Currie’s left eyebrow rose three-tenths of an inch, an altitude I’d never seen it reach before. If anyone could send it to new heights, I should’ve expected it would be Jamie Golden.
“I beg your pardon, ma’am,” the normally-unflappable attendant said.
“Cotton candy,” my rabbit-chasing friend repeated brightly. “You know, sugar and a spinney thing.”
The corners of Currie’s mouth turned down a millimeter and a half. He was almost apoplectic. If I didn’t intervene, I knew we were in for a scene on par with the time Kat Hilton asked him where the buffet line started.
“Currie, just see what Chef Marcel can do for Ms. Golden, would you, please?”
“Very good, sir,” he said stiffly before disappearing into the background of the dining room.
“Yours is a rather infrequent order here,” I told Jamie, “but Marcel is quite proficient at whipping up confections.”
“I love cotton candy,” she beamed. “It’s light, it’s fluffy, and it’s fun. I even have a cotton candy machine at home.”
I couldn’t remember the last time I’d consumed the flossy treat that conjures up images of carnivals, amusement parks, and county fairs and caused more than a few youngsters to find themselves on the business end of lectures about rotting teeth.
“Fun fact about cotton candy,” Jamie said. “It actually dates back to 15th Century Europe but didn’t get introduced to mass audiences until the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, where it sold for two bits a box.”
“That was rather pricey for 1904,” I remarked.
“Half as much as admission to the fair. But it was a big hit.”
“You know, it would seem that the adjectives you used to describe cotton candy – light, fluffy, and fun – might also describe your blog.”
“Sure, it’s cotton candy, and I’m proud of that. There’s plenty of material floating around that’s deep, heavy, and often depressing. That’s the world we live in, and we need to be aware of what’s happening around us, but we need some cotton candy for balance. That’s all I try to do with my blog: give people something fun that they don’t have to think a lot about and that hopefully makes them feel a little better.”
“I like to think that’s why people come here,” I said, casting a glance around the room. “There are always colorful characters to hang out with, interesting but not-too-heavy conversation to share, and maybe you leave having learned something you didn’t know before.”
“Exactly,” I said with a laugh as Currie materialized to deposit a plate of fluffy dark green thread in front of Jamie.
“Your…” Currie screwed up his face as if forcing it to say the following two words, “…cotton candy, ma’am.”
“Marcel seems to have prepared an unusual variety,” I said to him.
“Indeed, sir. He informed me that it is pesto-flavored, with basil, pine nuts, and Reggiano cheese.”
Jamie blinked up at him and then across the table at me.
I shrugged. “Try getting that for a quarter somewhere else.”