Passing the Buck Between Utensils

Alas, I fell of the #Scintilla13 wagon! The Scintilla Project prompt for Day 11 that inspired my story is “Write about an experience you had that was so strange or incredible, it sounds like it could have been made up.” 


It was one of those days. I looked at the menu card inscribed in green on the cafeteria white board. Gulab jamun, it said, in big bold handwritten letters. I imagined the little round flour and curd dumplings travelling towards my mouth, as they dripped with viscous sugar syrup, and the saliva rushed into my mouth and thickly coated my tongue. I counted the change in my pocket. It was just enough. I walked over to the cashier.

“One plate gulab jamun.

He gave me a token that I then handed over to the server. With a stainless steel bowl of dessert in my hand, I joined my friends at the table as they were in the middle of a worldly discussion, the subject of which I’m not entirely sure right now.

Gulab jamun, yum,” somebody said. I flashed a wide smile in return.

I picked up my spoon and proceeded to cut a dumpling in half with the sharp edge of it. But I could barely break past the skin of the little dessert ball. Huh, I thought to myself, that’s odd. I gently applied more pressure, but whatever I was doing was not enough, because the spoon wouldn’t even break past what seemed like a rock hard core, a good thing on humans, but not on dessert. As I struggled visibly and began to chuckle and grunt at the absurdity of the situation, my friend Raoul offered to try his hand at it.

“Be my guest”.

Raoul poked and prodded at the dessert in question, but it refused to budge. At this point, I doubt there was anybody at the table who wanted to eat the gulab jamun more than they just wanted to be the one to cut it open.

Finally, after much pressing and shoving, Raoul stabbed the dumpling and directed his body weight onto the spoon. And then the strangest thing happened. The spoon bent!

Following the raucous laughter at the table, Raoul, Wingy and I proceeded to display to the server the not-so-superior quality of their dessert. The server boy scratched his head as the bent spoon and unbroken dumpling were placed before him.

He looked at us and said in Tamil, very sincerely, “Change your spoon”.

More laughter followed. “Change your gulab jamun first!” exclaimed Raoul as we put away the dessert and headed to the cashier to demand my money back.


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