Friday, June 10, 2011

America's filthy, shameful, gluttonous guilty pleasure

If you're not from North America, you may not be aware of this most disgusting and horrifying place to eat....the All-You-Can-Eat BUFFET.  I think we can all agree that Americans (generally) are a LARGE lot.  We like oversized everything and we end up, ourselves, oversized. There is rarely a limit to our consumption and this is never more evident than at the Buffet "restaurant".

When I was younger I looooved the buffet (insert curly cues and hearts and butterflies).  It was like the zen food garden of every chubby girl's dreams. As I matured and became more aware of germs and hepatitis and typhoid and loose pubes and the number of people who don't wash their hands after wiping, I stopped the love affair with the buffet.  People reaching into the vats of processed foodstuffs, sleeves dangling into the dressing, hair hovering over the potatoes, OOOPS!  I dropped a piece?  Lemme reach under the "protective hood" INTO the chafing dish and retrieve my chicken leg.  It is utterly horrifying.  Also, it is BLISSFUL for a person like me who is fascinated by the macabre, the obese and the unkempt.

Last night we had a family dinner outing at the newest Furrs Buffet in our area.  The fascination started in the parking lot.  People racing to the door to get in while the people coming out were laboring to get to the car under the weight of their enormous dinner.  OMG!  This is GREAT! Since my favorite pastime is people watching, I just KNEW I'd be in for a great evening (inserting more hearts and stars and shit). We get in line to pre-pay for the feeding frenzy and I promise you, I have rarely seen a more disturbing group of people.  The unwashed and the dispossessed were out in full force.  It was like the welfare state meets the crackhead state meets the tweakers, sprinkled with an average middle classer here and there. I stalked the line to check out the delicious fare for my people-watching.  The common theme was the unadulterated CRAZY-EYE.  I'm serious.  It was like each person was plotting their path of destruction through the buffet line - where's the plates?  Okay good, next stop meat? Or should I hit the salad bar and destroy that one?  It was like watching the mental blueprint of Mission Impossible unfold. The eyes told it all.

The hostesses in Furrs are probably overpaid. I mean, how much does horse hair cost?  These girls had more weave on their heads than I've seen in a dozen beauty shops.  I was hoping, given the warm temperatures in the restaurant, the girls were wearing wigs.  Take it off when they home and let the head breathe. It was just weird to see that much hair under a tight Furrs cap.  Once we were seated, we were instructed that we could go on ahead to the food stations and the server would bring our drinks.  Since we're in the US the only drinks that were offered were soda pop.  No milk, no beer, no wine, just soda. My bad...and Iced Tea.  We made our way to the food stations and HOLY SHITBALLS!  It was absolutely controlled chaos. I mean, people were all out of order, but surprisingly polite.  I guess they felt safe about not rushing since they knew there would be no end to the vittles.  They're out of popcorn shrimp?  Wait 5 minutes and go back to the station. I noticed, though, how FOCUSED everyone was.  It was like they were all in a fugue a bunch of undead zombies with their eyes on fooooood. The only people who held my gaze were the employees working around the stations and keeping the areas as clean as possible around the food zombies.

Once back at the table, I started to really take notice of people.  "No! You may NOT play without shoes on!", cried one dad. Um, this is why God invented the high chair.  This child was about 2 and she was flailing all over the family's table - under the table, on the ground, in the aisle.  Strap that little fucker to the damn high chair, DAD. Then the shoe discussion needn't happen.  I noticed at most tables, quite large couples eating mounds of food.  It's baffling how most people can consume that much food in one sitting. What's more baffling is the number of times the average buffet patron goes back to get a new plate of food. Two or THREE times if last night's evidence is correct. But, like the parking lot observation, the food station-to-table walk is similar.  The hunters stalk to the station with mad purpose, intent on capturing only the most fresh and most succulent morsels, their salisbury steak and salad stalking is the only thing in their line of vision. It's like something out of an undercover black ops video game.  BUT!!  On the way back to the table, the same vicious predator walks slowly to his seat with a satisfied smirk and a decidedly smug darting of the eyes, wanting everyone to be aware that he has conquered the buffet wholly.

My obvious thrill at the people watching garnered me a "I'll pray for you honey.  Because you're going to Hell.  You know that, right?"

Yes, baby. 

And he'll be right there in Hell with me.  On the way out we saw a young family near the exit door.  "JESUS CHRIST!!" he started on his way out the door.  "Did you see that baby?  That's the ugliest fucking baby I've EVER seen!  Kid doesn't stand a chance..."

I'll save you a seat in Hades, my love.

1 comment:

  1. HA! You totally nailed it. I'm a people watcher as well and the buffet is a whole underground society of freaks. You see them at buffets and at Walmart, that's it. They must just go back and forth all day.