For this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, Linda G. Hill has asked us to write about the first thing that comes to mind when we think of the phrase “icing on the cake.”
“Icing on the cake” is an interesting phrase. It can be used literally to mean what is pictured above. It’s the sweet concoction you put on top of and around a cake to make it taste better. Cake is pretty good on its own. But then you put icing on it, and it’s even better.
Or, it can be used figuratively or metaphorically to refer to something extra that makes a good thing even better. For example:
Trump, having been arrested and tried for his criminal conduct was good. The fact that he was convicted and thrown in prison for the rest of his life was icing on the cake.
Occasionally, though, “icing on the cake” may be used in a negative way, meaning something added to a bad situation that is not essential but makes that situation even worse. In most cases, when used this way, it’s in a sarcastic or ironic way. For example:
My wife got half of my money after the divorce, but, dammit, her getting possession of my beloved Porsche was just icing on the cake.
Personally, I like cake with or without the icing, although I have to admit that carrot cake wouldn’t be nearly as good without the cream cheese icing. Am I right or what?