Thursday, February 26, 2009

DoeS JiMMy BuFFeT eaT aT BuFFeTS?

Meals on our vacation were served in a large dining hall, buffet style.

I love a good breakfast buffet while I am traveling for business (I call them mouth-brothels. No reason to leave your pants zipped). But buffet style eating three times a day when you have small children is a whole different swedish meatball. This is how it works:

First you take the small hand of your offspring and lead them from station to station.
"Look!" you say enthusiastically, "Smoked Salmon! Fresh lamb with Rosemary! Veal Piscata!" Every time you exclaim with delight over some new delicacy, your small child will turn to you and say:
"I want Chicken Nuggets."

Then HALLELUJAH you figure out there are PLAIN NOODLES that you can make with butter and salt! Except the butter is on the other side of the room and it takes you two tries until you figure out how to get it to melt to the satisfaction of your child. After you plop the child down at the table, she will look at the plate and burst into tears because the noodles are curly and she wanted straight spaghetti. You end up agreeing to let her eat a single dinner roll for supper. Then you go in search of your own meal, remembering you had spotted Beef Wellington at one of the stations.

You return to the table with plate and refreshing beverage in hand, only to find that she is finished with her dinner and wants to hit THE DESSERT BAR. You tell her she has to wait until everyone is done with their dinner, which is hardly enjoyable because every two seconds a small voice asks "ARE YA DONE YET? CAN WE GET DESSERT YET?"

So finally you and your spouse put your forks down and go with the children to the dessert bar where they spend fifteen minutes deciding that they really don't want peach cobbler and that they will have the ice cream from the softee machine which THEY MUST OPERATE ALL BY THEMSELVES.

You return to the table only to find that an over zealous service person has cleared your plate.

This was how it went for us breakfast, lunch and dinner for seven days with the exception of the second night of our vacation:
In search of this elusive thing called dinner, Bananna in tow, just as we passed the bread bar, it happened...

She only had time to gasp the words "THE CHEESE...THE CHEESE!!!!" before she vomited in the middle of the dining hall. I looked around, desperate for help, and finding none, left her to guard her own small pool of puke while I sought napkins. Then I tried to mop up the mess while avoiding being trampled to death by a group of Aussies on their way to the shrimp station.

(Banana spent the night curled around an ice bucket-and the whole next day inside the hotel room. Because we pack stomach bugs like other people pack underwear.)

The problem after her recovery was an abnormal FEAR OF CHEESE. For the rest of our vacation, she would tremble at the mere sight of cheddar, fall to pieces as the whiff of a rouquefort, ask to leave the room if she spotted some Jarlsberg. We spent the next week trying to avoid ALL THINGS CHEESE.

We thought she would recover when our trip was over-but it looks like we won't be visiting Wisconsin anytime soon. Every night she makes us check under her bed for Muenster.


rem2010 said...

Well its a good way to keep a trim waist, even while eating at a buffet, if you spend the entire time running around and don't get to eat.

Maybe that's been the secret all these years to avoid overeating at buffets--bring small children.

Thanks for the smile.

sheila said...

I'm thinking that in order to prevent myself from overindulging at the mouth brothel on my next trip, I will bring Bananna. I'm a bit of a sympathy puker so if she does puke I will either be right there with her or it will put me off the meal entireley.

(I love Mouth Brothel, & will now steal it for my own use, all the while giving you credit)

sheila said...

I'm thinking that in order to prevent myself from overindulging at the mouth brothel on my next trip, I will bring Bananna. I'm a bit of a sympathy puker so if she does puke I will either be right there with her or it will put me off the meal entireley.

(I love Mouth Brothel, & will now steal it for my own use, all the while giving you credit)

Jennifer said...

Poor Banana. I hate barfing. Let alone in public. And over cheese. That just sucks.

Bj in Dallas said...

That made me think about when M2 puked Swedish Meatballs and Noodles all over me, I mean hair, clothes, I was covered. It has a large odor of Parmesan cheese, and I couldn't face it for years after that. Still have moments.

And YAY! I don't have to peruse the buffet with her anymore, and get to the end of the line and she has one piece of fruit and a roll. It will PASS I promise, and you will feel like a rite of passage (for YOU and SHOM) has occurred when they do it themselves. And they don't puke.
Good luck to ya

Jane! said...

