Well, I’m as stuffed as a moth in a sweater factory!
Thank you all again for inviting me to this lovely supper. It’s not often I can put down my congressional duties and enjoy such fine hospitality; might I return the favor by slicing up this pecan pie I brought along for dessert? Nothing like a good slice of pie at the end of the day.
Let’s see, I might as well set this first piece next to myself, seeing as I’m right here and this way, I can test to see if it’s poisoned or spoiled or whatnot.
Why no, it does not seem to be, and heavens, isn’t that delicious.
This second slice should certainly go to our exceptional host. But as I hold out the plate, the thought does occur — do we want to make such a momentous decision so… lightly? Shouldn’t the people have a chance to weigh in? With this many succulent pecans on the line, not to mention that buttery, flaky crust, now isn’t the time to be flinging pie hither and thither, without due consideration. No. Let’s leave it here next to the first piece until we better understand the collective will of this dinner party.
With this third slice, we find ourselves wading in the murky waters of precedent.
Historically, two slices of pecan pie have already made their way to my place setting, as supported by a vast majority of those present. The question before us: are we ready to throw all of that aside, in favor of some chaotic, government-controlled — socialist, an impulsive man might say — system of pie distribution? Best to leave it here next to me, as the Founders surely wished.
This fourth slice, a touch bigger than the rest, offers a unique opportunity to anyone bold enough to reach for it — and we have a contender, two places down on my left! Well done. I’ll simply hand you the plate and — oh, goodness. Did I not mention that one hand must be touching the table while accepting your pie? I’m certain I did. It’s an old Kentucky custom: Accepting sweets with two hands invites the Devil in for a swing-dance. I assumed it was common knowledge. We’ll just put the plate over here.
This fifth piece is just a little slip of a thing, surely unfit for human consumption. I’ll tuck it next to the fourth slice so I can dispose of it later.
Now, I hear some of you clamoring for me to reward the next slice to a certain curly-haired moppet who just tip-toed up alongside my chair… Hello, little miss! Aren’t you precious! Might you care for some of this?
My goodness. Those dewy eyes, the outstretched hands.
Have you ever seen such blatant manipulation?
I respect the strategy, I’ll give her that. But imagine the disappointment you’d feel towards me if I succumbed to such obvious and insulting tactics. Shameless. Not to mention, she broke the two-hands rule I just mentioned. Honestly, this kind of naked ambition in one so young — would you look at this, trying to grab the plate from my hands! — it breaks my heart, and I hope she comes to realize — GIVE IT HERE, HONEY — how ugly that behavior can be. Could someone calm her down? The weeping of children unsettles my nerves.
We now come to the seventh piece of pie, so late in the evening, if my pocket watch is to be believed. One might suggest ramming through another pie assignation at this late hour would be, well, unseemly. Which is precisely why we must permit this mouth-watering morsel to take its place in my humble collection without wasting another second, or allowing ourselves to sink into uncivilized disagreement.
Why the furrowed brows? Has the specter of discontent joined us at the table?
It seems some people are willing to tarnish an otherwise perfect evening with cries of selfishness, or shouts of “You’re taking all the pie, jackass!”
Fair enough. But let me be clear: when I withheld pie from certain persons earlier, there was no clear mandate of who deserved it. For me to act otherwise would have been improper. Whereas the final slice of pie I‘m currently stuffing into my coat pocket is mine because you lack the collective power to stop me. Even you, tadpole! As we all know, democracy works best when one group consolidates enough power to do whatever they want, unimpeded. In other words: BEHOLD YOUR NEW PIE GOD.
Shall we proceed to coffee?
From the chilly atmosphere that’s descended, I sense our evening has come to a close. I see no other course of action but to sweep all this pie and one pewter candlestick into my briefcase and take my leave. No—don’t get up, you’ve disgraced yourselves beyond redemption. Is that a bowl of mints by the door? I’ll just empty it into my jodhpurs.
Now I’ll leave you to reflect on your irrational behavior, right after someone kindly arranges my Lyft. Perhaps future guests will better tolerate your petty brinkmanship; in the meantime, if you hear someone in the garage, knocking over your trash cans and cackling, kindly remember — you brought this on yourselves.