Went out to dinner with Mum and Dad tonight. My sister, bro in law, neices and their friend came along too. Guess where we went? One of those Hometown Country Lubys Buffet places. For those of you unfortunate enough to never have experienced an all-you-can-eat buffet, these places are like big cafeterias where you go park yourself at a big ol' table and just walk up to the many and various "stations" and bring back whatever food you want for dinner. Then you go to the big stack of plastic tumblers in those big dishwasher racks, grab one, and fill yourself up some A&W root beer before you sit down and strap on the feed bag.
They have a pretty good salad bar, along with all manner of the most breaded, fried, and refried food items you have ever witnessed under one roof. So when I go with the Parentals, I usually get a salad and a side of the mushy rubbery heat-lamped french fries. And then a small cup of soft serve no fat fro yo. I'll maybe have one or two bites of something naughty, but for the most part, I pretty much try to not have a shrimp/clam fry with baked beans, mac and cheese, with cheese bread and roast beef and white rice on my plate at the one time. UNLIKE EVERYONE ELSE THERE!
Now, don't get me wrong. There is no character more miserable than the Healthier-Than-Thou purist who sees food as a metaphor for self-control, social status, whatever. I happen to come from a proud Scottish background that entailed eating animal organs, buttery potato products, preferably fried, and in general looking at any food item and wondering, "could we fry this? I bet that'd be tasty!" So, eating crap food is in my genes. It's just that there is something so disturbing about seeing one person eat it ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Like, to have a plate as described above, with potatoes and rice and roast beef and shrimp and beans and mac&cheese all at the one time, and all piled high, just kind of grosses me out. Especially because you know that if that person was at home making dinner they wouldn't cook rice and potatoes, roast beef and shrimp. So it's almost this environmental, situational, lemming-like eating behavior that I can almost feel myself succumbing to when I am there (oooh--that carrot cake looks good, but so does the cookie. Maybe I could try both...). It ain't pretty.
Short Story Long: I had no point in sharing this except to say that heat-lamped french fries are a crime against nature.