo. “He’s now realizing he’s an Internet sensation.”
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