A cakewalk is also a southern social "game". Traditionally ladies of the community would bake a bunch of cakes. The local church/school would then have a cakewalk as part of the festivities of the evening.

The rules are thus:

1: There are numbered spaces forming a loop around the school gym/church floor.

2: One walks around the spaces till "stop" is called, at which time everyone stops on one of the numbered tiles.

3: A number is drawn from a hat, if you're standing on that space, you win a cake and are removed from the game.

Though harmless in appearance, cakewalks have a much more sinister side. Rivalrys would often be built up over who made the better cake, often times leading to almost outright social warfare. Friendships were lost over whose baking skills were superior. Southern women take their cooking very seriously. Keep in mind that often times recipes have been handed down through generations of mothers and daughters. Meaning that if someone else's family recipe beats yours in an impartial taste test, then obviously their family is better than yours. If one thing is important in most southern families, it's being better than the neighbors. Status, however conferred, is absolutely vital.

If this seems like complete and utter nonsense to you, then you're obviously not from around here.

I also have my suspicions about cakewalks origin of the phrase "this ain't no cakewalk"* cakewalks can usually be entered for relatively low ticket prices or by donating something to the church charity, like a coat or children's toy. Generally speaking, if you win a cake you've sort of pulled a something for nothing, in that the price you paid probably isn't equal to or greater than the "cost" of the cake. Also one need only be able to move forward to have a good chance of winning, making the whole act rather easy with often times very sweet rewards...

*The wu mentioned has been deleted, apparently... (April 21, 2005)