"Hey, what a fun skill to learn!" you think. Just twirl a paper cone to catch the spinning sugar threads. Sadly, all those years of precise hand positioning for the perfect pancake flip, the split-second scrape of a mixer bowl just before the beater touches the spatula, the right touch with pie crust — they are no use to the cotton candy wannabe.
Cotton candy experts make it look easy — move the cone in the opposite direction of the machine's spin and catch the layers until they twist up into a nice, compact cloud. But the sugar actually flies in all directions, and much faster than it looks. It only hovers a few seconds before it rises above the level of the cone.
If you don't move really quickly, your hand and arm, rather than the cone, catch it all. Just try giving a little kid the wad of cotton candy you've scraped off your hand.
From now on, I'm sticking with the cakewalk.