Friday, May 19, 2006

The Complainers

Last night at the OCB we are sitting next to a table of two couples - around their mid to late fifties.Their entire dinner conversation were complaints. First it was about the food at OCB which they did not seem to hesitate to heap upon their plates. "The barbecue chicken is like shoe leather - how could you eat that? I had it the other night it was terrible." "Oh yes!" shoveling it in.This went on through the entire meal. It reminded my wife and me of an old joke that used to be told in the resort hotels in the Catskill Mountains (For those of you unfamiliar, these resorts were the incubators of new comedians and the final hurrah of vaudavilians.)The joke goes like this - Two people meet in a restaurant. One says to the other - "The food in this place is terrible." The other replies, "Yes, and such small portions!" That was how the night went at the table next to us. When they were finished bashing the OCB - at which, again, they had no hesitation to keep filling their plates - they began bashing a diner that they recently went to. Another couple - regulars at this OCB - came over that they seemed to know and they engaged them in the diner complaints.

So why were we ease dropping? Unfortunately, we could not help it - they were loud enough to hear at every table in the area. Why is it that people at buffet restaurants have a need to hold loud diner conversations. This is not the first time we have had to listen to the conversations at the tables around us for the entire meal. For some reason - and perhaps one of you has a theory or explanation about this - many people eating at buffets do not feel a need to speak quietly - just loud enough to speak to the people at their table - as one might expect in another restaurant (and as I might add, is what happens at other restaurants.)Over our buffet meals we have gotten to hear about disease, diarrhea, bugs, disagreements over estate settlements, and oh so many other things that we really would rather not have listened to.

Our friends, The Complainers, then went on to speak about two immensely huge women who were sitting at a table on the aisle. Now, these women were large - they were sitting at a table for four and, believe me, if even a child wanted to sit in the chair at the place at the table next to either one there would not have been room. (They must have exceptionally strong chairs at buffet restaurants.) Now, I noticed these ladies and frankly, it is none of my business, nor anyone else's how they look. But The Complainers had to make conversation (loud conversation) regarding the two ladies. The ladies ignored them.

So should there be a new rule - When having dinner conversation, speak softly only to those at your table, and not loud enough to be heard at every other table - perhaps this will show up in my next update of the rules of buffets.


Ok, I have got to share this with you. It was seen at a Ryan's a few weeks ago. This was the all time topper of taking everything to eat on one plate - a woman had a steak on her plate. She then took that plate to the ice cream machine and swirled out a large portion of ice cream - not on the steak, but next to it. She then went to the whipped cream and placed whipped cream on the ice cream, which by now was dripping over and running under the steak. Steak ala mode! Oh my!

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