Friday, January 28, 2011

A Fortune Unlike Any Other

My wife being under the weather this past weekend and with nothing really to eat in the fridge, I did what any good husband would do. I picked up some takeout Chinese. In our town, we have two Chinese places to choose from, one that serves really good food and one that has a really cheap takeout buffet price. When ordering off the menu, we always go to the one that serves the good food but when we get takeout buffet, the quality of mass quantities of food sitting over heaters for undetermined lengths of time equalizes the taste a bit and so we go on price. For $8.55, I can load up an 8" x 8" x 3" Styrofoam container with as much food as it can hold plus get another round Styrofoam cup that I can fill with soup, desert, or even more food. The place with the good menu food charges by the pound for their takeout buffet.

Like almost everything else in life, with a cheap price comes trade-offs. While the other place has a very friendly wait staff that makes you feel right at home, the cheap buffet place has a wait staff that makes me want to crawl over the counter and poke their eyes out with a pair of wooden chopsticks every time I do business in the place. I could fill weeks of blog posts on stories from this place but I won't, unless provoked. This time wasn't bad other than the kid who took my money and handed me a Styrofoam box and cup acted about as disinterested in living as a living human being could. After he tossed the containers onto the counter, he trudged back towards the kitchen with the soles of his feet never leaving the floor and disappeared. Had I wanted a pair of chopsticks or complimentary fortune cookies, I would have been out of luck. Since I wanted some fortune cookies and I really don't care what they think of me since I don't like them, I simply reached over the empty counter and helped myself to some before heading to the buffet to load up my containers.

Call me frugal but rice that has been sitting in a pot on a buffet line is never very good and besides, it takes up a lot of room in those Styrofoam boxes so I always put rice in the cooker at home so it is hot, fresh and waiting for me when I get back and allows me to fit even more food in those boxes. So with the boxes loaded up, my wife and I enjoyed a nice dinner for two with plenty of leftovers, which at long last brings me to the point of this blog. The next day as I was packing my lunch for work, I saw one of those fortune cookies sitting on our table and threw it in my lunch bucket. Later at work, I couldn't help but laugh when I finally read the fortune:


What the heck kind of fortune is that? Did it mean 'illegal' alien or one of the green kind with tentacles and ten eyes? Also, how can they possibly be any more vague by adding 'of some sort?"  Most fortunes always seem to tell you something that will make you feel happy or at least makes you wish it would come true. I'm not sure either would be true no matter what kind of alien of some sort appeared before me. Even trying out the 'in bed' theory of adding those two words to the end of the fortune made me feel less than comfortable about my fortune. Any theories?

5 comments:

R. Sherman said...

When my kids were younger, they always got a kick out of telling their friends, their mother was a bona fide alien.

BTW, I love Asian food but refuse to patronize buffets for the reasons you cite. I never order off the menu at a buffet place either, because I worry they'll just fill my plate with something that's been sitting around. The place in our town makes stuff only to order and you can see into the kitchen while it's made. Very good and very inexpensive.

Cheers.

Ed said...

R. Sherman - Unfortunately we don't have that luxury in this town as both Chinese places have buffets but in my experience, if you order something not on the buffet off of their menu, it is pretty tasty. But if I had my druthers, I would still go with Vietnamese like the one a few blocks away from our apartment in the urban jungle. No buffet there and everything I've had has been superb.

sage said...

We have a buffet here--but if I want chinese, I drive 15 miles north where there is an excellent place--and no buffet! Funny fortune, reminds me of the beginning of the book "handling sin" where fortune cookies from hell are distributed to a civic club, causing strains on marriages and friendships...

malor said...

LOL!

TC said...

Ooh, that's a great idea about rice! I've never thought of that, but definitely smart.