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Chocolate Overload

Jun 19 2014

by Stuart M. Perkins

For years my group of long time friends and I enjoyed partaking of various brunch options around town. When a major downtown hotel announced it would soon introduce a colossal all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch complete with extensive dessert bar offering anything chocolate, we quickly marked our calendars. The night before brunch we gathered at Carol’s to discuss our plan of attack. Rhonda was especially eager to sample items from the highly advertised chocolate-only dessert bar.

“Are you aware,” Carol pointed out to Rhonda, “that one could pay for brunch yet eat nothing but chocolate?”

Rhonda’s eyes glazed over at the notion.

Chloe said, “Sounds great but I want an omelet and a mimoser!”

“Wait.” Chloe added. “Is a mimoser orange juice and vodker?”

Rhonda rapidly responded, “No, that’s a screwdrivah!”

Chloe always added “er” where it didn’t belong and Rhonda always removed it where it did.

Paul, John, and I listened to their banter as we thought of the eggs Benedict, bacon, and waffles we would eat along with who knew what else. This was touted as the brunch to beat. John reminded us all not to seem too greedy, but we knew his comments were directed more towards Rhonda.

“Oh bless.” Carol said as she was reminded. “Rhonda, tell us you’re not going to do what you did at the last brunch when you hid so many bagels in your purse that you couldn’t close it!”

“Nevah fear.” Rhonda said. “I learned a lesson.”

“Oh thank heavens.” Carol sighed.

“I’ll carry a biggah purse.” Rhonda said under her breath.

Sunday dawned and we rendezvoused at Carol’s again to ride to the land of plenty. This hotel was known for the fine dinners its restaurant served so we were eager to see the sort of brunch it would produce. We were not disappointed.

A massive omelet bar served as focal point for the display of gastronomic gluttony. Several servers wearing bleached white chef’s jackets and hats stood behind the omelet bar, spatulas raised and at the ready. Tables holding chafing dishes filled with every conceivable brunch item flanked either side of the omelet bar. Another set of tables held an ample variety of cut vegetables and sliced fruit. Our group approached the spread slowly, cautiously even. We had never seen such.

We hesitated for only a moment before diving into the delectables.

“Do you think they have breakfast pizzer?” Chloe asked no one in particular as she took aim at a sausage link.

The rest of us lined up for omelets then helped ourselves to other items on the buffet. The clatter of plates and silverware filled the giant dining room as hungry people jockeyed for position around each of the tables. As I filled my plate I noticed Rhonda standing back some distance from the line.

“What’s wrong? Aren’t you going to eat?” I asked.

“Where’s the chocolate?” Rhonda asked, looking forlorn.

As if on cue, two servers suddenly pulled back long red drapes to reveal a large alcove adjacent to the main dining room. A dessert bar filled with all things chocolate took up the entire space. At the sight of the display a hush fell over the dining room.

“Call the law.” Carol said to herself as she studied the massive arrangement.

“But do they have anything vaniller?” Chloe asked.

“Fetch my purse.” Rhonda directed Paul as she adjusted her elastic waistband and marched towards the desserts.

Twin chocolate waterfalls marked the entrance to the den of decadence. Tables packed with chocolate cakes, fudge, and chocolate chip muffins lined the walls. Chocolate cheesecakes were surrounded by chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate trifles sat among platters of double chocolate brownies. Chocolate eclair cakes and chocolate rum balls were wedged into place beside chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate filled croissants. Additional tables piled high with more chocolate desserts of all sorts were positioned throughout the room.

Once we surveyed the delights, we refocused our attention on the bacon and eggs. Chocolate would come later if we paced ourselves. We enjoyed the delicious variety of eggs, bacon, waffles, and other items the amazing brunch offered. We noticed Rhonda had barely touched the savory items but had indeed made several speedy trips to and from the dessert bar. Each time she returned she diverted our attention with an outlandish comment as she stealthily stashed one napkin-wrapped item after another behind our table’s huge floral centerpiece. Eventually, the rest of us also visited the room of chocolates, making several trips each until we could hold no more.

“That chocolate amaretter cheesecake was great.” Chloe remarked. “But I’m stuffed!”

“Maybe that last slice was too much!” Rhonda said as she slid a napkin around something and placed it in her lap.

“Gluttony can be embarrassing.” John added.

“Man alive, I’m full too!” Carol said as she reapplied her lipstick and winked at a passing waiter.

“Maybe that last brownie was too much!” Rhonda said as she leaned to adjust something in her giant purse.

“Yes, gluttony can be embarrassing.” John repeated.

Finished with the memorable brunch, we heaved ourselves from our seats to leave. As we exited the restaurant and walked heavily down the sidewalk, we heard a slight gasp from Rhonda and a snap as the handle suddenly ripped completely from her giant purse. When it did, three chocolate chip cookies and a small lava cake hit the sidewalk with a thud.

“Your purse!” Carol said, as we all noticed chocolate covered strawberries about to spill out near the torn handle.

As two truffles and a chocolate croissant slipped from the ripped purse and struck her in the foot, Rhonda said sheepishly, “Maybe that last muffin was too much.”

“Gluttony can be embarrassing.” John said.

Stuart M. Perkins

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