Columns

2011.06.15 Killing brain cells for fun

on . Posted in By The Way

June 5, 1991

It’s a well-known fact in our family that fancy restaurants and I don’t get along well. Here’s an old tale from an eating experience that happened 20 years ago.

By DAVID GREEN

I just wasn’t thinking very clearly last December when I bought my wife a gift certificate to a hoity-toity restaurant in an unnamed Lenawee County community. What I wasn’t clear about was realizing that I would have to go with her.

The certificate was due to expire later this moth, so we made our babysitting arrangements and took off last Sunday.

First came potential problem No 1: Was I dressed properly? I really didn’t care, and I would have been delighted had they refused my entry. The question was answered upon our arrival when I spotted the guy in shorts and the “Hi, I’m Bart Simpson. Who the...” T-shirt. Comparatively speaking, I was dapper.

The hostess sat us at a table right next to another couple despite a nearly empty room. I don’t understand why they do this, unless they think you want to eavesdrop on the neighbors conversation. That’s just what I did in this case because it was so strange at times.

“What do you hear from your cousin Fred?”

“Fred is dead.”

We ordered the buffet and bellied up to the salad bar to get this project underway. A little kid was standing near the door of an adjoining room talking about throwing up. I took a helping of creamed Brussels sprouts, thinking how it would take three days of eating to get your money’s worth from this joint.

We went back to our table and overheard George’s wife telling another couple how he eats a clove of garlic every day—peel the skin and fry it. I found a small, dark hair in my corn and peas mixture.

“I wonder if they have alligator filet here,” someone said to her friend at a table in back of me. I thought I heard wrong, but she later asked the waitress about it.

I could never get more than two sips of water down before the meddling water boy rushed up to fill my glass.

Now George was telling how he had Part-timers Disease—he only forgets part of the time.

We were given our own private little loaf of bread. I sliced off the first piece and nimbly flipped it onto the floor. The water boy came and filled my glass until it ran over onto the floor. He apologized and said he only does that once a day. Lucky me, I was left with a drinking glass that couldn’t have been moved without spilling. I should have had him sip it for me.

We finished our salads and made our move for the main entrée line. But first, Colleen stepped on her long skirt while rising from her chair and had to quickly sit back down.

We returned with full plates to hear George complaining about the children of the Dr. Ruth generation. I found a longer blonde hair in my creamed potatoes. I knew where it came from; almost all the help was tall and blond. It was that first black hair that had me concerned.

We were plenty bloated by the time we licked our plates clean. Colleen recently read that overeating robs your brain of blood and consequently murders brain cells by the tens of thousands. She didn’t care. This was Christmas in June. We rose to leave and her napkin tumbled to the floor. Her brain was going fast; already she forgot about the napkin on her lap.

We’ll have to come again soon. We could bring the kids and still get a little change back...from a hundred dollar bill.

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