My Horrible Evening At Pukeplantation

Pukeplantation

Am I overwhelming you most faithful blog followers with too many posts? This is something like the fourth in two days, I’ve just really had a lot to say these past few days. I promise, I’ll slow down (maybe).

Went to dinner this evening. Just me and Pookies, which meant that it ended up being somewhere kid-friendly. I wasn’t in the mood for Denny’s or Panera Bread, though; and fast food was of course out of the question. So Souplantation it was.

Now I do typically enjoy Souplantation. Typically. We used to live in the heart of Los Angeles and had a really nice one. One that had everything, plus amazing customer service. Their space was bigger than any restaurant I had ever been to. And it was walking distance from our apartment – just awesome.

The Souplantation out here is a far cry from that; although it was still decent up until recently. In the last few months, though, it’s become a little ghetto. Or perhaps more accurately, it’s become proof that the town in which we live is going downhill. More white trash. A lot people running into each other and acting like total pigs. Basically the entire swath of the state of nature, all packed into one tiny restaurant with a 210 person capacity.

Sad to say, today was the last time we will ever go to that Souplantation. By the time you get through our experience, hopefully you will support my decision.

4:45 pm

We cruise into the Souplantation parking lot. It looks like the dinner rush is starting to get there a little early, but then again it shares the parking lot with Ross – dress for less – so maybe it’s just overflow from early high school prom shoppers.

4:50 pm

Finally inside, we are beginning to make our way through the line. A family of four has come in behind us. The husband is holding a baby that looks like it hasn’t been bathed. Ever. The husband begins sneezing. I start to push Pookies a little quicker down the salad bar. I notice the fourth in their group is a teenager. He has blue hair, in a flock of seagulls cut. He has handcuffs hanging from his belt buckle. Maybe he’s just broken out of jail. He starts sneezing too.

5:00 pm

I’ve paid and we’ve found a booth as far away from the rest of the people that are already seated. Kids are screaming and running around. The family of four sit near us shortly afterwards.

5:05 pm

I go to get drinks. The drink bar is in complete view of the table, so I go alone. The kid with the blue flock of seagulls hair cut walks past our table, and it looks like he has said something. I rush back to the table.

5:15 pm

Finishing up the salad and it’s starting to get packed. People are sneezing, coughing, belching, and ripping ass everywhere. The woman sitting at the table next to us actually lifted her ass to blow one – I kid you faithful blog followers not. You know I’m not a fan of ass jokes, this is really happening.

I decide we are not at Souplantation. We are at Pukeplantation. Time to get some Pukeplantation soup.

5:18 pm

I’m waiting at the soup bar to get the chicken and alphabet soup. There is a rather portly man in a hooded sweatshirt and khaki shorts filling four bowls. I assume he is getting them for multiple people. Or that he really likes the soup. In spite of all the belching and burping and blowing and puking and sneezing and snotting, I will admit – that soup is tasty. He is taking forever though, so people are getting in line behind me, and I inch a little closer. He turns around and rips a belch so loud, so ferocious, that I swear I see his lips quiver. Like Barney on The Simpsons. Or worse.

As I’m dishing up the soup, I realize he’s belched a piece of chewed food onto my sweater.

5:25 pm

I have had about enough of this place. Having totally lost my appetite wiping the stranger’s food off my sweater, I sit and wait quietly. The lady sitting next to us rips another one. Her husband tells stories about “Rod in seasonal” grabbing his ass. He’s wearing a Home Depot polo shirt. I assume he works at the Home Depot in the same shopping complex. I make a mental note never to go this Pukeplantation or that Rip Ass-Grab Butt Depot ever again. I consider running to my car and speeding home to drink heavily and forget about this place.

But the deal with Pukeplantation is that dessert is always a given. Fat free frozen yogurt is a healthy way to dessert anyway. I sprint to the yogurt machine so that we can leave soon.

5:32 pm

There are four exits from this particular Pukeplantation. The one closest to us is in the back of the building and we are parked in the front, but rather than wade our way through the belches and boogers of this rancid state of hillbilly nature, we walk out the back door and just traipse around the entire building to get to my car.

While walking I am informed of what transpired when the blue haired flock of seagulls, jail break walked past our booth while I was getting our drinks. As he walked by, with his handcuffs clanging against his leg, he leaned over and said “hey … your mom’s hot …”

From there we ran to my Jeep.

