We had some people at the house Saturday night for a little gathering following my eight-year-old son's baptism (I'll have a different post on that soon). It was really quite nice with well-prepared barbecue hamburgers (thanks dad-in-law!), plenty of salad (thanks sister-in-law-in-law!), and, yes, even a chocolate fountain.
My wife and I had purchased a chocolate fountain over a year ago. We like to entertain -- but don't do so as often as we'd like -- and have found that the chocolate fountain is a great treat for everybody. We typically put out marshmallows, sliced bananas, strawberries, pretzels, and pretty much anything handy that is bite-sized.
Now, something to know: Chocolate in a chocolate fountain isn't just chocolate, but a mixture of chocolate and, usually, vegetable oil; so it is doubly-bad for you. Something else to know: Because of the vegetable oil, clothing is easily stained by the chocolate from the chocolate fountain. It seems that anybody who spends much time near the fountain always gets a drop or two on their clothes. Indeed, for our little family, my wife always has to spot the kids' clothes as quickly as she can, before the oil-stain sets.
As expected, the kids didn't show much self-control, and dribbled chocolate in rivers across the counter and on the floor. Towards the end of the evening, my daughter was sitting at the island by the fountain, consuming chocolate-coated banana slices. She occasionally would drop the bananas into the fountain and would try her best to fish them out of the bottom, sometimes with more success than at other times.
One such time she had just dropped one in and I went fishing for it myself. I had just successfully retrieved it when suddenly the top of the fountain popped up, rapidly spinning chocolate in every direction! My poor daughter, being lower than me, took the brunt of it right in the face. One of our guests got chocolate all up and down her arm. I was standing there in my nicest church suit and quickly jumped back, but still got spots on my shirt, my tie, my pants, and my church shoes.
It was a mess. After I reached forward and unplugged the fountain, I just stood there in shock, afraid to move lest I smear chocolate on my clothes even worse than it was. I didn't even notice my daughter's chocolate-covered face until everybody started giggling at her. What was even more funny was that she just sat there, blinking the chocolate away! Somebody suggested we find a camera, and that got everybody moving. My daughter didn't much like the idea of being photographed in her discomfited state, though, and started wiping at her face with her hands, smearing it even more! She got upset when a few pictures were finally taken.
Soon, though, people sprang into action, and twenty minutes later it was mostly cleaned up. My wife took fifteen minutes just trying to wipe the chocolate off of my daughter's face, especially since she had some trouble getting the chocolate away from her eyes. Her clothes were a complete mess, and quickly made it into the washing machine.
My suit, though, is still spotted. As a dry-clean only item, I'm greatly concerned it will never come clean. My wife, thankfully, took quick care of my shirt, but my tie (one of my favorites) will probably never be the same again.
My theory is that my daughter had dropped something into the bottom of the fountain that we never found, and it lifted the rotating cylinder in the middle just enough to spin the chocolate out over the top edge. We're a little nervous about the fountain now, and are afraid of a repeat incident -- especially since we're having people over this Friday! Hmm ... good thing none of our guests read this blog ...