The Moment of Truth

He held his warm packaged apple pie with both hands like a treasured gift waiting to be opened. On some days, the staff got the pie right. When they did, it was perfect, sending him into taste bud heaven – the smoothness, the rich warmth and texture of the apple itself and the outer crust with a sprinkle of cane sugar on top.

When they got it wrong, however, the apple filling was chewy and tough, as if it had been under the heat lamp too long – which it had. Still edible, but not enjoyable.

The Best By time – a label slapped on by the fast food workers and required by Corporate – had no bearing on which taste experience Todd would have that day. Every time he ordered the pie, the surprise of discovery was just as fun as eating the dessert.

After he finished his meal, the Moment of Truth was upon him. If the apple stuck to the inside of the package, that was a bad sign. Despite what the package warning said, Todd never had to worry if it was too hot because the pie was always cool enough to eat when it was time for dessert.

None of the other food in the restaurant was like that, not the burgers, not the chicken, not the fries. The wild card was always the apple pie. In fact, the seasonal strawberry cream pies and pumpkin pies were great when they were on the menu, but apple was a year round treat or atrocity depending on the day.

Only once had he considered talking to management about their product consistency. What could the manager say besides, “Sorry, we’ll do better?”

Would it change? Would it be better next time around? Doubtful.

Opening the package today, he could already tell which he would get today.

Biting into the pie, he was correct, oh, so correct.

And it was oh, so delicious.


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