Monday, May 9, 2011

The Sunday Post on Monday: The Fountainhead Goes To Breakfast

Okay, so I didn't get this out to you yesterday. I was too busy watching a movie I really enjoyed, The Fighter, with Mark Wahlberg, who in my opinion is one of the best actors of his generation. I certainly like most of the work he's done. I won't review the film itself, I'm just telling you why this post was delayed. And that's why we have The Sunday Post on Monday, exactly for such emergency situations.

I generally don't like holidays, or at least the social part of holidays, where it's obligatory to give gifts, candy, cards, that sort of thing. I don't mind the decorations and the food, the kind thoughts (however artificial) of co-workers and strangers, the television specials and parades. I do mind having to go out and find a card for someone at the last minute because, oh gee, the special day is coming up.

I solved my problem with the most recent special day, Mother's Day (because, let's face it, I didn't buy a card for Mom this year, I just didn't have time) by taking her to a special Mother's day breakfast at Mimi's Cafe. We arrived early before the crowds got too large, and found the place busy but far from full. We were seated right away. It was Mom and I, plus Dad, who only came along reluctantly. I brought along my paperback copy of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, because I usually have a book with me at all times. I never know when I might get bored (or in this case, need to shut out Mom's constant jabbering), so I take a book with me almost everywhere. I picked up this copy at Goodwill for only $1.49, and it was almost brand new. I'm up to page 50 already. Anyway, when we were seated at the restaurant they put us right up front at a table. I prefer booths, and Mom usually does as well, but this time she said that we would at least get better service where they could see us easily, though why that should make a difference is beyond me. I hear that all the time though. "Oh, if we sit way in the back, we'll get lousy service."

So, even though there were several open booths in view, we stayed put at the table. Not being a booth, I had to set my Fountainhead on the empty chair (there were four of them, but only three of us). I had also brought my camera with me, but I set it in view upon the top of the table. It's one thing to replace a cheap paperback if you lose it, quite another to lose a digital camera.

They handed us a special Mother's day breakfast menu. It was all omelets and two egg breakfasts. I immediately set my eyes on the Monterey omelet, which has eggs (naturally), jack cheese, bacon and avocado. Sounded like a fairly low carb meal to me. Of course, it also came with fried potatoes and a muffin, plus juice, so my plans to keep my eating in check were still threatened. Mom and Dad settled on just the two egg deals, with Mom choosing ham with hers, and Dad, sausage. Mom ordered a blueberry muffin with hers, and me and dad choose wheat toast. I regretted not getting a muffin, because I figured I wasn't going to eat the damn toast anyway, but when the waitress offered the what I guessed was the healthier option of toast, I went for it.

The first thing brought to the table (after our water, coffee and orange juice) was the blueberry muffin.

Doesn't that look like a damn good blueberry muffin to you? I mean, look at the size of them blueberries! I immediately wished I'd ordered my own muffin, though not necessarily to eat, but at least to look at and salivate over.

The people at the table sitting next to us were all enormously fat by any standard you'd care to measure fatness by, but they were almost done when we'd arrived, and soon got up and barely made it out of the place as they moved their gigantic slabs of human flesh to the exit. Mom often makes disparaging comments about chubby folk, so I was relived when she remained silent at the sight before us. Then, a young couple, not just fat but extremely obese, showed up with their little girl, who was still young enough she appeared to have avoided being as fat as her parents.

When they were seated, Mom started telling one of her stories.

"I was watching a show about these obese very fat women who were getting married and they were so big they couldn't get into their wedding dresses. The men were big too, but not as big as those fat women. I don't know why people have to get so damn big and fat. Just lazy and stuff their faces all day, I guess."

Mom, I should add, does not have a quiet, mouse-like voice. When she speaks, it sounds more like someone with a bullhorn to their lips.

Then my omelet came, and it looked okay, not bad at all.

That stuff on the side is salsa, and I only used a little of it. Mom and Dad's food came as well, but Dad and I were missing our toast. Oh, well, we figured it would be along in a minute or two. I dug in to my omelet and Mom and Dad began to eat their food. Dad, however, stopped suddenly, irritation and then outrage overtaking him. "I ordered these eggs over hard," he declared loudly, "and look at them!" You can see for yourself in the next photo below what he was talking about.

You see, Dad has been on his own personal crusade against soft, runny yolks since the whole "it's dangerous to eat over easy eggs" thing started. He certainly refuses to eat them himself. Another waitress (not ours) heard the commotion and rushed over to assist. After Dad explained how his order was messed up, she soon returned with a plate for him to toss the offending eggs onto while she had some new ones prepared to replace them. While dad waited, I soon finished my omelet, and shortly afterward, Dad received the new eggs. They were done to his directions, nearly hard as rocks, and he looked quite please as he said "Now that's how a fried egg should look!" He soon took notice of the fact, however, that the rest of his food had grown cold in the meantime. Dad started saying he would never come to Mimi's again. He didn't send his food back again, though, because he was enjoying his martyrdom too much.

Then we noticed something else. We never got our toast! WTF? Our waitress was nowhere in sight. Mom flagged down a random server and informed him of our incomplete orders. Soon, we also has toast at our table. I was determined not to eat mine, and offered it to Mom, since she'd ordered a muffin with hers and I know she likes toast with her eggs. I could only get her to take one piece, though. That left me with the other three halves. They bring a little basket of toast goodies with your toast, and they had lots of jam selections, plus real honey, and for the first time I've ever seen it, a little Smuckers peanut butter, too. PB and J? How could I not have some toast now?

After eating, Mom declared she had a coupon for a free dessert with any meal, breakfast, lunch or dinner. She had informed our waitress of this earlier, but now, we still didn't even have our bill. Dad spoke to a manager as he went by, and the manager got us the bill, which we had to leave for the waitress to take up and return with change. She had took Mom's request for the free dessert (Mom, after some minutes of asking the waitress what was best, decided on chocolate cake) and Mom's instructions that it would be "to go". Now again, though, we waited, with our waitress nowhere to be seen. I briefly imagined what it would be like to spend the rest of my life at a table in Mimi's Cafe.

After we were finally ready and able to leave, out in the parking lot I realized I'd left something behind. Mom assumed it was my cell phone or camera, and went into a panic, because I just left and headed back into the restaurant without specifying what I'd forgotten. Once inside, I rushed to our table, discovering a fat family occupying our former chairs. I knew I'd left my book on one of them.

"Excuse me, ma'am," I said to the plump woman who now sat on the chair I'd reserved for Ayn Rand's novel, "but I think you're sitting on The Fountainhead"

She looked at me like I was insane, then slowly lifted her enormous behind into the air. There it was! It was slightly crushed, but I retrieved it, thinking to myself that only in America could a book of that thickness be smashed by someone sitting on it.

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