Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Chinese buffet

The girlfriend and I have made a few trips to a Chinese buffet recently. Those eateries are a wonderful example of what is wrong with people and why both of us stay hidden from society as a whole.

One of the easiest groups of people to get upset at are the wasteful slobs that pile a plate full of food, eat maybe half of it, then go back for another overflowing plate of mostly the same stuff still on the original plate. If the goal is to sample everything then take reasonable portions of stuff you are not sure if you will like, more of stuff you do like. The same ideals apply to those who want to feed until gorged and no longer mobile under their own locomotion. Americans waste an ungodly amount of food every year; enough to make world hunger probably go away or diminish to the level of "now what were you complaining about again?"

Then there are the food thieves. They are the ones that will secretly package and hide food in their garb or handbags during the consumption process. One for my gut, one for my purse. Two for my gut, one for my handbag. I understand it is about getting your money's worth but walking into a buffet with a Gucci wallet then walking out looking like you were about to go camping or were just enlisted into the military is another story.

For some strange reason a growing number of groups of people believe the buffet gives them a pass to exclude all manners and parenting from their public pie-hole stuffing. The other night there were two youths texting over their cell phones; so the missus and I had to endure twenty minutes of phone sound effects at the highest volume. Why? A group of loud, obnoxious cretins have waddled forth from their front porch couches to continue their "oh so important" 24 hour cell phone conversations. Yet if I were to go over, politely ask them to shut their noise holes and turn their ringer volumes down from a level that can be heard from space, I'd probably be shot. If I were to make Swiss cheese of their skulls, I'd go to jail after a thunderous round of applause. Also included in that group are the parents that just let their kids run feral like they were at a McDonalds. It's not a McDonalds. I understand the lack of oxygen due to not taking adequate breaths during your face stuffing might be part of the problem but when the floor looks like the badlands of a World War 1 trench war then you should be in jail and your kids should be in a compound somewhere.

Another group of people that aggravate me are the people that go to eat only crab legs. If you have seen them in action, you know who I am talking about. They usually travel in groups of two and ask to sit as close or with a direct line of sight to the pan containing the crab legs. The first thing these sloths do is empty that pan of crab legs. When the employees bring out a fresh pan of crab legs the stop what they are doing, swallow what is in or within the orbit around their mouths, then go back up to empty the pan of crab legs. Why by courteous and leave a few legs behind when you can shovel the entire catch onto your plate then shuffle back to the safety of the pile of shell carcasses and litter surrounding your table. I always pray that there will be two competing tribes of crab leg mooches so I can take humor from the situation as they jockey for position and circle the other buffet foods with an empty plate waiting for the crab legs to come out. It is like some sick game of musical chairs, just with food. It makes me feel a little better to think that a group of hardened men in Alaska didn't risk their lives in the dangerous, freezing oceans so two cellulite filled meat bags could gorge themselves on the cheap.

When I go to the Chinese buffet it is usually because I want a cheap variety of Oriental cuisine. I love steamed dumplings, green beans, and the California rolls with wasabi and ginger slices. I usually get a little bit of everything. I leave a clean plate. I eat quietly. If I see someone eyeing a dish I'm in the process of emptying I'll ask if they would like some or wait until a fresh batch comes out. I usually don't let the masses get to me but the last trip to the buffet just didn't sit right with me; too much rudeness and waste.