Last weekend I had a lovely evening planned: dinner at my house with a friend, followed by a symphony concert. I prepared a simple and tasty dinner, but we didn’t have time for dessert until after we returned home. I wanted to introduce my new friend Norm to what I consider the best ice cream in Houston, so I had chosen three delicious and original flavors for his enjoyment.
I arranged three large scoops—with great artistic flair—in long-stemmed, over-sized martini glasses, and placed them on little bone china plates with a solid silver teaspoon nestled elegantly by the side. I topped off these stylish creations with a long and delicate, chocolate cream-filled wafer baton.
“Oh what an elegant way to serve ice cream,” said Norm admiringly, which caused me to burst with pride at having achieved my goal of presenting superb ice cream in a chic manner.
I suggested we take ice cream and wine upstairs to my den. I arranged my creations on a tray, and with Norm following on behind carrying bottles of wine and mineral water, I proceeded carefully up the stairs. I wasn’t too worried because my thumbs held the plates to the tray. And therein lie my idiocy.
Just as I approached the top stair, the glasses slid off their anchored plates, somersaulted almost in slow motion, and landed with the ice cream splattered thickly on my beige carpet. Wafer batons shattered into a thousand pieces. I couldn’t do a thing to stop their dramatic parabola through the air because my thumbs were busy clutching the now empty plates.
I screamed obscenities for my stupidity, and without wasting time, I threw the tray on the floor and plunged my hands into the ice cream. (Not an altogether unpleasant sensation, but I’ll save this fantasy for another time.) I scooped it onto the tray in an attempt to stop it from sinking into the carpet. I must admit to the fleeting thought, that if I had been alone, I might have eaten the besmirched ice cream anyway. But poor Norm was already shattered, like the wafer batons, by my stream of invective, so I could hardly stoop to such depths and completely ruin his image of my sophisticated self.
Muttering all the while, I cleaned the mess off the carpet (fortunately no chocolate ice cream), took the tray of miserable devastation downstairs, washed everything and started over. There was still some ice cream left in two of the three flavors, so I grabbed the cartons and kitchen spoons and plonked everything down in front of the now subdued man next to me.
“Here. Help yourself. We’re done with elegant.”