Whining Consumer- “Are you a nut free bakery?”
NMMNP- “No, we are not nut free.”
Whining- “So you use nuts?”
NMMNP- “Yes. We use nuts.”
Whining- “So you’re saying there are nuts in the bakery?”
NMMNP- (Shall I take this question personally?) “Yes, you could say that.”
Whining- “Oh, so there are (punctuating each word) NUTS IN THE BAKERY. You’re not nut free.”
NMMNP- (Under my breath, coining a double negative. Are we ever not nut free.) “Yes. We are not.”
Whining- “Oh… But you are gluten free?”
NMMNP- “There are certain gluten free items prepared with a gluten free flour blend, but we use flour, we use gluten and we use nuts.” (And in a little less than 3 hours, I’ll be free… from the gluten and the nuts.)
Whining- “So you’re not nut free…”
My answer has not changed. People are just plain nutty.
There’s more than enough nutty to sustain me on a flight departing from Newark Airport at 7:30 pm that very evening. This particular form of in flight entertainment is provided by two parties. One is composed of a couple to my left who agree to disagree about everything, beginning with how to stow a bag in the overhead compartment. The second party is inching their way in my direction, preceded by an oversized baby stroller and a squirming toddler sporting a red onesie.
None of this matters anymore. I have landed in the city Cousin Katie now calls home and I call jubilicious. We are met with a canopy of blue sky as we climb out of the Gloucester Road station. One of our first stops is the fourth floor of Fortnum and Mason. There is no mention of gluten free amidst the Tiffany-blue tea service and generous helping of clotted cream. Blondilocks and Master/Master assure me that a selection or three from the Cake Carriage is hardly considered excessive in this particular setting. I am unafraid; in an effort to maintain a semblance of moderation, I’ve packed both running shoes and rain gear.
I need not fear losing touch with reality and forgetting about life in the bakery. The next leg of my journey affords the opportunity to encounter a wide assortment of nuts, primarily in hazelnut and pistachio gelatos. There’s a very good chance I could get used to this.