Cake On a Plane

posted in: Day In The Life 35
That looks about right. Image: Wikipedia.



After the time away and the big announcements about graduation and Ken Burns (!), I’m feeling a desire for a good, old-fashioned PaperGirl post about something small but remarkable.

Do you feel me on this? I don’t want to do the pledge drive yet, I don’t want to make any grand proclamations, even though I have several to make. No, I just want to type up a standard-issue PaperGirl-Out-In-The-World observation, fold it into a digital paper airplane and sail it your way. Does that sound all right?

Let’s see, what have I got — ah, yes!

A couple weeks ago, flying home from Nebraska, I rubbed my eyes and pulled out my laptop. I was tired, but I had to read about Navajo blanket weaving for class. No sooner had I read the introduction did the most heavenly smell on the planet come wafting by my nose.

Fresh chocolate cake.

The sugary, buttery, cocoa-rich smell of a moist chocolate cake, thick with creamy frosting, was suddenly filling the air. The smell was definitely fresh chocolate cake and it was pungent, I’m telling you: This wasn’t some passenger’s cup of airplane hot chocolate I was smelling. The whole plane suddenly smelled like a magic chocolate cake bakery. But where? Why??

I sat up in my chair and craned my neck around to find the source. It was dim in the cabin, so I couldn’t see very well. I continued to followed my nose until I saw her.

There, in the seat kitty-corner from me, a lady was happily — okay, blissfully — eating forkfuls of chocolate cake from the plastic to-go container plunked on her tray table.

I loved her for eating this cake. The wedge was huge. The frosting was so thick I could see it pulling on the cake as she lifted big bites to her mouth. She was talking to someone next to her but I don’t know they were tag-teaming this cake. I think this was her deal. I think she and her friend (brother? husband? complete stranger?) were at a restaurant in Omaha and they looked at the time and it was like, “Nope, we don’t have time for dessert; gotta get to the airport.” And she was like, “Well, in that case, I’d like your biggest slice of chocolate cake to go.”

I watched the woman for a minute or too and it was great. But better than watching her was watching everyone else watch her. Let me tell you what brings people together: the smell of chocolate cake. All the people in our immediate vicinity had the same reaction that I had when they smelled that lady’s fabulous plane snack. They sat up. They inhaled deeply. They looked around like prarie dogs. They identified the cake person. And they watched her with a little envy but mostly happiness.

A person going to town on a gorgeous piece of chocolate cake?

Small but remarkable.


P.S. The font is darker now, yes? 😀

35 Responses

  1. Cathy
    | Reply

    Love the new font.

  2. Nancy
    | Reply

    Yes the font is way better! Thank you

  3. Sally Nesser
    | Reply

    My mouth is watering for a slice. Thanks for writing this, I’ll take action on this as soon as I get home to Madison somethime Monday afternoon or evening.

  4. Sue
    | Reply

    Yum….sounds good any time!!! Hope you got you some!!

  5. JudyD
    | Reply

    Font is perfect! So is chocolate cake!

  6. Sylvie
    | Reply

    Love the font, and I WANT CAKE!!!!

  7. Nancy
    | Reply

    Remember when Midwest Express airline heated up chocolate chip cookies to serve everyone? I always wanted to book flights with them just for the cookies. Yum!

  8. Mandy
    | Reply

    I can smell that chocolate cake! This font is so much better for these aging eyes.

  9. Deborah Kimball
    | Reply

    I’ve been on a long term very low carb food program. No banned carbs have passed these lips. Oh, the chocolate cake, the vision that arose. The remembrance of rich dark chocolate frosting moving in slo-mo to my awaiting maw. Oh Lord preserve me.

  10. Karen Johnson
    | Reply

    Love the new look!

  11. Marcia
    | Reply

    Have the best recipe for “To Die For Chocolate Cake” gonna have to make one now! Thanks for reminder

  12. Lee
    | Reply

    Mary, I love not having to strain my eyes – need to save them for matching and ripping!

    Something technical has changed in the last two posts. When I tried to reach your newest blog post from my subscription email, both Google and Firefox gave a warning that I’m being taken to an insecure site, recommending that I not proceed. I’m sure it is affecting a lot of people, stopping them from reading.

    • Susan
      | Reply

      The technical glitch happened to me too!

      • Jeanann Montney
        | Reply

        I was disappointed that the glitch prevented me from linking to PaperGirl yesterday. As I could access your column today perhaps it was a one-off.

  13. Marianne ten Kate
    | Reply

    The font is as dark and sophisticated as fine Swiss chocolate. Both are excellent!

  14. Annie
    | Reply

    Yes, I can taste that cake! And thank you, thank you for the darker font.

  15. Lynette Walters
    | Reply

    Love the font. It is Mother’s Day and maybe I will have a piece of chocolate cake. I could smell the chocolate frosting as I read your story.

  16. Pat
    | Reply

    Mouthwatering voyeurism.

  17. Donna Johnston
    | Reply

    What a great “slice-of-life” story!

  18. Susan Macy
    | Reply

    The new font is great!!! And the chocolate cake story is so much fun!!!

  19. Catherine
    | Reply

    You are too funny! Seriously funny. You know that, right? Thanks for making my day, again.

  20. Georgeanna Couldry
    | Reply

    Love the story! Love the font. Much easier to read with my old eyes.

  21. Kelly Ashton
    | Reply

    Lovely story , and great font!!

  22. Mary Paulger
    | Reply

    Just had to Google ‘Kitty Corner’. Did you know it comes from an old French word, modern version, quatre? Who knew?

  23. lucy b
    | Reply

    You have a typo in the last full paragraph: “too” when you mean “two”.

  24. Kim Jones
    | Reply

    I just had my home laptop computer into the “shop” for it’s annual virus cleanup and I don’t know if the cleanup did it or if it’s your new font but I really dig the look of your latest posts!!! You go girl!!!

  25. Georgia O'Neal
    | Reply

    You are making my mouth water !!! Gotta go- off to the bakery !!!

  26. Helen
    | Reply

    It’s Mother’s Day. I am going out for chocolate cake…and a slice of lemon meringue pie.
    No, not at the same time – lunch and dinner today. Life is Good.

  27. Joan Huehnerhoff
    | Reply

    I love chocolate cake. and I love the new font. pretty much in that order.

  28. Judith Coates
    | Reply

    I’m turning on the oven right now. Chocolate Cake here we come!

  29. Wilma Bland
    | Reply

    Ok, Mary, time for a recipe or at least a restaurant name and location —- chocolate fudge decadence was made for us! Fancy the name, the goods are Grandma’s recipes to outdo the rest of the world at the county fairs around the country!

  30. Mary Ann
    | Reply

    I saw that piece of chocolate cake and instantly thought Portillo’s! They have the best, just like homemade, chocolate cake. Hard to decide which makes me happier, Italian Beef, sweet peppers, xtra gravy or the chocolate cake.
    And yes, the font is much better, we should have told you sooner.

  31. sue
    | Reply

    Like the new view here, love the heart header.

  32. Wend
    | Reply

    This story made me giggle aloud. And! I realized I read it so quickly because I wasn’t straining to read the font. Thank you on both accounts!

  33. Lisa M.
    | Reply

    The tiny airport in Sitka, Alaska has exactly one restaurant that serves very good pie. If you’re on the “milk run” flight that stops briefly in Sitka to pick up/drop off passengers, you can call your order to the restaurant in advance. They’ll have the pie waiting for you as you zip off the plane, grab the to-go bag, pay for it, and then zip straight through security again (which takes maybe 5 minutes on a busy day) 🙂

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