An editor walks into a restaurant in an oasis, famished after a long trek.
He stuffs himself with pepperoni rolls, the daily coupon special. The waiter asks whether he would like some desert.
The editor stares back and says, “My good man, I’ve just subjected myself to three days of desert.”
“Ah, yes, yes, sir,” the waiter says. “My mistake. Let me show you our desert menu.”
The editor sighs and accepts the menu. Beneath the scorpion scones and the no-water cookies, he finds the “cinnamon desert zepolis.” He asks the waiter what those are.
“Oh, sir. Those are our specialty!” the waiter says, describing a deep-fried pastry filled with an “arid custard” and topped with “a secret confection.”
After hearing the explanation, the editor replies: “Oh, you mean zeppolles with an airy custard. Hasn’t anyone in this restaurant heard of a dictionary?”
“Ah, yes, yes, sir,” the waiter says. “A dictionary. Of course, sir. Thank you, sir.”
The editor shakes his head and orders the “cinnamon desert zepolis.”
“Wonderful choice, sir. Wonderful.”
A few minutes later, the waiter brings out a plate piled high with fried pastries resting atop a white doily. The editor takes a big bite, and immediately his face contorts into a grimace. The pastry is dry and crackly, and as he chews, grit grinds against his teeth. He quickly spits the bite back onto the plate.
“Waiter!” he shouts. “These zeppolles have sand in them!”
“Yes, sir,” the waiter says, smiling. “Those are our famous cinnamon desert zepolis, after all. We mix sand in with all our desert pastries. Don’t tell anyone, but that is our secret ingredient.”
The editor’s head falls back and he closes his eyes. “Why would anyone serve sand in a restaurant?” he says.
The waiter pulls a dictionary from the breast pocket of his white jacket, thumbs through the pages and plunks the book down on the table.
“I’m sorry, sir,” he says. “I think you are confused. You asked for the cinnamon desert zepolis. It says right here that a desert is dry and sandy.”
The editor shakes his head, stands and heads for the door. “The world is filled with buffoons,” he moans. “All I wanted was a good dessert.”
“Yes, sir,” the waiter says. “We have some excellent macaroons on our dessert menu. If only you had asked. It’s not too late, though. Would you like to take some with you?”
The moral of the story: If you order dessert in the desert, always ask for the extra “s.”