We will not be returning to that place. Ever. Again. Would you? It concerns me that so many of these experiences are cropping up more and more around my community. Is it just that I’m hanging out in the wrong places? Or is pigslob hillbilly becoming the status quo?

In-N-Out versus In-N-Out

Anyone that has been to California knows that one of the “must-dos” of the state is a trip to In-N-Out. Even if you don’t eat fast food, or you don’t eat meat, you still do it. They actually are very good at catering to people’s health and otherwise needs: they have a huge “secret” menu, available to anyone. Grilled cheese, veggie sandwiches, fresh and unprocessed fries…

Of course I think that’s about the only good thing about In-N-Out. Personally, I think it’s a little overrated.

If I am in the mood for a burger joint kind of place, I do usually go there. I don’t eat red meat, so the grilled cheese is pretty decent. It’s close. And more than anything, it’s cheap – my favorite thing. It’s relatively infrequent that I go, though, so you can imagine how truly over it I am after going twice in the last week.

Early last week, I hit up In-N-Out near my apartment in Camarillo on the way out of town for my little solo jaunt to Solvang, CA. The one near our place is my preference – it’s clean, in a good area, and during the week is especially quiet. Camarillo is something like a retirement community. Most of the people that live here either are super old or super young; young families that work outside of the area coupled with the geezers playing shuffleboard. In fact, the In-N-Out is directly across the street from a 50-and-over neighborhood. My experience was pretty laid back: there weren’t too many people around, a man brought his wife that worked there flowers and a birthday balloon, it started to get a little busy right before I left. Nothing too big, though.

Then today, my husband wanted to go to the In-N-Out nearby where we were shopping in the southern part of Oxnard. Those of you that have never been to the Ventura County (nestled between LA and Santa Barbara on the coast of California), Oxnard (particularly the south part) is the more ghetto of the community. There is a lot of gang activity. There is a pretty fair amount of crime. Being from Chicago, it’s sort of child’s play to me, but I still don’t mess around when people start flashing gang signs and swearing in languages I cannot even decipher.

Needless to say, my experience was a little different today than early last week.

Ordering Our Food

We got there and I had to pee. I always have to pee – my guinea pig has a larger bladder than I do. And I drink a lot of Diet Coke. So my husband got in line while I ran in to quickly use the bathroom. As I came out, I eeked my way through the line, saying “excuse me, my husband is up front” and when I got to him, this crazy-looking lady with a tattoo across her forehead said “hey, step the fuck back to the end of the line where you belong.”

I smiled and just stepped to the side, Nick already knew what I wanted anyway.

Finding Our Table

We originally planned on eating there. Then it was going to be t0-go because there was nowhere to sit; and only a second before we got our food did we find a table open up. This place was like the state of nature for seating. Everyone was fighting. A woman in a wheelchair started screaming at people to get out of her way so she could snag a table. As we left, I could see people all hovering over the tables that looked as though they were about ready to finish. I overheard two guys in maintenance uniforms laughing about how badly people wanted their seats and how much they weren’t budging until their lunch break was completely over.

Getting Our Ketchup

So around the time I went to get our ketchup, napkins, and little packets of salt was when shit really started to go down. I was pumping the ketchup out of their old-style ketchup pump into these little, paper cups they provide when this woman shoved me to the side so she could have more room to slop ketchup directly onto her tray of animal-style fries. She pumped and pumped and pumped and it was slopped all over the tray. I kept thinking to myself ‘am I mad this woman shoved me or angry because of the mess she’s making for these poor employees to clean up?’

As I turned to walk away – having finished pumping my own meager supply of ketchup compared to hers – she turned and smacked me so hard in the boobs with her purse that I was pretty sure some after-jiggle occurred. Those of you that are women with big boobs know what I’m talking about – when you run without a bra, or laugh too hard in your pajamas … after-jiggle.

Eating Our Food

There is nothing about the food that is too spectacular to report. As I said, In-N-Out is a little overrated in my book. I had the grilled cheese again today, along with some fries and a Diet Coke (of course).

As I sat eating, though, I continued to peruse around the busy restaurant. People were lined out the door at that point. All registers were open and employees were screaming – literally screaming – at each other, it was just that loud in there. My husband and I don’t have shit to talk to each other about over meals anymore. Unless it’s about his day at work or some bullshit I want to complain about, usually he’s too busy hogging his food down like it’s feeding time at the barnyard to get in a word edgewise. So I continued to look around, only to find (to my dismay) that the guy sitting next to us was reading a book called “Dealing With Your Psychopathy.”

