As a part-time Airbnb host I’m now basically a full-time maid, and have become an expert at quickly cleaning and prepping both my guest rooms and the 2-bedroom unit I manage upstairs. I assumed I’d be constantly tossing out dead hookers and trying to get blood stains out of the carpet — but for the most part guests clean up after themselves.
There’s often food left in the fridge, which I usually throw out because cooties. Leftover ice cream I will obviously eat because Africa. Today’s bounty left over from a family of Chinese guests was a bakery box full of untouched cream puffs from Beard Papa’s, a bakery famous for its cream puffs. I’m not a pastry guy, so I saved them for my fat-free friend Shafik.
Moments later I opened the fridge door, looking for my career as I often do, and there was the box. Unbelievably, it was still there even though it had been almost 5 minutes since I left it there. I pulled out the cream puffs, poked them a bit, and began talking aloud.
“This is so random. Who would eat these? Who goes to a bakery to buy cream puffs? And why would you buy a full box of six, and not even eat one of them? Asians are crazy.”
I picked up a vanilla puff, turned it over in my hand and set it back down. Then I picked up a chocolate one, smelled it, and set it back down.
“It’s not worth it. I just did my morning walk and had a protein shake — I’m not gonna throw away a day of healthy eating just because some guest left random pastries in the fridge. That is madness.”
I set the box down, took a few steps away, and spun around so I could take it all in.
“I don’t even know what a cream puff is. Is it a donut with cream in the middle? Who knows? Maybe I should throw them all out – that’s the smart thing to do. I’ll throw them out. I’ll just throw them all out.
I’ll take a small bite of one and then just toss them in the garbage. The calories aren’t worth it.”
I went back to the chocolate one I had a relationship with, and took a small bite.
“So random. Why is this even a cream puff? Where’s the cream?”
I took a bigger bite, and my mouth exploded with sweet, creamy vanilla pudding. It burst out the other side onto my hands and began dripping onto the floor — the only save was to shove the entire thing into my mouth. It didn’t all fit at first — I had to aggressively push. My eyes rolled back into my head.
“Jesus fucking Christ…. Who would eat this?”
I paced the kitchen in circles, chewing and wiping the cream off my face. Impossibly decadent. Why would anyone eat these? If I ate a second one I’d probably have a heart attack right there in the kitchen.
For the second one I chose vanilla. Again I tried to take a dainty bite like a fat girl on a first date, but it was impossible — the cream shot out the back — the rest was on my hands and eventually all over my face as I quickly stuffed it into my mouth, gulping and chewing faster to try to take it all in (I should really write for porn). It was at that moment that my iPhone beeped with a text message.
“Hi Paul — we accidentally left a half-dozen cream puffs in the unit when we checked out this morning. They’re for my friend’s birthday tonight — from her favorite bakery in Little Tokyo. Do you mind if we drop by later and grab them?”
For some reason I stopped chewing for a moment, contemplating if the half-eaten one in my mouth could still be saved.
I tried to have Siri reply but my mouth was so full of pastry cream the dictation came out “Cream bash? Lee doo beaver Santa fidge?”
Then on her own Siri said aloud “I don’t know what you’re saying and you’re disgusting.”
I wiped some cream off the screen and manually typed a reply. “Did you leave them in the fridge?” I asked, in an inexplicable bid to buy more time.
“Yes – there should be a whole box in there.”
“Shoot – the maid usually throws out any food she finds in there — let me text her,” I improvised, frantically rinsing my hands and face in the sink like a meth lab worker who just heard a knock at the door.
I took the box to the garbage can to hide the evidence, opened the lid, and paused to narrate my options aloud.
“They can’t see me now – no one can see me. I’m alone in a kitchen. I don’t know these people and I’m never gonna see them again.”
I grabbed a third cream puff, stared at it for a good half-second, and stuffed it in my mouth.
By now I was almost positive the maid wasn’t going to find anything in the fridge, because the fridge was empty. Also, I don’t have a maid and I hadn’t actually texted anyone.
I cautiously looked out both windows, half expecting to see a Chinese family on their toes straining to see inside, then closed the lid and put the box back on the counter.
“There’s no use wasting these delicious cream puffs — what would Sally Struthers say?”
I grabbed my phone, wiped off some more cream, and texted back, recommitting to the lie.
“I’m so sorry — the maid said she threw out everything she found in the fridge.”
“Really? Oh no…”
“I know,” I replied, then added “She’s from Guatemala…” apparently thinking that would explain her stupidity.
“No problem — we can pick up some more. We thought about just telling you to eat them yourself!”
“LOL! I wish you had,” I texted back breezily. “OK have fun at the party…”
They knew I was lying. I shouldn’t have added the exclamation point after LOL — it reads as an over-laugh. LOL is already all caps. Never yell an LOL. You may as well scream “I JUST ATE YOUR CREAM PUFFS, BITCHES!”
A few minutes later I began to feel intensely guilty about the whole thing. The kind of guilt that only 3 more cream puffs can assuage.