John went in to East Coast Custard by himself while I sat outside with our dog. He came out with a milkshake. â€œI got something different,â€ he said proudly. I thought he was joking, assuming he ordered what he always orders, a jamocha shake. â€œNo, itâ€™s not jamocha,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s raspberry truffle!â€
His cup had not a hint of pink, so I didnâ€™t believe him.
â€œNo, itâ€™s not raspberry,â€ he admitted. â€œBut itâ€™s really a vanilla malt!â€ He said this as though incredulous at his own daring.
As he began sipping, he pulled something from the bottom with his straw. â€œWhatâ€™s that?â€ he said. â€œA pecan? Why would there be a pecan in a vanilla malt?â€
There wouldnâ€™t, I said. â€œThen why is it in there?â€ he said. I said maybe it got in by mistake.
Soon he found another pecan. â€œWhat if this is really butter pecan?â€ he said. â€œWhy would they do that?â€
â€œCanâ€™t you tell?â€ I asked. â€œDoes it taste like butter pecan or a vanilla malt?â€
He took another sip and thought for a second. â€œI canâ€™t tell,â€ he said.
I suggested he go back in the shop and say there had been a mistake.
He responded that the young clerk wasnâ€™t very friendly. â€œMaybe sheâ€™s trying to burn her bridges with every customer and get fired,â€ he surmised.
Or maybe someone made a mistake, I said, or you picked up the wrong order.
John kept sipping, every now and then making a face. We drove home, and when we got out of the car, he showed me the smattering of chopped pecans at the bottom of the cup, as though to prove his point.
â€œYou didnâ€™t have any trouble finishing the whole thing,â€ I said.
â€œIt was hard,â€ he said. â€œI had to force it down.â€ Then he offered me the cup. â€œYou want these pecans?â€
Â â€œThey have a new motto,â€ John said. â€œâ€˜Donâ€™t have it your way. Have it our way.’â€