Greetings from the Apocalypse: Chocolate Fountains
Greetings from the Apocalypse is a continuing series chronicling cultural ephemera that signals the inevitability of the quickly approaching end of the world. It’s like getting a postcard from the deck of the Titanic.
From its beginning as a “fancy” party accessory that was only accessible the elite of our society, the chocolate fountain has become just another in a long line of rentable objects that will distract the people attending your party from actually having to make conversation with the other guests. Or, like the inflatable bouncy room and pony rides, its absence can be a symbol to your child that you don’t care about them as much as their friend’s parents care about their children. The chocolate fountain has become a brown, runny status symbol.
But, I hear you saying, I like chocolate! Chocolate is one of life’s great pleasures. It makes me happy to dip things in warm chocolate. Why are you picking on something as innocent and delicious as the chocolate fountain?
First, look at the name. If it were listed in a personal ad as something that the author was seeking, would you think they were talking about a fountain that has chocolate instead of water or would it seem more… sinister? Wouldn’t you ask questions if you were invited to a chocolate fountain party? You should.
The first experience most of us had with the concept of a chocolate fountain was in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” as Augustus Gloop leaned into the murky chocolate, ladling out portions and gulping them down as fast as he could. He’s warned against it but continues. Eventually, he ends up clogging a tube in the same way his own arteries will clogged when he’s a depressed, overweight middle manager at the age of 45.
Of course, despite these warnings, it is irresistible to children. And, while adorable, children are walking bags of infection and disease. Their untrained immune systems and inability to keep from touching even the most disturbing of objects (dead animals, celebrities, other children) make accidentally brushing against their hand the equivalent of rooting around in a wastebasket full of used tissues.
Recently, bacon has been unfairly associated with the swine flu. Surely it must be obvious to everyone that if another plague starts, it will begin at the side of a chocolate fountain. If you don’t believe me, attend a wedding or other event and watch. It’s not just a matter of double dipping food into the chocolate, people actually put their filthy bare hands into the cascading brown waterfall. Whatever they’ve touched, you’re eating.
After just a single child has used a chocolate fountain, it might as well be a raw sewage circulator sitting in the middle of a table of food. Whenever I see one at an event, I’m reminded of a big flood that happened a few years ago when the sewers overflowed and erupted like geysers in the street. You can be sure no one ran out of their apartment with a plate of strawberries and marshmallows to dip in that.
The bubonic plague had rats, typhoid had Mary and the next big disease will have the chocolate fountain.