Real fucking nice.

Leaving The Shithole, Never To Return

As always happens, the real “event” of it all didn’t happen until the end, as we were about to leave. I know what you’re saying – some ugly ass bitch with a tattoo across her forehead telling you to “step the fuck back” wasn’t an event? Being shoved and smacked in the boobs for the sake of a tray full of ketchup was not an ordeal?

Not compared to Turd Girl.

Right before we left, a little girl and her mom sat down at the table next to us. The tables are in pretty close proximity to each other, so I could hear their every word. Her dad was waiting for a table near them to open up so that he too could sit down. They decided to just start porking down their food anyway.

Turd Girl couldn’t have been any older than five; six tops. Nonetheless, she was shoveling a double-double (a double cheeseburger) and animal-style fries (french fries covered in secret sauce, cheese, and grilled onions) down her itty-bitty gullet. And then she said the words that made her earn her title: “Huhuhuh … mom, my fries look like the turd I dropped this morning.”

Are you fucking kidding me?

I thought her mom was going to say something; oh, I don’t know, like that she should speak a little more lady-like in public. If it were me I would have smacked those animal-style fries right out of her hands. Turd Girl’s mom did nothing but laugh, though. Together, they laughed and laughed and laughed at just how much the french fries they continued to shove into their mouths looked like human feces.

So about that In-N-Out. It attracts a particular kind of crowd – at least the one in south Oxnard. The only other one I’ve been to has been in Hollywood with my friend Jeremy – quite a few years ago, while he was out on a visit. I remember we were sitting there eating when all of a sudden a bridal party came in to get In-N-Out after their wedding ceremony. The bride looked about 18; the groom was wearing a blinged-out baseball cap. This is why I don’t eat fast food.

Vacation Report 6: Chicago Food versus California Cuisine

So I’m pretty sure I have mentioned this before, but prior to our vacation to my sweet, home Chicago, I essentially starved myself for the months preceding so that I could eat whatever I wanted without worrying about returning to California in a hefty bag (for lack of any fitting clothing). While here, though, I realized that I actually eat better and weigh less when eating in the Midwest for a few reasons, though: (1) I don’t eat many sweets; and (2) I don’t indulge in emotional eating to make myself feel better about how unhappy I am in California.

While on this trip, I’ve made it a point to ask more about what makes food in the Midwest so much better. And unlike in California – where asking a question of your waiter or cook is a recipe for looks of annoyance and a pithy response like “it’s in the sauce,” many of the people I’ve asked have indulged me in my inquiry.

Chicago Food: Delis

In Chicagoland area, you have a lot more locally owned restaurants or local franchises that you won’t find in other areas. Sure, there are a lot of your run-of-the-mill Subways and Taco Bells, but right next door you almost always have a local and just-as-cheap alternative.

One thing that is amazing about the Chicagoland area is the deli meat. In California, I often notice that the deli meat is sliced thick and often “smothered” in something to make it a thick, meaty experience. In Chicago, though, it’s usually sliced very thin, which bodes for a lighter and more satisfying experience. Jason’s Deli is by far my favorite local spot for a sandwich or wrap.

Chicago Food: Flavorful

Another thing I have realized about Chicago food, is it is often about the flavor. I would argue that a lot of the food we eat in California is flavorful, but often the emphasis is not placed on the synthesis of flavors or enhancing the natural flavor of the food, itself. In particular, meat is not usually enhanced quite in the way that it is done in the Midwest, and I am sure this is in large part due to the fact that so much of the meat you eat in the Midwest is local.

The pizza is more flavorful as well, which is what makes it so popular. In California we use dry milk and bitter sauce. In the Midwest, though, emphasis is placed on the flavor of the crust and the sauce to eliminate those dry and bitter elements.

Now I rarely eat red meat, but when I am visiting home I do indulge in a little. Particularly noteworthy was the meatball sandwich I had a few days after arriving – it was (by far) one of the greatest sandwiches I have ever eaten.

Chicago Food: Fluffy

As I mentioned above about the deli meat, Chicago food is often sliced thin and fluffy-like. It goes beyond just the deli meat, though. The pizza almost never has gobs of cheese on it, which I find is a big problem with food in California – too much cheese. And while I would never recommend actually eating the food at White Castle, the shakes are another great example of the fluffiness of the cuisine in the Midwest. Whereas at In N’ Out on the west coast we have very thick, heavy shakes, the milkshakes at White Castle are so fluffy you can taste the bits of whipped air.

