Dateline - Saturday / Rosedale Mall
You know that you are on the home stretch of marriage and life when you start taking your spouse with you to buy their own Christmas presents.
Two of the items that Sue McGleno wants this year is perfume and pajamas.
I knew she wanted Chanel but I wasn't sure if she wanted #5 or a newer scent.
And in terms of PJ's, she likes Victoria Secret flannel, but I always feel creepy walking past 20 some year old's that are holding up exotic lingerie with fringe hanging off it, or clever erotic slogans prints on their panties.....
So, oh yeah, if you spend 50 bucks on flannels at V.S. their throwing in a complimentary pair of booty socks.
But before any of this was to take place, we parked the bread mobile into an over crowded parking lot, and made our way into the mall.
Every time we do this, several traditions need to take place.
First off Sue McGleno will mention that she needs to use the restroom, then she'll decide she doesn't, and then after that..... she makes a B-line to the W.C. right next to the Foot Locker.
So Klecko will go into the shoe store and browse and the dude in the Zebra suit will come up and start his hard sell on me.
Klecko loves this because he always walks over to the Adidas and asks for a pair of the "Howards" in size 15.
"Sorry sir, we don't carry any shoes in that size" the guy will say, and I simply browse through my catalog of emotional facial range, only to produce a mask that indacates how disappointed I am.
"Oh, that's too bad, I was thinking about getting a couple of pairs" I'll say as I turn my back and continue waiting for my date to finish her pit stop.
After Sue McGleno resurfaces, we will walk right past an Orange Julius and she will ask me for the 1000th time, as if it were the first time.....
"Hey did you bring any money?"
And then I'll pay like 9 bucks for a strawberry something-something drink.
So now that the rituals, or her rituals were complete, I decided to complete the one thing I like to do.....go into Williams Sonoma to look at the baking equipment.
Recently on Kim Ode's "Baking 101" Facebook site somebody posted photos of these Star Wars cookies that were totally bad a**. They had a Storm Trooper helmet, a Darth Vadar mask, and yes.....Yoda cookie cutters were in the mix as well.
The first pan I noticed was the brownie pan, where you made brownie cups, but then filled them with chocolate chip cookie centers.
Ewwwwwwwww, I was just about to barf, but then I saw Sue McGleno completely fixated on the form.
Then there was a huge pan. A pan shaped like an Oreo cookie. You baked the black cookie part (about 9 or 10 inches, and then they gave you the recipe for the secret filling.
This intrigued me a bit, but then I considered the reality of me eating the entire thing at 3 in the morning while slamming a gallon of milk.
Then there was Marvel Comic Hero's individual sized cake-let pans. You got 6 in the set........
Wow...I can't believe I actually remembered them all.
Then they had a all kinds of Bundt Pans.
I have always-always wanted a Bundt Pan...I swear it to Polish Christ.
But when I look at the selection, I get indecisive and lose my nerve.
I've gone through this for years.
I think I'll have to simply let somebody make the decision for me.
I think I would like to make Bundt's and just give them to girls.
So now it is apparent that we are not going to buy anything. So as we turn to walk out. I see a 55ish year old woman standing next to a 18-20ish year old employee.
The kid is squinting at a row of Kitchen Aid mixers that the woman is looking at, and I can tell she's praying for a colleague to walk by and help her with the inquiry.
She is so out of her league here.
So Klecko thinks about lending some advice, but then he wonders if it would be wanted, or if he wants to be "that guy"...so he prayed about it for a couple seconds before doing what you already knew he was going to do before he did......
"Excuse me ladies, I hate to intrude, but I overheard that you had some questions about the Kitchen Aid line....if I might be of assistance"..........
And then the 55ish woman squints harder than the kid and asked me who I was, and wondered what my credentials to chime into this conversation were.
After relaying a brief verbal resume.....the 55ish year old woman laughs and asks whimsically if this is some kind of a set up.
Was Klecko some kind of plant on the Williams Sonoma payroll?
I laughed and handed her my business card.
The 55ish lady himmed and hawwed a bit. She said she liked the smaller Kitchen Aid to the right. It took up less room on her counter.
I told her it was a nice little mixer, pretty much a generic version that you might also find at Super Target or Walmart.
"What are you going to use the mixer for"? I asked, and as I asked this. a different sales person, a more experienced sale woman entered the conversation.
The 55ish year old woman said that she primarily wanted to bake bread.
"Oh-Oh" said Klecko........"That baby mixer you like is good for cookies and whipped cream, but if you are going to tackle bread....you are going to have to upgrade to a larger model."
The 55ish year old woman grew a look of despair before sharing.......
"Yeah, I knew you were going to say that. My sister had the smaller version, and she said she blew the motor mixing bread dough."
Klecko smiled, paused for drama, and then continued preaching the gospel of Kitchen Aid mixers.........
"I am not doubting your sister, but more often than blowing your motor....it's the shaft that ends up snapping. There is a huge difference in bread densities. with a ciabatta you c........."
The 55ish year old woman interrupted....
"Ciabatta, you spell that C-I-A-B-A-T-T-A right"?
How we got into a spelling bee I'll never know. After answering her query, I continued.
"These small mixers cost around 1/2 the price of the 7 quart, but this 7 quart actually has the strength to mix a sourdough or small batches of brick starters. However....even at this size, you might just want to mix it 3/4's of the way and finish the mix by hand. You'll relieve a huge amount of torque on that shaft this way. But yeah......I think there's only one choice for you my friend."
The 55ish year old woman shrugged her shoulder, laughed kinda nervously and instructed the employees to pack up the big one.
The 2 sales women were elated as you can imagine, that was a $600 sale.
But I could tell that this 55ish year old woman was still j-u-s-t a bit uncertain.
So Klecko wrote down his magic cell phone number and left the woman with.......
You made a big purchase today kid, here's my number. We have mixers like this at the bakery. I'm gonna suggest that if you want some assistance, give me a call and maybe the 2 of us can bake together sometime.
The 55ish woman got a big-dumb grin, turned to Sue McGleno, and Sue McGleno just rolled her eyes and said..........
"Don't worry, he's safe......but trust me, there's always some kinda price to pay from hanging out with this Pollack."
The woman hugged me, and I left to buy perfume.
F.Y.I., it is lucky Sue McGleno did come with.....I would have picked Chanel #5, but she like their new Mademoiselle line better.