Friday, December 21, 2007


The Buffet

The Squeeze and I popped in to a local Chinese buffet for dinner early this week. I'm really starting to re-think this whole self-serve buffet idea. When it comes right down to it, it's kind of gross. On any given night, that scoop in the Egg Foo Young that you're using has been handled by a couple hundred other people. And they don't call them 'The Great Unwashed' for no reason. The transfer of bacteria must be astronomical. At least in a regular restaurant you're only subjected to the poor hygiene of a cook and a waiter.

We were seated, placed our drink and soup order, and proceeded up for our first load. As we took in the selection and began scooping up our choices, The Squeeze spied a little girl of about 7 or 8 years old, looking somewhat dirty, picking up chicken balls with her hands and putting them on her plate.

"You shouldn't use your hands to handle the food. You should use the serving spoon."
"I can't handle it. They keep falling off."
"Well then you should have someone help you."

We went back to our table and enjoyed our soup and plate of food while suffering through the volume of a nearby family. While the young son was using his outdoor voice and carrying on, Dad was on his cell phone, using the same voice as he chatted with someone about buying a car for scrap. Ya, it really wasn't an upscale crowd that night. I also noticed that the little girl who was handling the chicken balls was seated about two tables away from us with her family. There were two women, one man and two other little girls with her. I'm not sure what the family dynamic was. Perhaps it was kids, mother and grandparents, but it was hard to tell.

After waiting a while, we decided to go back for another round. As I came around one of the buffet stations, what did I see, but that same little girl at the chicken balls again. Only this time she was not using her hands to put chicken balls on her plate. She was using them to put chicken balls from her plate back into the serving tray.

"Hey! What are you doing?!" I said to her.
"I'm sorry!" she said with a start. I guess I surprised her.
"You do NOT handle food with your hands and you certainly don't put food you've touched back so other people eat it."
"I'm sorry," she said again.
I walked back to my table in disgust and looked at the table where her family sat.

I walked over to their table, looked at the plate belonging to whom I believed to be the girl's mother, and picked up her egg roll with my hand. I looked at it and put it back down. All three adults at the table looked at me in horror. The mother said "What are you doing?!"
"Oh, is there a problem? Do you not like people touching your food with their hands?" I asked.
"No! I do not!" she shouted back.
"Well what makes you think that everyone else in this restaurant wants to eat the food that your daughter has been taking off her plate with her hands and putting back in the serving trays?"
Throughout the restaurant I could hear gasps and the sound of silverware dropping. I walked back to my table and called for my cheque.

OK, that entire last paragraph was merely fantasy, but I thought of it after I left the place. In a way, I really wish I had thought of it while I was there and actually done it. What do some parents think? Little kids can be walking petrie dishes at the best of times, let alone in the thick of cold & flu season. We all know how kids are. Coughing, sneezing, wiping and picking noses and grabbing crotches.

Ya, I'm really thinking that ordering from the menu has its merits. You may not get the quantity or the variety. But think about all the stuff you're NOT getting. And that's not so bad.

Ha ha ha ha ha!! OMG! You had me howling at the confrontation. I couldn't believe you had the balls to do that. Figured you were too chicken! I was cheering out loud for you! Very dissapointed to learn it was just pretend. Well done. You got me.

aW, shucks, Davey-boy. Don't go givin' up on buffets. I haven't! It hasn't killed us so far!

Okay, I'm fucking sick of these 8-letter word verifications. yhijezsw? WTF?
LMAO I only got a five letter one :P:P:P:

OK, boy: I ma now happy I am usually too broke to eat out. Thank YOU!


Oy vey! What parents let a little kid going to the buffet by themselves???? I'm just glad that Canadians can be as redneck/white trash as Americans. ;-)
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