Okay, before you start reading this post, if you have a queasy stomach, skip to the third paragraph. I will not be responsible for any person who ends up nauseous by this post. Now, if you are still reading, here we go: Normally I avoid buffets like the plague. They just end up being a trough of food that is never really very good because it sits so long waiting for 100's of people to come by and pick it over, sneeze on it or just plain use their fingers instead of the tongs. It's a petri dish of edible bacteria! However, one of our congregants gave us a gift card to the local Asian buffet and so we felt obligated to at least try this restuarant.
While we were at the restaurant, a young boy about 11 was given free reign of what he wanted to eat. He loaded up his plate with a strange conglomeration of food and piled it so high it was spilling onto the floor. I watched in horror as he went back to his table and proceeded to stuff his mouth with enough food to feed a family of four. Not ten minutes later that same boy was running, and I do mean running, for the nearest bathroom, only he didn't make it. He spewed all over the floor near the desserts, all over a fellow customer's leg and directly in the line of sight of the nearest server who proceeded to do ....NOTHING!. It took the restaurant 10 minutes to get around to cleaning it up, all the while people were looking at it and walking around it as they continued to get their food! Needless to say, my appetite was ruined, but I was like a moth to a flame, watching as all of this unfolded.
But I think what happened to this boy just confirmed what I already thought about buffets. Humans are not supposed to have the ability or opportunity to gorge themselves at will. Now I know when were were all nomadic clans we were living on feast or famine. But we are no longer nomads and most of us, at least in America, have food available to us at all times. But I think that seeing that buffet sets off some primal urge in us to eat until we, well, until we puke!
Case in point, E had to go to the doctor the other day for strep throat. We were there two hours and then had to get her prescription filled and she was hungry, so she asked me to take her to the Pizza Hut which just happened to do a lunch buffet. We both started with a small bowl of salad and then returned for ONE piece of pizza. I told her if she finished that piece she could get another one. She didn't. She was full. So was I. So we stopped eating!
But the other people were like turkey vultures feeding on roadkill. Everytime a new pizza would come out, they would swarm. Some of them loaded not one but TWO plates of food and took it back to their table. Watch people eating at a buffet. At least half of them will sit with their backs hunched and their arms protectively encircling their plates, ready to fight off anyone who might challenge their right to gorge. And their eyes are always floating back to the buffet to see what new thing might be coming out, ready to pounce with another plate. And then, as I was eating my food, I realized I was having trouble reaching my plate. THE BOOTHS WERE BIGGER! Booths in buffets are bigger than your average booth, if they have booths at all. I was just amazed.
So, even though I went to two buffets in two weeks, I haven't been to one in over a year because, with my food addiction I just don't need that. I'm going back to banning the buffets. But next time you go, look around and see if you don't agree with me. No one needs four plates of food. No one needs to have that opportunity. No one needs to watch what I watched that boy do at that Asian buffet. That's a sight that will be burned in my brain for years to come.