Taco-in-a-cone is the answer.
Last week, I wore white -- a horrific mistake, and not just because we are well past Labor Day. The selection of the lacy white shirt was bound to leave me full of regret because I am a messy eater and I had a full day of meetings ahead of me -- the first one being a lunch meeting.
Grace has never been my strong suit, and the lack thereof hits full klutz velocity when food is involved. Blessed with a greater-than-average protruding chin, I manage to catch some food that doesn't quite make it into my mouth. Blessed with a greater-than-average-sized chest, I catch the rest before it hits the table or the floor. My shirts can get messy -- especially when I'm at a luncheon meeting and I'm circulating a lot of nervous energy. And especially when I wear white.
The horrific mistake in attire selection was mentally noted the moment I sat down at the table. An image flashed of me shaking hands with new CEOs, meeting after meeting, each one complimenting the interesting polka-dot design on my blouse. I'd say, "Oh, you're too kind. But those are actually SpaghettiOs." They'd look at me in disgust, so I'd quickly follow up with, "Chef Boyardee." The execs would nod, looking pleased. Everyone likes a designer label. After all, we're talking about a business meeting.
When the waiter came by to take our orders, I couldn't decide what to get. The meals I was interested in had full stain potential. Covertly, I asked the waiter which meal he would suggest for minimum drop, slurp and splatter potential. "Oh, no, do you have a condition?"
"A condition?" I asked.
"Because we can accommodate you. My cousin shakes and sometimes uses a straw over a spoon."
Now all the business associates at the table were looking over at me, concern in their eyes. What was this horrible affliction I suffered from that led to my spoonless existence?
Beet red, I ordered a salad. No dressing. No beets.
Back in high school, I spoke to a friend who similarly suffered from snack spillage syndrome. He had come up with a genius solution: the taco in a cone.
In a time of life when looking cool was everything, this remedy was paramount. No more bringing an extra shirt in our backpack and having to answer to the stupid kids who had seen us both before and after lunch and wanted to know why our top had changed. No more walking with our book bag in the front, pretending we were trying to look pregnant for a health class assignment. No more wearing the spare hoodie in our locker to cover up on days over 100 degrees and screaming -- while sweat fell from our brow -- at the kids who asked whether we were hot, "My blood runs cold! I like it this way!" Adolescence is meant to be lived out in the open, not hiding behind a fake baby belly.
The taco in a cone was here to change the world.
Why were cones restricted to holding ice cream? And more importantly, why were cones restricted to being either cake or waffle? Our taco was going to sit in a giant cone-shaped corn chip. And the taco was only the beginning. Salads would be served in pretzel cones. Spaghetti (chopped up the way one does for a baby) would be served in a breadstick cone. Curry in a rice cone. A sloppy Joe would be sloppy no mo' if you put it in a cone. The options were endless. Because what my friend had accurately determined was that it wasn't as if our food was making the conscious choice to jump ship once it was in our mouth. This wasn't the broccoli version of the Titanic. It's that we spilled en route from our plate to our lips. We lost so many good melons on that treacherous journey over time and space, with little more than a thin layer of plastic or metal making up their final travel vehicle -- fork, spoon or spork. But a cone. A cone would solve everything.
My friend left for college with dreams of taco cone fairies dancing in his head. The dream would become a reality!
I think he became an accountant.
I survived my day of meetings by eating bland food -- and very little of it. Until the day the taco cone rises, I will be wearing black.
Katiedid Langrock is author of the book "Stop Farting in the Pyramids," available at http://www.creators.com/books/stop-farting-in-the-pyramids. Like Katiedid Langrock on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/katiedidhumor. To find out more about her and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.