Friday, June 01, 2007

Old "Friends" Turn Up Everywhere!

Way back I wrote two - or maybe three - articles about a couple that I named, "The Lobster Grabbers". (Check back in the archives for a good read.) These are two actual people, presumably a married couple - older - who would run up to the buffet server in a particular Chinese buffet when they would see the tray of lobster come out from the kitchen and fill multiple plates with every bit of lobster that they could grab. In this particular restaurant the lobster would be served hourly (if the owner decided he wanted it to come out). This would leave ZERO lobster for everyone else - often for the rest of the dinner. Not only is this a blatant breaking of our rules of buffet dining (which I am sure they know nothing about) but is also incredibly RUDE. Obviously, they ticked me off. Week after week they would be at this same restaurant at the same time that we would be there. Week after week the same thing. After a while the restaurant discontinued lobster on the buffet, but this did not stop our "friends". They switched this behavior from lobster to sushi, taking every piece of sushi in the serving tray.

I did not stop going to that restaurant, but I did go there much less often. Not just because of the Lobster and Sushi Grabbers, but that was part of it. We have been going to a nicer Chinese buffet (usually on Friday nights) a bit further away - one that I have written about, but will not name - but if the Turkey Incident comes to mind you have a clue. With the price of gas this is not such a good thing - but the sushi is great (if you get there early enough) and the variety is better than at the closer restaurant - which is not so close (about fifteen miles, one way). Anyway, it seemed far away had the advantage that the Lobster/Sushi Grabbers would not be there - as not many are crazy like me that would drive a distance for a buffet. And besides there is no lobster there.

Well, wrong - last Friday night we are just sitting down to dinner at this farther away buffet, and my wife said to me, "Your friends are here." "What friends?" I asked. "Just at the table behind us - your friends the Lobster Grabbers." "No." "Yes!" And there they were.

We had just stared our soup and I had not gotten up to the Sushi yet - and it was reaching the time that at this restaurant they make the sushi for the rest of the night and put it all out - with no replacement. I finished my soup and headed for the sushi bar, before they could get up there.

Now, I did something that I should not have done and justified it in my head by reasoning that if I wanted sushi tonight I better take what I will want now - and not do the proper and polite thing and take some and go back for more. Yes, I broke a rule! I went to the sushi counter and I filled a plate - taking what I anticipated would be all that I would want. I got back to the table just as the couple descended on the sushi counter. Each filled three plates overflowing.

As they used to do with the lobster - and as they do with everything else that they take - they spread the six plates out on their table and ate from them scattered. Of course, as we have written about before - and not just about the infamous Lobster Grabbers - when people do this they tend not to eat all that they take. This is wasteful to the restaurant besides being terribly unfair to the other people dining at the same time.

Now, I have my own plate full of sushi - much more than I would take at one time - and I, alone, ate every piece - my wife does not eat fish, much less raw fish. Was I correct to do this under the circumstances? Absolutely! When I went past the sushi bar again - most of it was gone.

Through the meal they moved on to filling plates with entrees, side dishes, if it was there they took it and spread the overflowing plates around on their table. A lot was left over and not eaten. It surprises me that the restaurants do not say anything to them - but looking at them they do not look the trouble maker type - so they get away with it. I was so tempted to take out my cell phone camera and sneak a photo of both them and the table full of plates. Including it here like a Wanted poster. My wife advised against it. Well, anyway, they left the turkey alone - which by the way IS worth fighting over as it is the second best turkey that I have ever had in a restaurant.

Will I go back again soon to see if they are there again? I will go back, but when depends on the gas prices (isn't that terrible?).

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