Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Olive Garden of Earthly Atrocities
So what’s up with breadsticks? Is it just too arduous a task to pick up a knife and cut a slice off a bona fide, full-sized bread loaf? You’re sitting at a restaurant, having been seated after the toy the teenager gave you finally started flashing and things start showing up, the gifts of vapid-eyed clones in white shirts. Glasses are soon filled with semi-clear liquid resembling water and a tri-fold, laminated document roughly the size of the original Declaration of Independence is offered before your eyes. Obligingly, you accept the tome in both hands, suddenly realizing that the colorful art-deco scrolling might better be understood with the aid of the spectacles parked neatly in your shirt pocket, a venue presently totally inaccessible without risking dropping the weighty menu across the elaborate place setting situated directly in front of you— to call attention to one’s self while still in the formative stages of meal-seating is definitely a social faux pas, an egregious assault upon the principles of decorum so laboriously drilled into you during the ubiquitous Be nice, God damn it! training received in one’s formative years.
At this point, having abandoned any hope of actually making an entrée choice, you opt to acquiesce to the server’s request, softly announcing in a voice loud enough for only her ears, “I’ll have what she’s having… without the onions”. Precisely at this moment—having successfully dispatched the server to the next position with your menu in hand— you survey the table, taking into account the plastic containers filled with blue, yellow and pink packets of sugar and quasi-sugar, lazy-Susan supplied with various salad dressing options, vase with faux-flowers only slightly more cheesy than the salad dressing, and a large sculptured-glass depiction of some un-named Greek or Roman god complete with arms hacked off above the elbows… when you see it. There, in plain view of a cross-generational audience, sat a basket of phallic symbols roughly the color of sunbathers after a week of relaxation on the nude beaches of St. Tropez—the breadsticks.
Worse, someone now picked up the basket and began offering the little dandies to the guests seated around the table. As I watched each person pick one off the pile, the basket approaching my position at a rate I found uncomfortably rapid, I had to decide whether to provender my love of all things doughy or acknowledge my repudiation of all things phallic not actually attached to my torso. It occurred to me that somewhere Dr. Freud was, no doubt, currently getting quite a laugh at my expense.
As the basket appeared before me, I merely smiled at the donor, a disinterested woman who expressed no aversions to the monsters having placed two upon her plate, and scotched back in my seat, allowing her the opportunity to pass the delicacies to the person seated to my direct left, even if I did have to nudge him to accept the basket without my intermediary assistance. If he was willing to touch them, that was his decision and I would accept it without comment, although I did lift my ass off the chair and move it slightly closer to the promiscuous harlot sitting to my right. Perhaps she understood my meager smile as I inched closer, but judging from the look of horror she emanated, I tend to doubt it.
Refusing to acknowledge my desire to ask the server for a slice of plain bread, I sat in silence and watched people spread butter on their somewhat-undersized erections and bite down, ripping a hunk off the stick and causing me to cringe in mercy-pain. Through it all, I maintained my poise although I did note those who seemed to take the most pleasure from the bread/penis-munching experience. In the future, I would take special care to avoid any situations involving shaking hands with them or standing at an adjoining urinal.
Apparently I do know what's up with breadsticks. Bon appetite!