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deprived childhood

I'm not going to apologize for the last post. Every now and then I get deep on you guys. What can I say, I'm complex. I may spend most of my time watching comedy or sports, but I have been known to flip to the haunting lyrical movie channel. During the commercial breaks, say.

This one is a quick wtf. Ed brought a friend to dinner last night. When we were clearing away, I apologized for not having any dessert to give them, and this friend said a weird thing. I'm not used to dessert. I never get it at my place, he said.

Of course we all stared. He explained that he had never, in all his fourteen years, had a dessert at home. I wondered if he meant a home-made dessert -- I mean, I'm not much of a baker myself, and am likely to offer my kids or guests something from my mother (who is a heckuva baker, by the way. And if you're reading this, Mom, it's been a while since you've made oatmeal cookies) or the bakeshop down the street. But no. This young man claims never to have had a dessert at home. Not even an Oreo cookie? said Imo, for whom a meal without dessert is like a word without vowels. The boy -- I'll call him Frederico, not that it's his name, but I've always wanted to meet someone named Frederico -- shook his head.

Funny, huh? I know Frederico's mom well -- a wonderful lady, kind, caring, intelligent, generous -- and never suspected her dessertophobic side.

Are you allowed to eat dessert? I asked. I mean, if there was a dessert here, would you eat it?

Frederico nodded. So here's my question. He's coming for dinner again tonight and I don't know what to give him. You might think crocembouche or linzer torte, something astounding and fancy from The French Laundry, but I don't want to move too fast here. It's not fair to push a non-swimmer into the deep end. Frederico's a non-desserter. Maybe we'll start with pudding. Or apple pie. Hell, maybe I'll go out and buy a bag of Oreos.


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