Kimerers have been standing in lines for 129 years
Remember that “Seinfeld” episode when Jerry rented a car at the airport but, upon trying to pick it up, was told, “There aren’t any cars. We ran out.”
Jerry built an entire schtick about how anyone can TAKE a reservation, but it’s really the HOLDING of the reservation that’s the key ingredient in the recipe.
And last Sunday, my mom and I had a Seinfeld-esque moment when I drove her to the bakery to pick up the cake she’d ordered several days prior. She was told her confections would be boxed and ready to travel at noon.
So, we walked in at 12:03 p.m. and immediately noticed the pull tab mechanism stamped with the mandate to “Take A Number.”
Having a combined 129 years of experience as Homosapiens between us — a good slice of that time having been spent in lines at bakeries, deli cases and the like — we naturally did as instructed.
It might as well have been 1. Or 77. Or 1,937,428. Because no one at the counter was, in fact, taking numbers.
Instead, they were operating on the honor system. A delectable irony. You’ll understand shortly.
When my mother was asked to spell my maiden name for the sixth time, I started to get a bad feeling.
“Hmm. She’s stalling. I don’t think your cake is done,” I muttered quietly, though nothing spouted from a child’s mouth ever escapes a mother’s ears. FYI, kiddos.
Ever the optimist, Mom went about picking out a few dozen fresh-from-the-oven cookies, just to ensure dessert options for those who may not prefer almond cake. Ah, the need to please everybody, all the time. Yes, it’s another mom trait. You’re welcome.
But I’d called it. Time of death? 12:21 p.m. — cake still not ready.
I went all Seinfeld, maybe a little nuts — and I don’t even like nuts in my cake!
“Um, then why was she asked to be here by noon?” I asked, not so quietly. Don’t jack my mom around, yo.
“It’s not our fault; everyone wanted to pickup at noon for some reason!”
Oh, well that clearly explains why it’s our fault.
“Come back in 45 minutes,” snapped Bitter, er, BETTY Crocker.
So they overbook and underdeliver and we need to be completely inconvenienced. What the marshmallow fluff?
After counting to 1,937,428, I softened like butter at room temp. I even told the gal at the counter (and her colleagues) that I felt badly they were the unfortunate messengers of the bad news.
She appreciated it and said usually they get rolling pinned from both ends. Being a communications professional and a mom, I totally got it.
Mom and I picked up some prescriptions and, as always, enjoyed both belly laughs and tears as we shared invaluable time together. #LoveYouMom
And we did finally get the finished product — plus three free cookies.
But that’s still poor PR. As for me, next time I’ll try the bakery RIGHT BESIDE it. (NOTE: it’s a bad idea not to offer folks the finest experience at your place when your competition is literally on the other side of the wall.)
Yep, I’m moving one door down, where I can have my cake — and pick it up on time, too.
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist from Boardman who doesn’t like when you mess with the mama. Visit her blog www.patriciakimerer.com. Catch up with Patty’s past columns by clicking the “Life” tab at www.tribtoday.com..