Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Biggest Cake Secret a man needs to know

Dateline - Dairy Queen (on the afternoon of the Last American Bakers 50th birthday)

After a week long parade of attention, little Danny Klecko finds himself in the foyer, in front of the ordering counter of the Dairy Queen.

As the staff scurries about, I thought about what I was about to embark on.

I thought about this actual post and if I really wanted to reveal one of my secrets that have brought me constant gold.

Recently I was at the funeral of Lee Roy Johnson, husband to the worlds utmost Blue Ribbon baker Marjorie Johnson.

If you live on a different planet and don't know her, she is the 4 and a 1/2 foot woman that has won over 10 000 baking ribbons.

She is the woman that has won more Blur Ribbons than Aunt Bea, Clara and the women of Mayberry put together.

She is the baking god that has accumulated more sweepstakes ribbons than breaths exhaled by an entire class of 3rd graders.

Marjorie Johnson is beautiful, and perhaps that's why her larger than life skillset has landed her on the Tonight Show dozens of times where she has handed over her baked goods to the likes of Derek Jeter, Ringo Starr and Tony Hawk.

The service for her husband took place in a Lutheran church.

A church that didn't have a basement.

Klecko sat in the pew wondering how there could be a reception (with snacks) if there wasn't a basement for a kitchen.

Leave it to those Lutherans, they are a crafty bunch........

A light lunch was held in.....

A ground level "Lounge".

So we're sitting there, and although the family and friends grieved, it really was a celebration of life because Lee Roy lived 95 years.

95 years where he had placed his wife before himself.

At one point Marjorie cornered me and asked why I wasn't going to do the State Fair this year, and as I offered my explanation, her eyes kinda glazed over and it appeared as if she was staring through my big Polish frame.

"Yeah Klecko" she said "I don't have the same incentive to compete at the Fair anymore. After writing my cookbook, I pretty much gave away all my best secrets, so in some respects it would just kind of be like me baking against myself."

"Do you regret giving away those secrets Marjorie?" I asked.....

"No, not at all. There comes a time when helping others along becomes more rewarding."

OK, so the reason I'm at Dairy Queen is to get a cake, and I'll tell you more about that in a second, but while my ice cream cake was in back receiving its special inscription, a lone man steps up the ordering counter.

The guy orders a chicken tender meal, the kid at the register rings it up, and then turns and passes it through a window to the guy who is going to prepare it.

The cook (like the customer) appears to be in his late 30's - early 40's, and since the other 6 or 7 employees looked to be teenagers, I'm guessing its safe to say the guy must have been a manager or some sort of shift leader.

When you go to Dairy Queen, and place your order, the person who cooks it is standing on the other side of a wall.

A wall that has a hole cut into it so you can watch the kitchen staff prepare your food.

Its kinda like watching them cook for you on a jumbo screen TV.

So there we are, me the cake guy, and he the chicken tender guy.....waiting.

I'm rocking slowly back and forth trying to get used to passing the 1/2 century marker, when all of a sudden the chicken tender orderer says in a low voice......

"Hey, you just touched your hair and then proceeded to touch my food."

Everything stopped.

The cook looked back and reported.......

"No, I didn't do that."

So the guy who ordered remains real calm, much like I would expect Steve McQueen to do in the opening scene of a film where eventually this discourse would lead up to total mayhem.

"Yeah, I'm standing here. I'm watching you. You touched your hair....then my food."

At this point the young woman who decorated the pink and purple cake laced with princess rings surfaces and I view the flavorful font......


Guys, if I have ever contributed anything to the bettering of our gender, this gesture would be it.

You don't have to be prayed for, or read "HOW TO PICK UP CHICKS".

Just realize that pastry pierces a woman heart quicker than love.

Pastry stays in a woman's soul......longer than love.

You only get one birthday a year Daddy-O.

Gave some bang for the buck.

All you have to do is simply forfeit your cake to your wife (or partner)........it will come across with more impact to her than Abraham offering up Isaac.

Trust me......the gesture may seem somewhat surreal, but if you adopt it, and implement it on an annual basis.......the payback will be like you've never seen.

So now I have my cake in hand, and its July, and its hot, and I have "X" amount of time to travel from "A" to "B" before my token of love melts......but it's high noon now at the "DQ" and Klecko wants to see how this mishap is gonna play out.

The Customer guy is still standing there. He's stated his point, his demeanor is chill, and the entire crew is looking on with apprehension.

Finally, the cook comes around the corner (through a door) and steps into the front room.

Were these cats gonna come to blows?

The cook finally looks up and says something like......

"I'm sorry, I'm really embarrassed. I'll go get you some new food. I really am sorry."

So as I took the same route to my house that Batman takes back to the bat cave, it impressed me how this customer had his situation rectified....with an apology.

Sometime I wonder why people don't realize you can defuse tension by admitting you are human and prone to making mistakes.

 And the coolest part about this customers approach.... he didn't need to employee threat or sarcasm.

Dude really was Steve McQueen cool.

1 comment:

  1. Great story!
    I have yet to see my husband come up with a cake for my birthday. But since he whips up tasty meals when both of us are tired and hungry, that counts as much as a birthday cake (and I have a nice stepdaughter to do that).