While in San Francisco last week, my wife and I, after dinner, decided to go somewhere for dessert and coffee.
For whatever reason, on this particular night, I was very much in the mood for dessert. I wanted one of those brownies with nuts and ice cream and caramel dripping from it. It’s called different things in different places, but I refer to it as a “brownie blast” because it is, and usually results in, a brownie blast. Luckily I found it on the menu of the place that we went to, which was just a diner. My wife was content ordering some kind of coconut cake thingee.
So a few minutes later our desserts come out and they are just completely ridiculous. The ice cream on my brownie –- and by brownie I mean twelve brownies -– is stacked so high that I can no longer see my wife across the table. Her slice of coconut cake was not a slice, but a complete cake, one that a person might purchase at a bakery if he or she was going to a wedding and the bride had called beforehand and was like, “Dude, somebody dropped the cake! I need you to pick up another one. Preferably coconut.”
As I sat there behind my Sears Tower of ice cream, I was feeling a mix of embarrassment and anger. Embarrassment because we were in a public place, and the attention of the other tables had now shifted to the couple who had just ordered two obnoxiously large piles of calories. I mean, here we are in a struggling economy, with people out of work and houses in foreclosure and businesses folding and livelihoods being ruined. But hey –- no matter to me! I’m doing just fine, as evidenced by the ginormous and extravagant brownie blast in front of my face. Excuse me, miss? More brownies!
Making matters even more embarrassing for us was the fact that San Francisco is -– as we realized quite immediately upon our arrival there -– the unofficial homeless capital of the country. It is both scary and sad, but there are homeless people everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Yet there we were, with desserts that could feed the entire homeless population of San Francisco for three days. This in turn, caused my wife and I to discuss taking a few bites, wrapping up the remainder of our desserts, and actually handing them to a homeless person on the way back to the hotel. Then we began imagining scenarios in which our kind gesture was literally thrown back into our faces -– the homeless in San Fran aren’t exactly the sanest bunch –- and we'd be forced to walk back to the hotel covered in caramel and coconut. That actually made us laugh as we ate, making us look even more fiendish.
(A few quick homeless sidebars. One day we were walking down the street in San Fran and a homeless man walked up to us and said, “If you think she’s got big legs, you should see her lips!” and then walked away. This quickly became the slogan of our trip. Also, after eating breakfast one morning at a local restaurant I went to use the bathroom and found myself at a urinal next to a homeless guy who was groaning uncontrollably as he peed, and I had to pretend like I was still peeing until he left, which took about five minutes. Awkward. Finally, while watching the local news one morning, we were informed that the San Francisco homeless soccer team had made the Homeless Soccer Tournament semifinals in Washington, D.C. So…congratulations? I'm not sure how that works.)
Anyhoo, my anger was reserved for our idiot waitress, who neglected to inform us that each dessert was enough for a full season’s worth of temptation challenges on “The Biggest Loser.” Moron. Do your job.
This wasn’t the first time I’d been given an obnoxiously large dessert -– there are places that wear their obnoxiously large desserts like a badge of honor. This experience got me thinking though -– is there anything more unnecessary on earth than the obnoxiously large dessert? They’re wasteful, a slap in the face to the poverty that persists worldwide, financially unsound for both the consumer and the establishment -– there’s no way those places are making their money back charging $3.50 for six gallons of ice cream mixed with designer candy, and the consumer feels screwed when they inevitably throw away over half of what they paid for -– messy, unhealthy, and they almost always result in some form of diarrhea. On the plus side, they are truly American.
As for me, I valiantly attempted to finish my dessert as a big “f.u.” to our waitress and the entire practice of abnormally large desserts. My plan was to finish, stand up with brownie crumblings and ice cream all over my face, dramatically throw my spoon down onto the dish, take my wife by the hand as we passed the crowd of stunned onlookers, and go outside, at which point I would throw-up violently. Unfortunately, I couldn’t put a dent in the thing. Nor could I even bring it back to the hotel, due the ice cream and the fact that we were leaving the following morning. However -- again of out of sheer principle -- we boxed up the remainder of my wife’s cake, dragged it through security and onto the airplane, and brought it home.
We have been picking at it everyday since we’ve been home. There is still some left. It is stale, but I will not give up. Like I always say, if you think this cake is big, you should she her lips.
Me: How do you sleep at night, buddy?
This Guy: On a bed of whip cream and chocolate swirls.
This picture does not do our dessert justice. I had already eaten, literally, four brownies and at least three scoops of ice cream. And the thickness of the cake does not transfer well in photo form. My wife was done after two bites.