Chicago Food: More Interactive

Something else we don’t realize on the west coast is that our food is not terribly interactive. Oftentimes, you have little input in what goes in your food. You can request something to be “minus this” or “add that,” but then you get a lot of attitude and it is usually done wrong anyway.

In Chicago, though, your food is more interactive. You get to know who is cooking it – whether it be a restaurant owner, a waiter, or a friend or family member. You have more input and more options as well. Just the other day, we went to an Asian fusion place in the city and were able to head to their stir fry bar to select every piece of our meal. There are not many places in California that such an option exists, except (of course) your own home.

As a result of this, I have come to one conclusion – something I knew all along, but that was reiterated on this great trip home:

Chicago Food: Amazing

California Cuisine: Crap

Need I say more?

This evening at dinner …

… I had a little wine. Not saying I don’t often have a little bit of wine, but just prefacing the story with that so you all know why I would be so inclined to do what I am about to tell you that I did.

So we had a pretty long day. Got up. Showered. Dressed. Made lunch (because we sleep pretty late). I made turkey burgers and macaroni and cheese with a fruit salad. It was a big lunch, I know, but we were planning on going out for soup later, so it was really our main meal. Then we drove an hour to visit my grandparents. Stayed with them for three hours. Ran a few errands then out to dinner. While at dinner, I had a little wine.

Had I not had that wine, I may not have had the urge or guts to do what I did while there.

It was a typical dinner. I ended up ordering a salad and some bread. We didn’t have much to talk about after spending the whole day together. The place was crowded – expected for a Saturday night, but nothing out of the ordinary. Then as dinner was winding down, though, a very large man and his mother and grandmother were being seated at the table directly across from our booth.

When I say large, I mean a combination of tall, largely built, big-boned, and obese. He was bald. He was very very loud. He smelled like he had been rubbing himself with those pine tree-shaped car air fresheners. For some reason he was having a hard time getting his mother and grandmother seated. It was one of those half-booths, half-table deals and they were arguing over who was going to sit where, and whether or not grandma was even going to like the slop being served at the restaurant this evening.

All the while, this guy was boisterously shouting about getting the old ladies seated, he was backing his rather large derriere closer and closer to our table. Closer and closer he inched until I thought his rather large ass-filled jeans were going to knock into my salad plate or rub themselves up against my wine glass. So I did what every girl under the influence of wine, and clearly in need of antipsychotics, would do: I stuck my hand out.

By stuck my hand out, I mean I extended my arm to rest along the very edge of the table. My palm was faced downwards at first, but then I thought it would be really funny if I grabbed the guy’s ass. I know, psychotic. I have no idea why I thought it would be funny, but he kept leaning over and getting so close to my food anyway, I figured why not. Sadly, as I began to slowly turn my hand over so as to cup it just right before thrusting it up to get in a good squeeze, the guy sat down.

Saddened by my failure to grope a complete stranger, I finished my wine and we left.

Now at home, hours later, I am wondering just why the guy was being so loud. Why was he backing himself into my food as well? It was as if they had no understanding that it was a crowded restaurant during the busiest of times. Had I been given just five more seconds, I could have taught him a lesson. The lesson that in a restaurant you are in public, and you need to be courteous of the public and other people’s personal space. The lesson that you shouldn’t be rubbing your large, jean-covered ass all over people’s salad plates and wine glasses. The lesson that if you get too close, you might just get a squeeze in the buttocks – a squeeze that to some may be considered enjoyable, but I’m sure to most (and that man) would be horrifying.

So that was my Saturday night. I’m going to go have some more wine and then check in to the mental ward.

Loud Mouth Lady

It sounds like a song, doesn’t it?  Like I’m going to break out in that song from the wedding singer and continue on to call her the Sophisticated Momma.  Well, faithful blog followers, I wish it were just a song I was referencing.  Do I ever.  But no, I am referencing an actual Loud Mouth Lady.

This evening while visiting my father, we went out to dinner at Mimi’s Cafe.  Priding itself as a French-ish bistro, the place couldn’t be anything further from it, including its loud ass customers.  This is typical of the place, though, and since they have relatively cheap prices and great service, we usually deal with the loudness undisturbed.  Not tonight though!

