Friday, September 19, 2008

Best of Times, Worst of Meals

I like my memes like I like my women: short and easy and preferably Japanese. Okay, so the metaphor didn’t work for the third one. The meme is still good. I created this one. I tag nobody, but if you fail to do it the Voodou death curse of Zorzan shall be upon thee. Over a long enough time period (say, a century) all of my death curses are fatal.

Best Day
When I was about nine, my parents took my friend and me to Opryland USA. If you’re not familiar with Opryland, it was the most awesomest theme park ever ever ever until they demolished it and built a mega shopping mall in its place, because America just doesn’t have enough of those. Anyway, instead of making us stay with them, my parents released us at the gate. We immediately ran for all the rides we were supposed to be too young for, but the minimum-wage high school operators didn’t stop us. It was my first taste of ultimate freedom – nobody telling me what to do, just me and a pal and about 200 acres of rides.

Best Meal
鳥あどぼふ. This is not quite the greatest food I have ever eaten, but it’s close. What tips the balance is that Kira took time from her busy schedule to travel from the redneck hell she lives in (one of the Carolinas, I think) to come to most awesome Atlanta just to feed and take care of me while I was sick. So, not only did I not have to make it, I didn’t even pay for it. And the taste was so fantastic I still think about that meal even long after I’ve forgotten what The Melting Pot or Emeril’s tastes like. The secret ingredient is probably crack.

Worst Day
During the last war in Iraq, we were told we would be given at least twenty-four hours notice before our unit would be called to move. Ha ha ha – those wacky Army officers and their sense of humor. Anyway, I later found out our division HQ had forty-eight hours, but by the time the information trickled down to us we got…(wait for it)…forty MINUTES. Word came in while I was returning from patrol, having had two non-consecutive hours of sleep over the previous two days, and we were ordered to move immediately. We had to abandon most of our gear, and I wasn’t allowed to grab anything since an officer ordered me to prep his damaged vehicle for him. And then it rained on us – IN THE DESSERT! Then I spent the next two days without any further sleep commanding an armored vehicle without any instructions from our so-called leaders because my vehicle had an Air Force guy onboard, and they had a “friendly rivalry” going with everyone who wasn’t infantry. I count those four days as one since I couldn’t stop to sleep.

Worst Meal
While living in Birmingham, a small family-owned Lebanese restaurant opened near me. Being in the poor part of Birmingham (which is like saying “being in the damp section of the bottom of the ocean”), foreign food was greeted with all the enthusiasm of exploratory rectal surgery. I tried it and loved it (the Lebanese food, not the surgery) – everything was perfection, and cheap to boot. Then I took my mother (possibly the most miserable person alive or dead) (I’m hoping for the latter). She recently had an epiphany during a visit with her mother. After listening to her mother gripe incessantly about everything and make racist remarks (even loudly using the word “nigger” in a church with black people), she decided she was going to make an effort to be a more positive person. Her resolve lasted until dinner.

For some reason, the young husband and wife who made and served all the food failed to show that night. The clan patriarch, a man skilled at running the cash register, decided he could handle dinner with the help of an underaged relative (she looked about twelve) acting as waitress. The food was inedible. I’m not exaggerating when I say the salad was a bowl of dressing with some greens floating in it, and my entree (something with shrimp) was raw on one side and charred on the other. My mother did the usual – instead of complaining to the owner (who was the guy who ruined our food), she grabbed the young girl and harassed her until she sat down and cried. I reminded my mother of her vow to be nice, but she just laughed. I gave the girl a nice tip, but I’m betting that whatever she’s doing today, she’s staying the hell away from waitressing.

Did I say this was short?


SSC~ The Domestic Diva said...

What did you do when your mother yelled at this poor girl?

I have to admit if I don't get the service I contact the manager. But there is a bar I don't cross. I have never made anyone cry, I don't think?

Kira said...

Damnit, Grant! I told you not to tell anybody the secret ingredient!

SJ said...

Not short but I see you have written it in Japanese that's the same as Lebanese or is that Lesbian-only Japanese?

Anonymous said...

Your meal sounds amazing!

Your Iraq story made my throat lock and my eyes water. I saw my son in that visual and it crushed me, I hate War. I support/love/treasure the men, don't get me wrong, but I hate the war that forces them to be there no matter who the hell sent them...

I've never had Lebanese but once I had Indian that literally had chunks of curry in it and they popped like puff balls when I tried to eat it.

I think we share a mom.

NYD said...

I see no mention of えびちゃん in this meme- are we getting the real deal here?

Amazing how our parents and/or grandparents had no conception of being politically correct. I am pretty glad that I am following in their footsteps, minus the racism of course.

PBS said...

Your mother probably saved that poor young girl from a nightmare lifetime of waitressing. Wish I could have experienced Opryland, too bad it's gone now. The Worst Day (four days) just sounds really really bad. Cool meme!

Grant said...

ssc - I apologized to the girl after getting my mother to harangue the owner instead of her, but the damage was done.

kira - sorry! It just slipped out.

sj - mmmm...Japanese lesbians.

jgrrl - Lebanese is similar to Greek and other Mediterranean foods, although I liked that restaurant (usually) better than any other I've tried.

nyd - as much as I want to, I can't honestly say I've ever eaten えびちゃん or spent the day with her.

pbs - thanks - don't forget the death curse of Zorzan if you fail to do it yourself.

Anonymous said...

I love Greek and Italian...

I need you to send me all the good mojo you got for tomorrow ok babe? I got a whopper of a stupid terror going on...

I just posted it, feel free to drop by and leave alarming references at your will ♥

tiff said...

If I don't comment, will you know I didn't do that meme?

One wonders.

Grant said...

jgrrl - okay, the death curse of Zorzan is lifted. When faced with modern medical treatment, Voodou fails to horrify.

tiff - the death curse of Zorzan is automated by computer, so I don't have to follow-up. I estimate you have no longer than 60-80 years left if you don't do my meme.