Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Lunch Stand-Off.

It was a hot, humid day with a high of about 95, heat index somewhere around the 200 degree mark. I was wearing a black shirt and khakis, my boxers with the ace of spades on them, Under Armour socks and black shoes. It was about 12:35 when I arrived.

How do I remember all of this so well?

It just happened. Less than an hour ago, I was in a stand-off situation so intense that there were literally three people watching to see what would happen. Let me recount the hour...Jack Bauer style.

12:35: I enter the restaurant I've seen the last couple of days with high hopes. The sign out front says "Noon Buffet" and that excites me greatly. My tummy rumbling in anticipation, I get a plate and examine the buffet.

12:40: My plate loaded down with chicken and dumplings, roast beef, potatoes and gravy, and sausage with peppers and onions, I make my way to a table, where I order ice water to drink.

12:41: Halfway through my meal. Done with my ice water.

12:43: I finish the first plate and head back to the buffet for more. Laden with food and a salad* I come back to the table. The waitress still has not refilled my ice water. This could be a problem.

12:50: Second round under my belt, I swig the last of my 3rd glass of ice water and head back to the buffet for a hot roll. They are out.

12:55: After waiting patiently for 5 minutes for more rolls to be put out, I ask someone about them. "Oh, they're almost ready." Then the same waitress goes to the table across from me and says, "Oh, the soup for the buffet is almost ready." The future soup eater is a 75 year old woman, we'll call her Madge, and we trade glances. With this cursory look, a bond is formed between us. We are going to wait it out, siege style.

1:10: Still no hot rolls or soup. Things are getting intense. Every couple of minutes a waitress comes by and tells us both that they are "almost ready." Madge is fading fast, having already eaten some fruit, potato salad, and cottage cheese. I keep giving her "Stay strong," glances, but time is running out.

1:20: The waitress goes by Madge's table and informs her that the soup has just had cornstarch added and should be out momentarily. Madge caved. The waitress silently rejoiced over this, then directed Madge to the buffet to get some chicken and dumplings instead of the soup. Madge was out, y'all, and I was scared.

1:25: Madge has paid her bill and left. I've asked 8 different people about hot rolls, and I think only 3 of those people actually were in the restaurant's employ. I was quickly losing strength in this battle. I had the buffet held hostage, for I was continuing to eat stuff from it, costing the eatery literally tens of dollars in damage. They knew they had to get something out, so they offered me a biscuit. I said fine. As I sat back down, I noticed Madge's soup had been put out, steaming in its irony.

1:30: A waitress comes by to refill my water glass for the 45th time. I'm so full I can barely see straight. I'm leaking water out of my pores. I've been stretched to the breaking point. She asks if I've had my biscuit, and I say no. She points to the buffet and says, "They're right there, honey." I rose from the table and began the 10 step walk to the buffet.

1:35: I reach the buffet.

1:40: I reach my table, plate loaded down with victory. I covered that victory with butter and honey, and I ate it. I ate it so good.

*salad: n-lettuce, cheese, ranch dressing

 Victory is mine. Also high blood sugar.