A Travesty of Justice: Judging the Dessert Contest

A few days ago, the CEO’s executive assistant stopped me in the hall, and asked if I would be a judge in the company dessert contest.

Would I! I love dessert. I live for desserts. I’m old enough to have achy joints, but I still haven’t lost my sweet tooth. I immediately asked everyone I knew if they had magistrate’s robes and a powdered wig, and watched “Perry Mason,” “LA Law,” and “My Cousin Vinnie,” though Marisa Tomei’s leopard-print camisole and teased hair did distract me from the subtleties of jurisprudence.

Not only that, this was some kind of honor! I mean, chosen to judge desserts. Could I put such an honor on my resume? Could I switch careers? You might scoff, but I’m thinner than Paula Deen, and I don’t look live I’ve been snacking on amphetamines, either. And have you heard Rachael Ray moan when she really enjoys eating something? That noise is positively indecent, somewhere between the grunt of Monica Seles hitting a backhand, and a water buffalo in rut.

Today was the day of the contest. I arrived at the anointed hour, and surveyed the table of desserts. I’d even brought a pad of paper and a pen to rank to record quantitative dessertliness. Because I am a serious dessert judge.

But before I could cogitate, ruminate and deliberate, the executive assistant appeared. She pointed to a flat dish cut into rectangles and topped with shredded stuff. “We’ve declared this one the winner.” She put a small piece on a plate, cut it in half, and added, “I want to make sure you agree.”

I ate a mouthful. “That’s a darned fine cake, but–”

She cut me off. “Good. It’s the winner.”

I stood there, dumbfounded. But what about the Kahlua cake, the one-drop cookies, the  fruit-tarty thing, or the lemon pie with a great deal of meringuey stuff? What about the context? The science quality judging matrix and the secret balloting? What about due process for those other desserts?!?

Didn’t matter. The executive assistant was the amica curiae, and had signed the writ. That cake was the winner.

But she wasn’t done. Then grabbed the other half of the piece of cake off my plate and popped it in her mouth, leaving me with a quarter of a piece. (That’s a photo of it at the top.)

Outrage! Mistrial! This is a mockery of the rule of law! Etc.

By the time I finished lunch, most of the other desserts were gone, and I was pretty full. I tried some of the Kahlua cake, but I’m tough like a Bulgarian figure skating judge, and found its texture wasn’t as good as the an oatmeal-coconut-cake-something-something the hyper-efficient executive assistant had proactively declared the winner.

Onward the wheels of justice turn, I guess. Also, if you need a judge for your BBQ or dessert contest, drop me a line.

Because now I have experience.


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