“A young woman got on the subway today,” Tom tells his wife Violet and a couple named Pretty and Oscar with whom they’re having dinner. “She was a rather hefty girl and she has this crooked little dog with her on a leash, and she’s carrying this big white box, which obviously has a cake in it”.
     “How did you know it was a cake?” Pretty asks.
     “It was a cake,” Tom says.  “There’s a certain kind of bakery box, you know? White cardboard.”
     “With bakery string,” adds Violet.
     “Anyway, it’s rush hour and the subway car is packed solid and this big burly girl is beginning to get pushed and jostled and she seems to be growing very protective of this cake.  She’s holding it as delicately as she can, as if it’s a time bomb…”
     “Or a baby”, says Violet.
     “But people keep bumping into it anyhow.  At one point you can hear this dry ‘thunk!’ sound which was probably a chunk of the icing breaking off and falling to the bottom of the box…”
     “One of those big, hard turquoise roses”, Violet suggests.
     “Yeh, that’s what it sounded like,” Tom says.
     “The kind you can break a tooth on,” adds Oscar.
      “And then, a minute or two later,” Tom continues, “there’s another cracking sound and now the box rattles when the girl transfers it to her other hand, and just as she thinks he’s finally got it pretty well defended, a couple of teenage kids get on, and they shove each other around and yell and of course they smash right into the big girl’s box, first denting it and then knocking it completely out of her grasp and onto the floor of the subway car.  And what do you think happens after that?” Tom asks his wife and their friends.
     “She screams.  Curses?” Violet suggests.
     “Weeps?” asks Pretty.
     “Nope, just the opposite!” says Tom, with something like triumph in his voice.  “She stoops down and slowly picks up the box, tightens her grip on the weird little dog’s leash, looks around at all the other subway riders—who are staring at her now as if she’s from Mars—raises the box over her head, and hurls it with all her might the full length of the subway car!!  Just as the box bounces to a stop at the other end, spilling out the remains of her cake onto the feet of the rush hour passengers and showering bits of icing all over everybody, the train pulls into a station.  The girl backs towards the opening door.  “Take it then!” she screams.  TAKE it!!”  And then backs out onto the platform, pulling the dog after her as the doors close.”
     “And that’s it?” Asks Oscar, intensely engaged up until now with his Crème Caramel.
     “Yes, that’s it”, says Tom.
     “Good story”, says Oscar, spooning up the last of the caramelized sugar in his dish.
     “I wish I’d been there,” says Violet wistfully.  “Me too,” says Pretty. 
     “Well, I was there”, says Tom, “and it was no friggin picnic.”