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2005 03 30
Transit Stories - Cake
image“A guy got on the subway today”, Tom tells his wife Prim and a couple named Priti and David with whom they’re having dinner, “and he’s carrying this big white box, which clearly has a cake in it”.

“How did you know it was a cake?” Priti asks.

“It was a cake,” Tom says. “There’s a certain kind of bakery box, you know?”

“With bakery string”, adds Prim.

“Anyway, it’s rush hour and the car is packed and the guy is beginning to get pushed and jostled and is beginning to grow seriously defensive about his cake. He’s holding it as delicately ass he can, as if it’s a time bomb…”

“Or a baby”, says Prim.

“But people keep bumping into it, you know? At one point you can hear this dry ‘thunk!’ sound which was probably a chunk of the icing breaking off and falling to the bottom of the box…”

“One of those big, hard turquoise roses”, Prim suggests.

“Yeh, that’s what it sounded like”, Tom says. “And then, a minute or two later, there’s another cracking sound and now the box rattles when the guy takes it in his other hand, and just as he thinks he’s finally got it pretty well protected, a couple of teenage kids get on, shoving each other around and yelling and of course they smash right onto it, first denting the box and then knocking the thing completely out of his grasp and onto the floor of the subway car. And whatdyathink happens after that?” Tom asks his wife and their friends.

“He starts to cry?” Prim suggests.

“Nope, just the opposite!” says Tom, with something like triumph in his voice. “He stoops down and slowly picks up the box, looks around at all the other subway riders—who are staring at him now as if he’s a madman—raises the box over his head, and hurls it with all his might the full length of the car. Just as the box bounces to a stop, spilling out the remains of his cake onto the feet of the rush hour passengers and showering bits of icing all over everybody, the train pulls into a station. The guy backs towards the door and yells at everyone in the car, “Take it then! Take it!!” and backs onto the platform. And the doors close after him.”

“And that’s it?” Asks David, intensely engaged up until now with his Crème Caramel.

“Yeh, that’s it”, says Tom.

“Good story”, says David, spooning up the last of the caramelized sugar in his dish.

“I wish I’d been there”, says Prim wistfully. “Me too”, says David’s wife, Priti.

“Well, I was there”, says Tom, “and it was no picnic.”
[email this story] Posted by Gary Michael Dault on 03/30 at 09:02 AM

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