Seated about four tables behind us was a table of three women, probably about the same age as me, having a ladies night out for salads at Mimi’s.  Not exactly what I would call a “ladies night,” but then I soon learned they were all newlyweds and off the market.  (But I’m off the market and still wouldn’t call that a ladies night…)  And actually, before any of our drinks were at the table, I learned just about everything about these women and their miserable marriages, particularly the loud one.

The loud one is married to a man named Dan whom she has been emasculating since they were dating.  His friends said she was not marriage material but she took great offense to this, and so now Dan has no friends and they are married.  Her biggest problem with him at first was the fact that he had three drawers full of socks.  Dan, of course, now has half of one.

A little later on I learned that Loud Mouth Lady also works with her husband, Dan.  But she doesn’t actually think he’s qualified to do the job he is in, so she talks smack about him to their coworkers nonstop.  None of this topped the defining moment of her incessant and nonstop chattering, though; that being when she announced that the worst part of being married was the sex, “but I just got used to laying there and letting him screw me until he was over it.”

I don’t think there was one person in that place who does not feel personally acquainted, now, with Loud Mouth Lady and her poor and seemingly pathetic husband, Dan.  Children in the restaurant were sitting with parents covering their ears; a table of people actually got their food to go because they couldn’t take the noise.  She was really just that awful.

Now, sure – just like that ridiculous woman at the library over the summer had every right to let her idiot kid run wild through the library, Loud Mouth Lady tonight at Mimi’s had every right to be a loud mouth.  Interestingly enough, this reminded me of a scenario when I was having coffee with a few friends a couple years ago at a local Starbucks.  We were talking and being relatively quiet (quieter than everyone else in the store), but after a while someone came over and asked us to quiet down because we were bothering them.  At the time I remember feeling completely indignant – how dare they ask me to quiet down, especially when we were being quieter than other people in the place?!  But now I can completely understand how one person being too loud for you can truly ruin your time out.

But then there is the matter of how to act as a functional member of society.  I am a big proponent of cursing, swearing, vulgarity – what have you; but there is a time and a place.  Yelling at the top of your voice in the middle of a restaurant is probably not the best place to be yelling “fuck” and “shit” every other word, or talking about letting your husband “screw” you while you lay there, a cold, dead fish.  This is like the cell phone argument, or the crazy children argument – in a restaurant, at what point has a person crossed a line?  I would argue that Loud Mouth Lady did.

Dining at its Finest

Photo Credit Alice@96.5

Hey you over there!  Yeah, you!  The complete douche in this restaurant, sitting at a table on his cell phone … you!  The guy that is talking so loud I can hear the entire conversation; yeah, you know who you are.  I actually feel like we have known each other for years at this point.  I’m so sorry to hear that the merger at your all-important company fell through, but I’m elated to hear that your wife is pregnant with twins after three years of unsuccessful attempts to cool down those spermies.  Such news must be truly important if it has to occur in such a time, at such a place, and in such a manner as to ruin everyone else’s meal.  Across the restaurant there is another guy sitting on his cell phone too – although he is elderly and appears to not realize that cell phone etiquette does exist.  Is there a “who can talk on their cell phone the loudest” competition going on that I was made unaware of?  Had I known I would have certainly entered it myself by talking for thirty-plus minutes, as loudly and obnoxiously as possible, in this fine establishment, attempting to ruin everyone else’s meals.

Photocredit ChildfreeChic

Oh look!  Your friends came to let their children run wild, screaming and stamping on other people’s feet, while you continue your conversation and just use the loudness of the children as a reason to talk even louder.  And I see they’ve brought their baby as well.  I suppose this means the baby is going to scream and cry the entire time and spit food all over the place.  Maybe (if we’re lucky) its parents will talk about what kind of diaper they changed before coming in; or the mother will accidentally squirt us with her breast milk when she goes to feed the kid as she wolfs down her All-Star Grand Slam breakfast.  I tell you that the last time that happened to me (four months ago at a Souplantation), I just really enjoyed tasting my soup and salad return to my mouth at the realization that a complete stranger had squirted breast milk on my hand.

I think you all get the point by now.  I don’t know what it is, but almost every time I go out to eat I encounter either one or both of the scenarios above (which is frequent … you all know my policy on slaving in the kitchen, not to mention the sheer reality of the fact that a healthy meal, which is also tasty, is cheaper bought in a restaurant with healthy standards, rather than made at home).  Maybe it’s where I’m going, although it seems to happen everywhere.  Perhaps the real problem is that people around the country are realizing that the rising cost of groceries and healthy options at a realistic price doesn’t beat all the “kids eat free”/”happy hour” options there are available now.

