Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mystery meat

Sunday after church we usually go out to lunch.  This week was an unusual selection.  We rarely go to Morrison's cafeteria any more but Kipp Jr (KJ) was in the mood for blue Jell-O.  Morrison's is the only place in town to get blue Jell-O.

It's not that we do not like Morrison's, it's just there are so many other selections it often gets pushed down the list.  Morrison's has good food, a great wait staff, a clean restaurant, no wait other than going through the line (cafeteria style).  Typically you have a wait for a table at other restaurants, but at Morrison's the wait is a lot more enjoyable.  What better way to get in the mood for lunch than the lunch food preview.   

As we entered, to our excitement the line was non-existent.  We were greeted by the staff, "Good morning, would you like some dessert?"  They were not asking me or my wife about it, they were asking the kids.  Kid friendly indeed, more like used car salesmen.  Luckily we already made up our mind on what dessert options we were prepared to purchase before entering the showroom restaurant. 

Your taste buds send messages to your brain about strawberry pie, carrot salad, cole slaw, some fruity congealed salad mushy stuff that for some reason makes you want to try it, then the turkey and dressing, fried chicken, talapia, liver and onions, hamburger steak covered in gravy...wooo whooo!  I was more excited than a kid going down the big slide at a water park.  

No this post is not about my food selection at the Morrison's. 

As we approached the drink station, the line behind us had increased quite a bit.  I will not go as far as to say the senior adult clientele were pushing us through the line, but I will say they seemed to already know exactly what they wanted.  When we slowed down to dispense ice in our cups the machine whined and groaned for several moments before it dropped one cube of ice into the cup.  "Looks like the machine is out of ice." My wife announced to me.  Being the supportive husband I am I responded accordingly, "Well what do you want me to do about it?"  No of course I did not say that with my outside voice.  My outside voice said, "Why don't you ask that lady right there if she will refill the ice machine."    

From behind me in line the restless natives started in:
Guest 1: "Hey what's the hold up son?"
Me: "The ice machine is out of ice."
Guest 1: "Why are you telling me about it."   
A little stunned I said, "Excuse me?"
As the sweet mature lady behind me looked across the sneeze guard she raised a finger and her voice and called out, "Hey Gertrude, get us some ice will you?"
I looked at the old bag sweet lady behind me and with a smile said "So you come here often?"
With a no-nonsense look of a school teacher and her finger now pointing at me she said "Young man....She is my daughter, between my senior discount and her employee discount I eat here for nearly nothing."
Me: "Well that's nice."
Guest 1: "Hurry up Gertrude my food is getting cold."
Me: "Enjoy your meal."

We made it through the rest of line without getting pushed into any add ons or super dilly packages by the staff.  We stuck with the regular dilly and made it out of the line as planned.  Staying focused on our budget helped us make it out of the line very satisfied customers indeed.  I also made it out of the line before Gertrude's great-great-grandmother stabbed me with her fork.

Selecting a table is another fun adventure at Morrison's.  Because the wait staff is not serving your food, they carry your tray to "your" table, take away said tray, then refill your drink in order to earn a tip.  As you might imagine you are taken to a table in their section of the restaurant.  Sometimes you get a single option on preference once you are in their section 'booth or table'.  Mostly you are told where to sit.  Again it's all part of the Morrison's cafeteria style experience.   

We chose a booth as our preference to keep the kids under control.  When we sit at a table the kids tend to get up more often.  There have been "accidents" by the wait staff walking around with overloaded entrees' when we sit at tables.

The next few seconds baffle me.  For some unknown reason when you get to the booth/table everybody wants to unload their food from the tray as quickly as possible.  Tempers flare, elbows are thrown, feelings are hurt, dirty looks are expected... I mean is there somebody trying to steal our booth, no.  Are we racing to see who can unload a tray the fastest.  What useful skill set is that good for?  Are we trying to make sure our food is not touched by another member of our own family because that is mine and you can't have it...possibly.  Anyway for about 10 seconds there is shear pandemonium with dishes clanging, the waiter/server asking if they can get us any thing else, threats shouted at children, yet a sweet smile and cordial response is issued to the waiter/server "Yes, some silverware and ketchup would be great, thanks." Then a sudden quiet returns to the table when after the waiter/server steps away and a soft voice says "Dad - can I say the blessing?"  What is up with that?

