Steve Peterson loves his desserts. I mean LOVES. I pride myself on being a chocoholic of sorts but he puts my sweet tooth (teeth)to shame. This is a man that once ate an entire box of Betty Jane Gremlins in one sitting. What I'm about to share ranks in my top ten funny stories in Candaia thus far.
Just a recap--Kurtis and I lived with his parents (Steve and Shirley) for about 5 months while our house was being finished. ***NOTE***If you want to get more of a back story check out my introduction blog and I explain it in a little more depth*** One afternoon, I found Steve rustling through the fridge looking for a snack. I couldn't tell what he was after but his head suddenly popped up and he was grinning at me like a little school boy. I leaned over to check out what had made him so happy. In the fridge was about 3/4 of a humongous cherry cheesecake. It was taking up an entire shelf of the already overstuffed fridge. The cake was leftover from some family event or other that, right now, has slipped my mind. He looked at me again and you must know, Steve has these big blue eyes that light up when he is excited. I kid you not when I say, he looks like a child who is all excited about Santa coming on Christmas Eve. He started to pull the cake out of the fridge as carefully as possible. He was handling this thing like you would a newborn, when suddenly FLOP. The cake goes face down on the floor. There was a brief pause. Steve let out a distressed "Oh No" and looked at the cake, then looked at me with I swear, a tear in his eye. He was so excited about that cheesecake and there it was. Dead, dilapidated, red cherry guts splayed across the linoleum floor. I, being the sympathetic person that I am, burst into hysterical laughter. I told him I was sorry that his cheesecake had gone splat but we could always buy another one and it was no big deal. But Shirley--who came out of nowhere, I mean I didn't even know she was in the house--burst into the room talking away promising Steve it was no big deal and it was fixable. Fixable? The cheesecake had fallen flat out onto the floor. The FLOOR. Who, besides June Cleaver, had a kitchen floor you could eat off of? I took a moment to look at the floor, then gave Shirley a skeptical look. This woman, you never know what she's going to do. Anyway, in about two seconds time, she had swooped into the room, and as she consoled Steve she took the now right side up piece of cardboard that the cake had been sitting on, put it underneath what was once the top of the cake, and scraped the cake onto the cardboard bottom with her bare hands. Between laughing hysterically and puking a little in my mouth I begged Shirley to tell me she was kidding. The cake looked like it should be on the isle of misfit cakes. It was lopsided, totally disheveled and there were little pieces of dirt and dog and cat hair she was picking off of it. "Oh, it's fine! It was only on the floor for a second or two," she waved me off as she picked the dirt off the cake. Steve had lost his appetite for the cake and was now munching on a cookie. I was in shock. Shirley put the cake back in the fridge. Smiled and tootled out of the room.
It didn't end there.
That evening, after dinner, Shirley asked who wanted dessert. I remember the exact moment because I was in mid-sip of my water and literally stopped mid gulp. I knew it was coming but I still couldn't believe it. "What's for dessert?" asks Steve. "Cheesecake!" Shirley explains in excitement. Mind you, no one knew of this experience except Steve, Shirley, myself and Kurtis--because I OBVIOUSLY told him about the earlier incident. Also, keep in mind, at this time Kurtis's brother Kyle and his wife Molly were living there too. Steve and Kurtis, who knew of the cheesecake's tainted history willingly took a piece and so did everyone else at the table except me. Shirley was laughing a little and kept "shushing" me so I wouldn't say anything to Kyle or Molly about the dirt laden cake they were about to eat. Needless to say, the pieces were cut, the plates were passed and everyone sat at the table eating their cheesecake with a dumb grin of enjoyment on their faces. I kept my hand over my mouth the entire time trying not to laugh or puke. I had tried to kick Kurtis (under the table)out of taking the cake but he would have none of it and ate the whole piece--as did everyone else at the table. Mutterings of "this is so good" drifted around the table "Lauren, you should try some" and so forth. I had my Seinfeld moment later that evening as I was upstairs getting ready for bed, I literally said out loud, "did that just happen?" It did. I feel like there should be a moral to this story...something like: for all you cheesecakes out there...even if you think you're dirty, ruined, disgusting, unhealthy and totally inedible someone might still like you and try to save you? I don't know. But I do know, I have a hard time eating dessert at Shirley's house to this day.
Against the Grain: Stories of a Midale Misfit by L.C. Weis Peterson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.