Thursday, July 31, 2008


I'm fairly certain I'm either getting sick or I ate something last night I shouldn't have. Either way, I suffer from a malaise.

There are those who would blame the hours I spent last night drinking beer on a boat in the hot sun. They are wrong. That was a balm for my damaged soul.

There are others who would blame the time I spent this morning reviewing potential medical and disability plans for my employer. While that did not help, my misery predated that particular horror.

No, I am quite sure I am once again being smited by external forces. The only question is whether it's a food-borne illness.

I suspect it is. Dinner was at a lakeside restaurant that worries more about the looks of its waitresses than the cleanliness of its cooks. It didn't help that I have a tendency to order the weirdest thing on any given menu, which in the case of last night's glorified sports bar was a barbecued bison sandwich. I'd bet the restaurant doesn't sell a lot of them. The meat probably came from one of Buffalo Bill's original victims.

I've gotten in trouble this way before. It's not uncommon for me to end up poking at a plate of unidentifiable material, trying to decide whether I like it, while my companions happily eat their steaks and chicken.

I even had a waiter refuse to serve me once. It was at a Thai restaurant, a little dive tucked behind an old storefront.

"I'll have that," I said, pointing at the menu, which thoughtfully contained photos of each of the entrees.

"That?" asked the incredulous waiter.

"Yeah. It looks great," I said.

"You're an idiot," said the friend who had joined me for lunch.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because it looks like it came from the Mariana Trench," my friend said.

It may have. I'm pretty sure it was a fish and it had lots of teeth and something protruding from its head.

"So?" I asked. "I bet it's delicious. Plus I can bring the head home to show my kids."

"You can't have that," the waiter told me.

"What?" I asked.

"Americans don't like that. I won't serve it to you."

"Really, I'll like it."

"No you won't," said the waiter, looking to my friend for support.

"He's right," my friend told me.

"You're both nuts," I said. "How could something that disgusting not be tasty?"

"Try this instead," said the waiter, pointing to a photo of a normal looking fish.

"That looks like a bass," I said. "What's the point?"

"It's very good," the waiter assured me. "And they're quite fierce."

"But I want the other one," I whined.

"If you like this dish, next time you can try the other one."

"That's fair," said my friend. "Don't be stubborn."

"Please?" I said.

"No. Next time," said the waiter.

"Alright," I said.

"You won't be sorry," said the waiter.

"I already am," I said.


fish said...

I have the exact same tendency in restaurants. When I was in Beijing, I ended up ordering a dish that, as far as I can tell, was incredibly spicy little bits of cartilage. At least I hope it was cartilage.

Kathleen said...

awesome. that happened to my friend at a Korean restaurant. But he persevered and got them to serve him the Korean bacon. He was very happy and the waitress was quite impressed that he ate the whole thing.

Jennifer said...

Dear Lord fish... you ate yourself! Did you go to an automat??

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I had an associate at another firm that did a restaurant for a family of immigrants from China; in gratitude, they took her to China for two weeks in the 90s.

Keep in mind, these were Restaurateurs. So rather than eating relatively standard fare (which at the time was still pretty unfamiliar to western tastes) they would go out of the way to try whatever new and exciting things other chefs were 'experimenting' with.

So more than once, she was presented with some indescribable mess of mucilage from odd and wonderful sea creatures, quivering slightly on a bed of rice or greens....

She also said she lost 15 pound. "No thank you, I'm full" was her most used phrase.

But I think Snag was poisoned by his mom. We warned him. He should have stuck to the moose, or at least the cannibalism implied in his last post title.

Chuckles said...

Vacation Rules apply here: order something new everyday and eat it all. If there is no English translation available, so much the better.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

You know what the Chinese food in China?!


AG kills AG self.