Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What Was Wang A Few Hours Ago

I wish I had the time and energy to write a proper WWTW but I just don't. However, a couple of hours ago I was at a department function (it's visit week and lots of students are visiting for a couple of days to check out the department). I decided to order the chocolate raspberry layer cake for dessert, because it looked to be the biggest thing on the menu (and because I wasn't paying for any of it). I got it and it looked pretty good, with some whipped cream and a mint leaf on the side as well as a few dabs of raspberry coulis on the plate for decoration. I took a bite of the cake, which was pretty good. I dipped the next bite into the coulis, and put it in my mouth.

Hm. Something's wrong here.

I took a closer look at the sauce and thought, "That doesn't quite look right." It was salty, for one thing; it didn't taste of raspberries, for another. I tried to place the flavour. Was it kumquat? Was it some kind of sour plum? That would explain the saltiness. I tasted it again. "I mean, it could be kumquat," I told myself. I dipped another forkful of cake into another dab of the stuff and took another taste. "Really does taste a bit like sour plum," I thought. I took a closer look. I was dumbfounded.

Is this ketchup?

"No, no way," I told myself. It couldn't be ketchup. It was a very nice restaurant, and I was raised in a blue-collar industrial suburb. "It must be my own low mind that is causing this. This is clearly a sauce whose complexity and aroma is lost on my untrained palate," I convinced myself. I took another bite.

Fuck. It's ketchup.

But! I wasn't paying for the meal, so I thought it would be gauche to complain, especially because there was still enough doubt in my mind that it really was some kind of savoury plum-and-kumquat concoction. In any case, it wasn't doing any favours to the whipped cream or chocolate raspberry layer cake. I avoided it and tried to dig as much whipped cream out from the ketchup-kumquat-plum-whatever it was next to, and ate on in silence.

A few minutes later, though, a professor said "Did they serve us chocolate cake with ketchup?!" and I just let loose. "So I'm not the only person who noticed!" Other people said "No way!" and I said "Go ahead, taste!" Shankar took one bite and said "Oh, yeah, that's ketchup." I was hugely relieved that someone else had been in a position to criticize. Yes! The emperor has no clothes! The emperor has no clothes!

Unfortunately, by this point my own self-doubt had caused me to eat three of the five dabs of ketchup, mostly with my cake. So now I'm the idiot who ate his chocolate cake with most of the ketchup that was provided.

On the plus side, this has solidified my reputation as the guy to whom "all the weird stuff" happens to.

Current Music: Ron Sexsmith - All In Good Time


Peter Lynn said...

Well, did you send it back or what?

Jowen said...

You should have told the server. Maybe it was some sort of social experiment to see who would voice up, and that person would be rewarded with, I don't know, women.

rachel said...

Just tell yourself that the weird stuff happens to you because you're just more willing than others to try new things.