Or maybe it’s just that the world is full of people that think they are the center of the world; people that feel that they are entitled to have loud cell phone conversations wherever they want.  People that really think it is acceptable to talk on the phone while having dinner with you, making you wait while they have their conversation that is so much more important than you.  I’ve got one for you, obnoxious cell phone user:  how about you have dinner with the person on the phone instead of me, if the conversation is so much more important?  Maybe the world is full of people that think the cost of their meal includes daycare, or people that think that because they talk about dirty diapers and breast milk all the time, that must mean that everyone wants to talk about dirty diapers and breast milk all the time.

Here’s the deal:  no one wants any of that.  When the majority of people go out to eat, it’s for a relaxing time.  It is not to be bothered by cell phone calls, to be treated like a cell phone call is more important than their company; it is not to babysit your children or be stepped on or disgusted.  It just isn’t any of it.  I challenge you all to consider how your dining experience affects others the next time you go out to eat – maybe you won’t let your kid run around wild, or be so quick to answer that all-important phone call.  9.5 out of 10 calls can wait for twenty minutes until you get the bill, anyway.

 

Hello my name is … and I will be giving you bad service today.

This is Jacques.  He is your stereotypical rude, French waiter.  He is the thing people think of when they hear about France.  “No I will never go to France, the waiters are rude,” my father always used to say.  The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, an history and culture completely unlike our own – but a rude waiter?  That is the deal breaker.  No France!

Here is the irony, though.  The irony is that the waiters in France are not actually rude.  Nor are the ones in Italy, or most of the European countries.  Same goes for Asia.  I have had many friends go on vacation to different parts of Asia, only to come back and report that the service in the restaurants was horrible.  “They didn’t even spell their name upside down with a crayon on the paper table cloth!”  But what my father, my friends, and the hoards of people that have created the stereotype of the bad table service in other countries have done is overlook something  quite obvious:  cultural differences.

America seems to be a wholly unique culture in the sense of the dining experience.  At some point, Americans grew to expect things like pithy introductions and witty banter in between entries (in France, this would be considered invading the customer’s personal space).  At some point, Americans thought that it was standard practice for your waiter to sit down at the table with you when they took your order, leaning in just close enough to smell the beer that had been downed on lunch break in an effort to deal with such a miserable job (in Japan, this is unheard of).  Somewhere along the line, Americans decided that it was a necessity to tip, and tip well (in China it is an insult).  And in the most ultimate of idiosyncratic American eating out expectations, somehow we decided we wanted to be treated as though – even though we have just met – a true friendship is being formed between waiter and waited (in Italy this would be grounds for termination).  Nowhere but here do customers expect such an explicit show of affection between strangers that happen to intersect long enough for a grilled cheese sandwich and a Diet Coke.

The caveat, though, is this:  while I do not necessarily care (or even want) to be treated like my waiter or waitress is my best friend when I order my salad; and I most certainly could do without the invasion of my personal space when taking my order, if an employee of a restaurant I am eating at knows that this type of behavior is expected of them and does not do it, I take pause.  Okay, that’s not really true – I don’t take pause if there is just an absence of those annoying and uniquely American dinner-time behaviors.  When I do take pause, though, is when I get the face that Jacques up there is making.  “You don’t want pinto beans on your salad because you are allergic?!” “NO MEAT?!” “Wait, so all you want to drink is water?”  I have gotten that face – that I’m-so-above-you-and-your-annoying-order-and-while-I’m-at-it-you-had-better-be-grateful-that-I-did-you-the-favor-of-allowing-you-to-eat-in-this-establishment-despite-the-fact-that-I-have-single-handedly-chased-away-all-of-the-other-customers-and-we-need-your-$15.40-bill-to-stay-open face (whew-that was a long one).  Since I hate cooking and find myself cooped up in the house all day, every day, we eat out a lot.  On average I get this face once every third or fourth time.  And, in fact, I got it tonight when I said that I was allergic to pinto beans, so please keep them off my salad.

Lesson of the day for those of you in food service out there:  while Americans most certainly need to get their heads out of their asses and stop expecting you to replace them (their heads) with your lips, you also don’t need to give them fodder to create a true stereotype of the rude American waiters like they have created for those poor other countries who just want to do their jobs like everyone else.