A place to read humorous stories
Yesterday was hot and I wanted ice cream. Like most German cities, mine has its fair share of ice cream parlors. There is the new trendy place that refuses to use ice cream scoops and thinks cilantro belongs in a waffle cone, and there are the Italian places that, for the low price of all of your money, will serve you elaborate arrangements of ice cream and fruit that taste like heaven despite looking like funeral arrangements.
But I was feeling nostalgic. I needed something artificial and too sweet. A taste of home. A chemistry experiment masquerading as food.
I wanted a McDonald's sundae.
That fudge-filled desire outweighed my desire to remain pants-less in front of a fan, so I headed downtown. Once inside, I took in the grease smells of my childhood and, smiling, approached the counter manned by a woman with more eye makeup than Ronald himself. "Hi, I'd like a sundae with caramel sauce, please," I said in my best German.
"Sundae. Caramel sauce." A bit slower that time.
It seemed my accent was causing problems, so I tried a few alternative pronunciations. "Cara-mel sauce? Car-mul sauce?"
With an apologetic grimace, she shook her head.
A strategy switch was in order. I thought back on my college days in logic class. When the professor wasn't screaming at us, he had pretty good advice. One day, after the screaming, he threw his chalk on the floor and told us in the sweetest voice he could manage through clenched teeth that even dogs understood disjunctive syllogisms.
I hoped fast-food employees were as rational as dogs.
I held up my hands. "You've got two kinds of sundae sauce here." I looked from one hand to the other to illustrate the choices. "Caramel and chocolate." I gave the hands alternating, emphasizing shakes. "I don't want chocolate." I put my left hand down. "I want the other one."
Her eyes widened with understanding and she nodded. "Oh, cara-MEL sauce." She hit a button on her screen and looked back up. "Anything else for you today?"
"No. Thank you." I shook my head and grinned, happily barking in my head.
Robert McGee has written comedy and short stories for The American Bystander, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, and a number of other funny places on the web and on magazine racks. He is also the editor of this website. You can follow him on Twitter @Robert__McGee