When the waiter/server returns with the silverware, KJ unashamedly blurts out, "Something smells".  Why our oldest daughter decided this moment to speak up and out loud the very moment he returned with the silverware is beyond me...why was I concerned about this statement from her you ask.  The smell I picked up on that very moment was one of three or four day old B.O.  That's right the smell of a man that has been working some long hours and may not have had a chance to clean up around the out house if you know what I mean.  As my wife is shushing KJ, the waiter/server man looks at me and says, "Is there a problem here sir?" 
"No, no I think we are good.  Wait did you bring the ketchup, oh there it is...yep were are good.  Thank you."

As soon as he is gone my wife looks at me and says "Kipp the smell is still here, I think it's the booth.  Maybe we should move to the table."   "I am not sure it is the booth but OK."
Moving our food without the help of a tray took a lot longer than the first a whole 15 seconds.

The waiter/server returned to check on us.  "Is everything OK?" 
"Yeah the girls thought the booth smelled funny so we moved over here.  We hope it's OK."    
"Sure." he says quickly red faced and walks away quickly with his hand on his upper lip.  
I tell my wife, "Poor guy is getting emotional.  We have to hurry up and get out of here."
Her: "Do you think it is him?"
Me: "I smelled it again when he was just here."
She responds, "We need to leave him an extra tip, he may need some extra hygiene products after he leaves work today."

We managed to choke our food down in record time.  Even the girls cooperated.  The waiter/server guy did not return to our table.  We got up and got in line to pay for our meal.  As we are standing in line the waiter/server passes by us inadvertently.  The smell was worse than ever.  I guess we had made him even more nervous changing tables on him like that but blaming it on the booth.  The people ahead of us in line turned and looked at us like "Oh my word, do you guys smell that?"  I returned a look of "It's that guy over there.  Can you believe they do not send him home?"

We finally make it outside and we all take a deep breathe of fresh Sunday afternoon air as we walked back to the van.  When we get in the van my wife says, "We can not go back in for a long long time.  If that man is still there working it would be soooo awkward."  
"I have to agree with you honey, did you see the look he gave me when KJ said 'something smells'?  I thought he was going to ask me to step outside.  Dang that was the worst smell.  Do you think he pooped his pants?  
"Yes about four days ago.  Let's not talk about it.  I think I still smell it.  Let's just stop talking about it."
"I think I still smell it too.  Did you see him touch me?  Did he touch me?  Why do I still smell that smell?"
"Kipp the smell is in the van!"  How did it get in the van?!"
"I don't know.  Is he in here?"

"EWWWWWWW!!!! screamed KJ
"WHAT IS IT?! I asked KJ
"There is something on the bottom of my shoe."

As I turn to look at KJ, I am face to shoe with the worst odor I have ever smelled in my entire life.  KJ had lifted her shoe up so I could see what she had found.  My face being less than an inch away; I gagged from the smell.  If my driving skills were not stellar we could have crashed.  ;)
"Mom what do I do?" 
"KJ put that down!  Wait!  Not on the floor.  Take it off.  But turn it up so the "stuff" does not get on the carpet."
We were already moving down the road when the discovery was made.  Several things suddenly took place.  First the windows were immediately rolled down.  The speed of our journey home increased exponentially.  Red lights were simply ignored.  One whiff and any officer would have understood.  My wife had her head out the window, literally.  I am not kidding, out the window.  
Next we interrogated said daughter on where she could have possibly stepped in something so foul.  
KJ: I don't know.  
Mama: Did you play outside at Church?
KJ: No we stayed inside.
Mama: Did you stay on the side walk on the way to the van after church?
KJ: Yes.
Mama: Did you step in anything in the church parking lot?
Me: Honey we do not have dogs roaming the parking lot.
Ignoring me completely she continued...
Mama: Did you walk on the side walk to the restaurant?
KJ: Not the whole time.
Mama: Ah ha!  Did you walk on the grass at the restaurant on your way in?
KJ: Yes, maybe.
Mama: That's where it was!
Me: Very nice Agatha.
Mama: Hush.
Me: O you hear that...

We finally slide the van into the driveway and bail out of the van opening all five doors wide open.  As we all stared through the blinds at the van through the window of the kitchen door, Agatha spoke up.  "We have to sell the van." 

