Yesterday, while trying to find a Black Sabbath CD at a small library branch in an upscale part of town, I ventured across the street to a bakery cafe known for their sweets. My intent was to pick up some treats for Zoë and I to share after lunch. The woman behind the counter smiled, semi-polite. Not knowing exactly what each plate of goods was, I had to ask. She didn’t seem pleased to explain, as if I should obviously know what all their offerings were. After finally selecting some items, I made an addition, pointing at a round, tan cookie, dotted with chocolate chips.
“And one chocolate chip cookie.”
“We’re out of chocolate chip cookies.”
“Well, what is that?” There was a whole plate of them, piled high.
“That’s a chocolate chip cookie with walnuts.” Pointing at another plate of similar looking cookies. “Those are chocolate chip cookies with pecans.”
I was reminded of the old joke about the friendly but grammatically incorrect student starting out at an Ivy League college, the punchline being “Where are the dormitories at, asshole?”
Instead I replied, “I’ll take a chocolate chip cookie with pecans.”
When we got home, it was discovered to be a chocolate chip cookie with peanuts. All of the baked goods weren’t good. Overbuttered to the point of masking any of the natural flavors of the ingredients.
So, somehow, they managed to transform a bake shop into an alienating, aloof den of elitism. And instead of being left with sweets, I’m bitter.