Anyone who has ever worked for McDonald’s knows about the endless quest to achieve ultimate cone perfection. The first time we try making a cone, it looks like a soggy, dripping, lopsided clump of dairy nonsense that makes the customer cringe and think “please please please don’t be mine…” when they see it approaching their general direction. But, over time, we learn the best practices for achieving a glorious ice cream cone. We seasoned pros know to let the ice cream run into a cup for a few seconds to let the ice cream “harden” before making the cone. We know the EXACT moment to stop the lever in order to swirl the last dangling thread of ice cream around the top tier of the cone. I’ve had four years of practice, and can confidently say I’m an A+ cone maker.
But that didn’t prepare me for what happened today.
A group of older gentlemen stopped in for some ice cream after their softball game. Several of them ordered ice cream cones. Most of these cones were of the standard perfection my customers have come to expect from me. But the very last cone I made was in a class of its own.
It was perfect.
I stood there looking at it, and I was almost sad. I had finally reached the highest point in cone making. I had reached the summit of this Mt. Everest we cone makers continously trek up. I knew this perfection could never be achieved again. Every cone after this will be a disappointment. So I walked over to the customer, and handed him his cone, knowing it would be eaten in a matter of seconds…my four years of hard work gone like a dandelion seed in the wind. I said,
“Sir, I know this sounds weird, but this is the best cone I’ve ever made. It doesn’t get any better than this. Could I take a picture of it?”
He agreed the cone was wonderful (but he will never really understand my quest for cone perfection), and happily posed for the picture. I’m so glad I can share this with all of you.