Agatha: "What should I do with the shoes?"
Me: "Hose them off."  
Agatha: "You know what, they did not cost that much I will buy her some new ones."
KJ: "Good.  Cause I was not going to wear those shoes ever again."

The girls left the kitchen window to go take a bath.  They actually asked to take a bath to get the stink off.  You know it was a bad smell if kids asked to take a bath.  

My wife changed clothes and goes back out the van. "Kipp I don't think it is dog poop.  Come out here and take a look." 
Me: "You know what, I believe you."
Her: "No you need to come out here and see this."

I will just say it was not dog poop.  Matter of fact I am not sure it was poop at all.  It was clear and gel like.  If was an animal, it was an internal part.  Which part I don't know.  If was not an animal I really do not want to know what it was...ever.  We bagged up the shoes and threw them in the big trash can. 

Agatha spent the next 30-45 minutes using every cleaner we owned getting the substance out of the van.  When she came in the house she was laughing.  "What's so funny?" I asked. 

It occurred to us about the same time, it was not the waiter/server.  It was not the man we had left a handsome tip for personal hygiene products.  It was not the emotional unstable man holding his upper lip in embarrassment.  He was probably appalled to see a father that would embarrass his daughter by making her eat lunch in a restaurant in soiled britches while he blamed it on a empty booth.  It was not him, it was us!  We were the ones that smelled.  We were the ones the people in line were looking at wondering which one of us had pooped our pants.  It is us that can never go back to that restaurant as long as that waiter/server works there.  We were the cafeteria mystery meat.

The moral to this story...if the stink on somebody else is following you...


Buckskins Rule said...

Heh!! I suggest you never step foot in that restaurant again. They probably have your family on the "do not serve" list on the counter.

Modern Day Redneck said...

I enjoyed the story and could relate. Thanks for the laugh.

Kipp said...

BR - ain't that the truth! :) they probably had to have a professional cleaning company come to clean the floors. LOL!
Many thanks to you for the shout out on your blog.

MDR - Thanks! I am curious to which part you can relate too... ;)

Donna Perugini said...

We were told to scrape the 'dog-type-stuff' off the bottoms of our shoes if we'd stepped into some.

It just hit me while reading this, that as kids we would pull out a dinner knife from the silverware drawer to do the dog-stuff scraping. I'm amazed I lived to be an adult since the kids in our family were also the dish washers (by hand) which included the 'dog-scraping tool'.

Anonymous said...

So funny! I would love to hear this from the waiters point of view. I bet you could come up with that! Grin!!

The worst smell I ever stepped in was at a dump. It looked like mud but reeked worse than sewage. It was a slushy conglomeration of putrid organic waste that I could not get out of my nostrils for days. I too had to throw away my shoes. YUK!

I really like cafeteria food, but frankly, you've ruined it for me for a little while anyway. But, the read was well worth it! Next time I smell something bad, I'll check my shoes first.

Kipp said...

Donna - how funny! Hopefully that family tradition no longer exists.

PAMO - If he has a blog I am sure it is on there. :)
"slushy conglomeration of putrid organic waste" ...nice. I will be in my room with a dictionary if anybody needs me.

EmptyNester said...

That was awesome! Hilarious! I loved it1

SherilinR said...

wow, kipp, you guys were the smelly people! and maybe it was good that it was clear, at least there won't be any visual reminders of the horror.
i think the worst odor i've had to deal with is my cats anal gland problems. we call it butt juice & i swear they use it as a weapon like a skunk. dirty, dirty kitties!
great story! i've been crazy busy & i'm trying to catch up on some blog reading today.

Kipp said...

EmptyNester - thank you. :)

Sherilin - I am so glad I do not have a cat. Pimples, hair balls, butt juice...people say, "they take care of themselves". They have fooled these people.
Thanks for catching up.

SherilinR said...

i know better. they do not take care of themselves, but at least you can leave them home alone for a couple days without having to pay someone to come in like you would with a dog.
p.s. my word verification right now is "lityllat". i'm pretty sure that's "kittycat" written by a young child with a lisp.

RottenAnn said...

Are you really sure that you got rid of the shoes...I could swear you smelled a little funny today...

Kipp said...

RottenAnn - I am sure; we put them in the big trash. That was probably the chicken supreme nachos from lunch.

By the way, I walked into a fog in your office the other day...although my eyes were watering, I did not want to say anything to embarrass you or anything...oops... :)