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to be a name for fancy folk with more money than sense -- cake eaters. To be called a cake eater was not a compliment, but the sting has obviously gone out of the old rebuke. Thousands of cake eaters -- regardless of social class -- lined up in Market Square Tuesday eager to have their cake and eat it. The price was right. Buddy Valastro, the owner of a bakery in Hoboken, N.J., and star of the TLC television show "The Cake Boss," was there to give out 10,000 free 7-inch cakes as a promotion. The appetite was so great that fights broke out over line-cutting. One man was arrested for stealing a box of the cakes. What sort of a crumb would try to steal a free cake? No wonder the cake making world needs a Boss.

WHEN DID THE BANANA split? Why, some time after it was invented in Latrobe, Pa., by David Strickler, a 23-year-old apprentice pharmacist in 1904. The ice cream confection migrated around the country, so it is not surprising that other communities claim to be its birthplace, most prominently Wilmington, Ohio. But Latrobe's claim has documentation and that was the cherry on top for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, which approved the city's application for a historical marker, one of a dozen new markers approved Tuesday. The marker will likely be put up in the community green space where the pharmacy once stood on Ligonier Street. Cake eaters would say that Latrobe has received its just desserts.

READERS NOW suffering pun fatigue will be relieved that our last item today is about more serious stuff -- the Pittsburgh mayoral race. On Wednesday night, the first debate since the field had been reduced to a core group took place at the University of Pittsburgh. Hosted by WPTS-FM and the Pitt Political Review, the debate did not uncover too many policy differences among the candidates on stage -- city Councilman Bill Peduto, former state Auditor General Jack Wagner and state Rep. Jake Wheatley. Still, such debates perform a public service by making the candidates explain their positions at length. With the limits on political contributions lifted by a court ruling last week, the danger is that the campaign could become a duel of misleading 30-second TV ads. Debate on, gentlemen.



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