It would have helped if I had known what they looked like. The phrase had fired my imagination and I imagined that ham baskets were actually woven from strips of thick bacon instead of reed. Perhaps decorated with a flower of thin sliced deli ham wadded into a rose. That would be a great ham basket. My second choice for ham basket would be to have them scoop out one of those honey baked hams with the sugary crust and then put a wooden handle across the top. Damned if that wouldn't be a fine ham basket.
Anyway, I never saw one, but the phrase was dangling me over the mouths of its young all week. Until today. Today the next phrase wrenched me from "ham basket" and took me aloft. That new, all-powerful phrase was "chocolate fountain".
It started in an email from frogboy29 yesterday. The totality of the email was, "We have a chocolate fountain at work today!"
I cut and pasted the words to the Augustus Gloop poem from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and sent it to him. But, I couldn't let it go. I tried. The next day he emailed me to say that "no one is touching the chocolate fountain." I broke down and asked him to describe it. He sent me this website and I saw the glory that was the chocolate fountain. (This is the best page of the site, with the best quote... "Daughters Megan and Cheryl help out with the fun event, while the Sequim Irrigation Festival Royalty enjoys a taste of the flowing chocolate. A "little princess" stops by for a taste, too!" Why was I not at the Sequim Irrigation Festival? Because there is no justice in the world.)I should say up front, the chocolate fountain fascinates me in an intellectual way, but repulses me in terms of food.
Nancy has a complete revulsion to buffets and pot lucks of all kinds. She whispers "potty hand pot luck" under her breath and then, when we're alone, she'll whisper that the people that the made the food probably let their cats sit in it before they brought it. Some of that has rubbed off on me, I'll admit it. So, a product with a name that could easily describe a fecal explosion immediately raises flags. Fudge geyser, hershey squirts, chocolate fountain.
Not mention the fact that the chocolate is recycled back through, so whenever someone runs their double-dipped, half-eaten fruit back through the chocolate, whatever disease they are spreading infuses the entire fountain. Even princesses from Sequim sometimes have filthy hands, princesses might have been playing with, say, a dead chipmunk that had been ripped apart by a bird of prey.
This disturbing image will haunt my dreams.
Oh, but the white chocolate doesn't look dirty at all. Not to mention all the precautions that are taken to make sure the chocolate is free from whatever everyone has on their hands. Like this picture proves, there's at least a half a cookie separating that unwashed paddy from the pure whiteness of the runny, liquid chocolate.
I can only hope the next phrase arrives soon. Otherwise, the chocolate fountain will occupy my thoughts for at least the next week.