Tuesday, April 7, 1998

Bad Combination

Bad Combination: Midwesterners and All-You-Can-Eat Restaurants.

I don't mean all Midwesterners, understand. Just the ones who go to All-You-Can-Eat Restaurants, heh-heh-heh. Most of 'em are just good folks, yep. They ain't all gluttons. (Heck, that's like saying all Southerners are racists.) Guess I got outta that one...

So, returning to the discussion to the subset of Midwesterners with their double-wide asses at All-You-Can-Eat Restaurants ...

What's up with you people? You eat like it's some kinda job or something. Like you've suddenly landed in Alladin's treasure cave and you're scooping up all the gold and jewels in sight. Look at all this food! We can eat as much food as we want!

As much as we want turns out to be infinite food, which is why the place resembles a circle in hell of eternal torment that Dante never got around to writing about.

There's people going through the line six times, seven times, loading up the old segmented plastic tray then running back to their tables and stuffing it in, mmmmboy, ten metric tons of Miss Applebee's Extruded Chicken Substance! That's coming in from my right hand -- now let's get my left hand working! Let's stuff my face with more of that dee-licious Lettuce-in-a-Bag with "realred" Methane Tomatoes! Boyhowdy I wish I had a mouth right in my stomach -- that'd save even more time!

Choff, choff, CHOFF!

Saving time seems to be important. You get the feeling they've done little informal time motion studies. I'll open my sugar and butter patties all at once and line 'em up, that saves me 14 seconds. Put the ice tea over here, that'll save me two steps and half a second so's I can grab me a roll from the plate over there. Ain't crossing my hands and getting all tangled up that way. Feature that...

Nobody's talking because that would waste time. They eat with two hands, which saves even more time. They eat mechanically, getting into a chewing rhythm groove here, especially the mouth breathers -- chomp, chomp, chomp, breathe, chomp, chomp, chomp, breathe, take a drink, say "Well that was sure good." Back to "Chomp, chomp, chomp, breathe..."

ChompCHOMPChompCHOMP. Balls of liquid spray are jetting out of their mouths like sweat from a boxer's head after he takes a good punch. ChoffaCHOFFAchoffaCHOMP. They're just stuffing it in. ChompCHOMPChompCHOMPCHOFFCHOFF. Food is hanging from the ears of old lady who looks like she should be dead: strings of spinach like jewelry. Some bald guy with hypertension bugeyes is mushing a biscuit into his trash-masher maw and the mechanism starts grinding RRRRRR, chunk, RRRRRR, chunk, RRRRRRRRRR! and, like the rest of 'em, he's not bothering to close the old mouth, either -- that would waste time too and there is food here -- it must be eaten quickly! -- RRRRRRcrunchcrunch! -- the food is here and it is our DUTY to eat this food! --- RRRRRRR! -- and those metallic jaws are just mashing up and down revealling multicolored institutional food smooshed up between the teeth, some of it falling down like a stray can of NIFDA lard from the dumpster when it gets hefted up by the clanging, pneumatic Waste Management truck -- jaws clanging, RRRR, CLANG, RRRR, CLANG -- Biscuit! Chicken! Mashed Potatoes! It's a ten-car, "Death on the Highway" salad bar pileup!

They feed and feed and the food seems to actually suffer in their pink falsetoothed mouths. It's like watching Godzilla's giant lizard tongue clean out a schoolbus full of screaming Japanese schoolchildren. Put the goddamn food out of its misery already!

All this may explain why most of them are rolling with fat. These people must have been bears in another life. They think they're going to hibernate. Or maybe they think there'll be another Great Depression and they'll be walking around slapping their fat while the rest of us starve...

MIDWESTERNER: (slapping stomach) Shoulda stocked up during the "fat years," son. Shoulda planned ahead!

Well OK, Mister personalized license plate Cadillac BUCKEYE. Ever occur to you there's maybe a reason the food is "all you can eat"...? This is the food that no one else wants. This is what's left over after they make Spam. This is what's too disgusting to go into sausages -- even Mexican sausages. This is the food that gets sent back from Food Lion. This is the food from the dumpsters of other restaurants that gets sent to a massive Institutional Food processing plant in Dayton Ohio, vulcanized, and turned into new Institutional Food, sorta like the corpses in Soylent Green.

But there sure is plenty of it!

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