“I got you a treat,” my good wife said to me as she continued to empty a bag of groceries onto the counter.
“Thank you, Peach,” I replied. “What's the occasion?”
“You've just endured surgery and will need a few days to recover. You deserve a treat,” she said as she pointed to a square, white cardboard box with blue script that she'd placed on top of the refrigerator. I immediately recognized: Entemann's Chocolate Fudge cake! And while it was true that I'd just endured some uncomfortable day surgery to remove a few nasties from a very delicate area, I didn't think it warranted a celebration.
“Wow! We love that cake,” I exclaimed, “but I thought we'd made a solemn pact around our involvement with Entemann's Chocolate Fudge cake?” Indeed we had. This, to us, was the 'crack' of cake. It had proven to be dangerous to submit to our chocolatey, cakey cravings, because we had learned that we could empty a store shelf and fill a freezer with Entemann's Chocloate Fudge cake without any provocation. Our expanding waist-lines were evidence. Our pact dictated that we were allowed to purchase one cake for each of our birthdays. That translated just two per year, no exceptions noted, and we'd been honoring our pact well for about five years. Until today.
“What about our pact?” I asked.
“There are extenuating circumstances. And this is one of them,” my wife said as she put the remainder of the groceries away.
Ignoring the clause she had apparently added to our pact, I asked, “Would you like some cake? I'd like a piece right now.” I was discovering that as I was slowly emerging from the gossamer cloak of anesthesia, I was feeling tired. And more than a little hungry.
“Sure, I'll get you a piece,” she replied. She opened the box, slid out the shiny aluminum tray that contained our holy grail of chocolate cake, and, handing me my fork, cut me a generous piece. I glided across the room, sank to my chair and beheld the plate of chocolate love. I raised my fork. I took a mouthful. Nivana!
“May I have another? And a glass of milk?”
“Are you sure?”
Am I sure? Sure as anything I can think of! She poured a glass of cold milk and then placed another piece of cake on my plate and watched my ecstacy. “Would you like some?” I asked, licking my fork.
“No thank you. It's for you.” I truly admired her monumental restraint.
How did I ever find such a wonderful woman? I didn't think too long about it as there was an untouched piece of Entemann's cake before me that needed attending to. I silently succored each morsel. My wife left the room to attend to other things. I was alone. With the crack, er...cake.
I finished my second serving. But I wanted MORE! Did I need it? Yes. Yes, I did. I got up and took my plate to the counter where the cakebox awaited. I opened it and slid out the tray. I cut a third piece and returned to my seat, and Zounds! – it disappeared even more quickly that the previous two. I polished off the glass of milk and sat looking out the window at the dismal, grey skies, ceaseless rain and dropping Fall leaves. I began to feel the ansthesia beginning to wear off. Things were looking bleak. But I had CAKE!
Had I no shame? Should I eat more? Probably not. What about my waist-line, what about sharing? Yeah, what about it? Could I eat more? Why, yes. Yes, I could.
I looked around. My wife was still preoccupied elsewhere. I surreptitiously got up and very quietly placed my plate and knife into the sink. I poured another glass of cold milk. I grabbed the Entemann's Chocolate Fudge box and took it to my seat. I slid open the aluminum tray, tossed the cardboard box aside, grabbed my fork and unceremoniously dug in. I savored each heavenly mouthful: The cake's delicate, moist chocolately crumb; the creamy, silky-smooth fudge frosting as it dissolved upon my tongue on its way to my eagerly awaiting stomach. I shall blame this all on the lingering post-op anesthesia. However, in truth, I know it's really the CAKE!
I sat and ate. And ate. And ate some more. Then I noticed that I'd actually eaten more than 95% of the cake!!! Had I no shame at all? I called out to my wife “I've saved you a small piece of cake. Shall I set it aside for you for later?”
“No thank you, it's all for you.”
What?! Well, OK then. One can't just leave that lonely little piece of cake alone there now, can one? No. No, one can not. I ate the rest of the cake. I had eaten the entire cake. In one sitting.
I have no shame.