John went in to East Coast Custard by himself while I sat outside with our dog. He came out with a milkshake. “I got something different,” he said proudly. I thought he was joking, assuming he ordered what he always orders, a jamocha shake. “No, it’s not jamocha,” he said. “It’s raspberry truffle!”
His cup had not a hint of pink, so I didn’t believe him.
“No, it’s not raspberry,” he admitted. “But it’s really a vanilla malt!” He said this as though incredulous at his own daring.
As he began sipping, he pulled something from the bottom with his straw. “What’s that?” he said. “A pecan? Why would there be a pecan in a vanilla malt?”
There wouldn’t, I said. “Then why is it in there?” he said. I said maybe it got in by mistake.
Soon he found another pecan. “What if this is really butter pecan?” he said. “Why would they do that?”
“Can’t you tell?” I asked. “Does it taste like butter pecan or a vanilla malt?”
He took another sip and thought for a second. “I can’t tell,” he said.
I suggested he go back in the shop and say there had been a mistake.
He responded that the young clerk wasn’t very friendly. “Maybe she’s trying to burn her bridges with every customer and get fired,” 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.
“You didn’t have any trouble finishing the whole thing,” I said.
“It was hard,” he said. “I had to force it down.” Then he offered me the cup. “You want these pecans?”
“They have a new motto,” John said. “‘Don’t have it your way. Have it our way.’”