There are any number of legitimate reasons for firing a bakery employee, but there’s one in particular that really takes the cake – and that’s taking the cake.

Taking the cake, in and of itself, is not necessarily actionable, but taking the cake without paying for it is. Not paying for it is the icing on the cake-taking, and a real boss-froster.

You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. You can either have it or eat it, but you can’t do both. It’s got to be one or the other. Whichever you choose, you still can’t steal it – not without running the risk of getting caught and fired for it.

If you steal two cakes, then you can have your cake and eat it, too. At least, you can have one and eat the other. But stealing two cakes is twice as bad as stealing one, and twice as risky.

Even if nobody catches you the first time, they might catch you on the second go-round. If they don’t catch you either time, you’re liable to become brazen and begin collecting cakes with reckless abandon, and then you’re sure to be accused of cake taking.

Diana King may be a case in point. She lost her job in the bakery at Wal-Mart last month after her co-workers accused her of stealing two cakes. Not one, but two. On two different occasions. One cake each time.

King denies the accusations. She admits taking the cakes, but says she paid for them and had receipts to prove it. She has filed suit in Madison County Circuit Court, saying she was fired in retaliation for a workers’ compensation claim she’d made previously against Wal-Mart.

King is seeking a judgment against her former employee of more than $100,000 for lost wages, pain and suffering, etc. -- and another $100,000-plus for punitive damages.

That’s a lot of cake, to have or eat.

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