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Monday, June 19, 2006

A brief tirade

Since I have done my part for good health, contributing to lower health insurance rates everywhere by not smoking, I expect everyone else to do the same. How, you might ask? By closing down the most offensive enabler of bad health in the country: the all-you-can-eat buffet.

Call me a snob, but buffets are symbolic of everything that has gone wrong with our beautiful nation: the greed, the desire for value over quality, the idea that a big steaming communal pan of green bean casserole is a good thing. The value part in particular is what drives the proliferation of buffets, wanting to believe you have gotten a lot for very little. I like a bargain as much as the next person, but eating 3,000 calories in one sitting in order to feel like you have put something over on The Man is just not good for you.

In general, I am opposed to all buffets, for reasons of health and aesthetics. Buffets are to people with weight problems what bathhouses were to gay men in the 70s…way too much fun, and the fast track to destruction. And as there is no condom for fried catfish night down at the Hometown Trough, these places have got to go. Here is why you should avoid buffets at all costs:

1) The general public is rude and unhygienic, and you can’t trust them not to do disgusting things to food left out in the open. I can’t deny that I have, on occasion, eaten at a buffet. In my own defense, it is almost always an Indian buffet, and if those spices can kill dysentery, they can kill whatever is on the hands of Joe Q. Public. However, a lukewarm bowl of creamed corn isn’t killing much of anything except your arteries. Mark my words, if the bird flu really does become a pandemic, it is going to be spread by a bunch of chicken farmers out for dinner on the town whose mamas never made them wash their hands before they eat.

2) Buffet food by nature is presented in a manner that reminds one of pigs rooting for dinner. My personal rule is if it needs to be protected by something called a sneeze guard, then I probably do not want to put it in my mouth. No doubt my mother is wishing she had put my first boyfriend under a sneeze guard.

3) Restaurants are a business, and thus need to make a profit. If you eat three meals worth of food in one sitting for $4.95, you must then assume that the meal cost less than $4.95 for the restaurant to produce. How much does it cost you to prepare fried chicken, five different vegetables covered in butter, bacon and Velveeta, roast beast, and the festive dessert of your choice, and to do that at a rate of three times what you might normally eat? My guess is slightly more than $4.95 per person. Do you really want to know what must be going into your food to get it down to that price point? I’d venture a guess that somewhere out there, there is a large number of pigs that donated their scrotums for your meal.

4 comments:

Bedazzler said...

Um...well I've travelled over a fair amount of America, yeah, and eaten at a couple of buffets on the way. When people ask me what the experience was like, I always say "Well, if Americans can squeeze Ezy-Cheez on it, they will". and that probs includes anything going on in bath houses.

JonboySF said...

I blame Bush. It's part of the larger government conspiracy to keep the fat people fat and sitting on their couches watching So You Think You Can Dance instead of revolting against The Man. Notice how all the gub'ment food is starchy and loaded with fat and preservatives? There must be tax subsidies for restaurants in the "feeding trough" category that we just don't hear about...damn Republicans! Mark my words, when the bird flu arrives, buffet restaurants will be the prime breeding ground for the pandemic!

Craig said...

Sorry...just can't go along on this one...love my Chinese buffets too much...and it's so damn handy living just down the street from one with the clever name "#1 Asian Buffet!" How lucky I feel to live just down the street from the "#1 Asian Buffet!" That's my Saturday hangout, where I gorge myself on noodles & egg rolls, rice & moo goo gai pan, potstickers & chicken-on-a-stick, while I read the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly...Don't care what y'all say, that's my idea of heaven on earth...
Now where'd I put my eatin' pants?

Bea Gass said...

YEAH, what Craig sed!