A Facebook exchange reminded me of an incident from a couple decades ago. I was living in Flushing, and occasionally had lunch at Bridie's, an Irish pub/restaurant in the area.
I don't know exactly what gave me the inspiration, but for some reason I decided that the perfect dessert would be a Guinness float -- vanilla ice cream drowned in Guinness Stout. The request caught my waitress by surprise. She asked me to repeat it, and had me describe what I had in mind. Of course, I couldn't back down so I feigned confidence and sureness as I repeated the order and described it. Satisfied that I knew what I was doing, she scribbled it into her pad and disappeared.
A minute later the bartender popped by to question me. I repeated for him what I wanted. I turned down the suggested whipped cream. Shrugging, he walked away. And soon the waitress was back with my float.
I was happily anticipating the dessert, expecting -- well, I don't quite know what I was expecting. Something good. I was disappointed. The odd blend of bitter and sweet was revolting. But I noticed that the waitress, keeping a distance, was watching was an intense look of interest. So I couldn't back down. I hated every disgusting spoonful but I finished the damn thing.
I paid and left. The walk home was a short one - maybe a quarter mile. But it seemed to last forever as I fought the urge to vomit. But I figured that was the end of it. It was an experiment. A failure, I suppose, but an experiment.
And the next time I went to Bridie's for lunch? No sooner had I taken a seat than the same waitress came over carrying a baby in her arms. She pointed to me, and said to the baby (in her heavy Irish brogue) "That's the funny man who ordered a Guinness Float." At least, I consoled myself, I had become a legend.
Bridie's isn't there anymore. The neighborhood changed, and it has been replaced by a Korean barbecue place. I don't live near there anymore, but I sometimes drive by. And every time I do I'm tempted to stop, go in, and order a Mek-Ju float.