Well, now think of the pounds you didn't gain!
We gave up the all-inclusive idea long ago. With teenagers you can rent the condo, pack lots of peanut butter and mac&cheese and let them make their own dinner while mom and dad go check out all the hot dining spots. Saves money AND angst.
Now I'm hungry.....

Mambinki said...

Doo doo ch! (that is that drum sound after a funny joke).

I went to one of those inclusive things once and had issues because they have an open bar all the time too. Ugh! The tequila!

Kr√ęg said...

I think you and I have very different definitions of the expression "mouth brothel".

3carnations said...

Other than the whole vomit picture in my head, that buffet looks delicious!

kwr221 said...

Is that cheesecake in the foreground of the breakfast buffet?

Can I come with you next time?

I promise I won't puke.

Well, except for maybe after a day of too much rum and snorkeling on a Caribbean catamaran. But no, I'm not blogging about that.

kwr221 said...

although Banana's buffet puking reminds me of the time we went to Florida when Number One Son was potty training and had a stomach bug.

Do you know how embarrassing it is when a little tiny poop ball falls of out your 3 year old's very loose swim trunks?

In a restaurant?

Granted, it was in a wood plan floored open-air bear bar, but STILL. I couldn't just leave it there.


GiGi said...

Ah, but did you pilfer any food for the kids, for later in the day? My husband and I loaded up on bananas and little boxes of cereal for our spawn every morning.

Rachel@just another day in paradise said...

so sorry to hear she was sick. I hate buffets for that reason. . .plus the whole germ issue. (Who else has touched that handle? Where have their hands been?)

OHN said...

At our home it was Prego sauce. I couldn't smell that brand for 15 years without wanting to puke.

Kids can ruin a good meal.

zakary said...

Buffets cause me to also vomit. I imagine there are poop germs all over the handles of the utensils touching the food.

And Zoe had the stomach flu once when she was 1 and was sleeping with me and puked on my face. While I was asleep. Puke. In my face.

Ruby said...

I don't care what y'all say about germs, buffets are good!

Lorrie, I absolutely adore puns and the Muenster one, well, that was PURE GENIUS!

Nonnee said...

Ruby - I think you are the only one who got it!

You and Lorrie are genii!

Bj in Dallas said...

oh pardonne, I got it. I wish for Muenster under my bed, because I know there is also probably wine within reach......
And if I saw Edam, it would be Gouda.
Cheese has cool names, come to think of it,
I would LOVE to meet a guy named Monterrey Jack.

rpc said...

We all got it. It was a Brieze. You Rock For iT.

jenx67 said...

This is like stand-up blogging. So incredibly funny. My oldest sister would love this. I need to send her over here to your blog. I mean, I have gone through this exact scenario 100 times - up and down, up and down. I refuse to eat at Golden Corral, Western Sizziln' etc., b/c I spend the entire dinner fetching food. And, oh -- the ice cream machine. What a disaster. My favorite story - Sullivan sampling cakes off the dessert bar - taking bites and putting them back. WONDERFUL.

Love the last line - muenster. Man, cheese throw up is even worse than hot dog throw up. I can't believe I just wrote that.

Spatula said...

Oh no, poor Banana, felled by cheese.

I think it's in every kid's contract to do a surprise puke in the awkwardest setting possible, though. :-D

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le @ thirdontheright said...

where was the child minding activity .... dinner alone might have been a nice treat !

hope the cheese fear fades soonest - hugs le

Sheri said...

Oh, you captured the buffet experience with children perfectly. LOL

Oh, and I had an irrational fear of strawberries when I came down with a stomach bug after eating strawberry shortcake. I was "allergic" to strawberries for two decades following it. Seriously, I have only been able to eat them in the last 5 years.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kwr221 said...


kwr221 said...

Wow. I think I want a piano now.

LuckyMe said...

We went to a "fabulous" Christmas buffet in Salt Lake with our 3 kids. Paid about $25 apiece for them to eat rolls. They had the nerve to tack on a 20% gratuity for a Buffet! We had no idea we had double tipped until we got home. Hello, Master Card?

Love the muenster! Poor Banana. I had a little girl throw up on my feet in front of the class last week. Not really, I got out of the way damn fast. But now that'll be her claim to fame.

At least you'll never have to see those people again.

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