Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Friday, May 05, 2006


But I buffet my body...

I saw a news item this morning that warmed my heart: A woman, her boyfriend and her two kids have been banned from a Chinese restaurant because they would waste food from the buffet. According to employees at the Dragon House buffet, the group would come in regularly, pay for the buffet, but waste plates of partially eaten food. I like the comments from the cashier,

"They just take one bite and throw it away," said cashier Lin Huyen. "They take four egg rolls and crab rangoon, take one bite of egg roll and throw the whole plate. That is wasting food."

I can just hear her saying this in her Chinese accent.

I have to confess that I have a fondness for a well maintained, all you can eat buffet, but there is that inherent danger of becoming... well ... piggish.

What is it about large quantities of cheaply priced food arranged on a counter in long rows that turn people into swine gorging at a trough?

When I was in college, and with a higher metabolism, packing away a 9,300 calorie dinner with one sitting could sustain me for a couple of days. I particularly loved the all you can eat pizza buffets. These were the places for lunch after Sunday morning church services; they were also the catalyst for stimulating tempers, selfishness and emperor like indulgence.

You could time when each denomination was let out: The Methodists and liberal Presbyterians usually arrived first by 11:45 AM; then us Southern Baptists by 12:15 or 12:30; and then the Pentecostals at 1 on the dot.

By the time we Baptist arrived, the first round of the buffet had been taken, so we had to wait for about 10 or 15 minutes for the next round to be put out on the tables. I recall how on one occasion, a group of us arrived late, so we had missed the first and second rounds and had to wait for the third round of pizzas. By that time, the Pentecostals had come in. A part of their group was a huge family of 8 or 9 kids, plus the parents. The parents were the classic, rural south stereotype: a heavy set woman and a skinny father.

My friends and I, with plates in hand, were waiting for the staff to bring out the pizzas. As soon as the waiters appeared at the kitchen door, all the new comers to the restaurant swarm to them before they could even sit the pizzas on the warming tables. We tried desperately to get just one slice of pizza, but to no avail. There were too many elbows jabbing and blocking me to get to them. My roommate, Greg, got the closest. He goes for one last slice of pepperoni, he almost had it on his plate when the afore mentioned Pentecostal mama (I kid you not) knocked it off the spatula in his hands and onto her plate that was already piled with 5 slices! We all stood there in utter amazement, speechless as she scurries back to her table as if she did nothing rude.

That is just the nature of buffets, I guess.

The waste is a severe problem. The corpulent children piling food on their plates only to take a bite or two and throw the rest away is disgusting. In our age of P.C. "don't tell anyone he is wrong, especially being piggish" mentality, I am happy to see there are some eating establishments with the fortitude to stand up to these sorts of social violations that have never been confronted. If I were in Iowa, I would go to the Dragon House restaurant and eat a big plate of fried rice.



Blogger Paul Doutell said...

This would be a better article if it weren't tainted by your obvious Calvinism.

3:31 PM, May 05, 2006  
Blogger Hayden said...

Funny article Fred. Don't know about the previous Calvinism comment, but let me take a stab at trying to explain it?

Since you were late to the buffet, the Lord predestined that you would not get to eat pizza that day because you were having high blood pressure that week, or something to that fact???

I hope to see you in June when we are in LA.

7:14 PM, May 05, 2006  
Blogger pilgrim said...

I remember one lunch buffet after church, when after we had all stacked our plates with all isrts of delightful food, one of my friends decided to start talking about the spiritual discipline of fasting.

Yes it is a disciplne--but there is Biblical precedent for feasting as well.

And we were celebrating something beyond it being the Lord's Day (But I can't remember what that was.)

8:55 PM, May 07, 2006  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Hayden my friend, I look forward to it. I am only saddened there are no Pizza buffets out here in SoCal where we can take the fams to dine.
Call us when you get into town.


3:34 PM, May 10, 2006  

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