Ally Goes to the Chinese Buffet (pronounced buff-ay, not boof-ay)Submitted by AllyJeans at 2005-10-29 16:56:05 EDT
Rating: 1.75 on 49 ratings (49 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
I just pressed play on my writing music: “Hearts on Fire” by Hammerfall.
It’s a great song. The greatest, I’d say, but I wouldn’t try to get into some argument over it. It’s like arguing over vibrators.
“This one buzzes the theme to Miami Vice”
“Yeah, but, this one is blue.”
You can’t win.
Let’s just say that you can fuck to “Hearts on Fire,” laugh the entire time, and still meet up with the big O. That’s a tricky feat. There’s only one song that’s better and it still hasn’t been recorded. It’s the one that’ll let you laugh and orgasm in the forth dimension.
Sadly, scientist rock stars have had trouble nailing the melody. It might take years, even decades. When that day comes, I’ll be lucky if I can get out of my wheelchair without a ‘gina burp flipping up my nightie.
Sorry about that. I have a story here.
Let me lay a little background, because people come up with these things, and you don’t buy them. The motivation doesn’t seem very clear. Here’s my motivation: I only had an hour for my lunch break and some douche named Todd was paying for his lunch in nickels.
Shit, that doesn’t help. Let me hit the way back machine, circa 1987.
I was in elementary school and having lunch with my friends in the cafeteria. I remember we were talking about who would win in a fight between My Little Pony and Rainbow Brite. I was making the case for Rainbow, due to her extensive reach and magical power belt.
Just as I was about to stand on my chair and demonstrate her full height on Starlite (her magical horsy), some idiot with a sleeveless leather jacket pushed me to the side and spit on my lunch…a toasted tuna fish sandwich. He started laughing while the loogy was in midair.
I couldn’t describe how pissed I was. Hell, I was more than pissed. I was furious!
ALLY DOESN’T LIKE SPIT ON HER SAMMICH!
So, with all the restraint I could muster, I turned around and belted the kid right in his toothless grin. He stumbled and started rubbing his face.
“It was only a joke, Ally.”
“Oh yeah, I got a joke for you.”
“What?” He backed away.
“The government!” I leaned forward and punched him in the balls. He fell to the ground and started wailing. The teachers heard the commotion and came over. I told them what happened and they gave me my first sit down. The funny thing is, I didn’t even know what it meant at the time. It was my Dad’s joke. I figured: if it’s cool for Earl, it’s cool for Ally (I ad-libbed the crotch shot. It was supposed to be the shoulder.)
Nowadays, lunches have become even more important to me, since I rarely have the energy to get up early and eat breakfast. If I miss my lunch I’m crabby the rest of the day, and nobody needs to see crabby Ally.
Which brings me to last Tuesday.
Noon hit and I was starving. I threw my work in the air and made like roadrunner. The trip included a sprint out of my office, a hop over a mail cart, a harried dash down four flights of stairs, a tuck and roll past a speeding minivan and a back-burning slide under two guys carrying a plane of glass. I could have gotten their quicker, but I would have had to elbow people out of the elevator and stiff-arm a group of tourists in the lobby.
I like my chances in a rumble, but I ain’t no Shaft.
Anyway, it turned out that I didn’t need to run. The restaurant was packed—overflowing like a bathroom on “ladies night.” In fact, I saw some tipsy girl wander past me and squat behind the coat rack. I offered her a handkerchief, but she declined.
After a half hour, I still hadn’t made it to the standing group—the people at the counter. I stared at one, an older man who was coughing into his jacket, and hoped he would have a heart attack. That’s what happens when the hunger gets you. Your Id starts taking over and you lose your control. A couple of times my hands crept for a jug of tea. Each time I was a heartbeat from bashing it over his head. I’m still amazed that I found the strength to pull away.
With 20 minutes left, my will power was proving exceptionally strong and I was finally at the counter. Just one person was ahead of me, the aforementioned “Todd.”
Now Todd had been standing in this line like me. He had waited and watched the transactions like me. Yet, somehow, he didn’t know that he was supposed to pay up front. The buffet instituted this rule, because many of the local kids had been skipping out without paying. I can understand that. Most people could. Not Todd.
He started getting belligerent. “I’m not paying until I eat; this isn’t how you run a business; let me see the person in charge!” He was like every obnoxious asshole I’ve ever met. All that was missing was the bushy moustache and the manly odor of Brut.
When the manager came over, Todd upped the ante, and started pointing and flapping like a chicken. Who knew that seven bucks meant that much to anyone? After he turned three shades of red and wasted more of my precious time, he finally relented.
No problem. I had 15 minutes to eat. I could grab a bite and stuff a few crab rangoons down my blouse. I shrugged it off and started hopping in place, psyching myself up.
Then the bastard had the gall to pay in change—with a bag of fucking nickels.
I swear this guy could have been David Fucking Copperfield. He wore a tailored suit, looked exceptionally bulgeless, and then “poof,” he waved his hand and pulled a five-pound bag of coins out of his ass. I couldn’t believe it. Was the fucker on his way to Coinstar? Does he think he’s Charles Bronson and that he needs to swing a heavy sack of money for defense?
Hell if I know. What I do know is that it takes a long time to count $6.95 in rusty goddamn nickels. I had to do something.
“Excuse me, sir?”
“Do you mind if I go in front of you. My lunch hour is almost up.”
“So is mine.” He smirks. “Wait your turn.”
“You’ll still be counting long after I’ve paid and sat down.”
I pushed up an imaginary sleeve. “Look Scrooge, if you don’t let me by you, I’ll cram a handful of that shit up your money bin.”
I actually said that. Probably the stupidest threat I’ve ever made in my life. Somehow, he didn’t laugh.
“Oh you will.”
I stood tall. “Try me.”
He stared at me while I cracked my right index finger.
“Go ahead.” He gestured ahead of him.
It was a definite Rocky moment. I wanted to climb the tables with a two hundred pound log on my back. I wanted to do reverse crunches off the pagoda chandelier. I was pumped.
And yes, I could hear “Hearts on Fire” playing somewhere.
Utterly euphoric, I dropped my coat at the table and decided to set a record for speed eating. Why not. I was in the zone. I ran to the buffet and started grabbing food from every bin on the steam table. I was like Bluto in animal house. I just kept pushing my tray along with my hips while I dumped piles of steaming, artery clogging goodness in front of me. When I finished, I went to my table and ate the whole thing—right down to the red-patterned china. I felt great; I felt invincible. I made it back to my office with 2 minutes to spare.
It was a pyrrhic victory.
An hour later, I threw up in my wastebasket. Then I threw up at home. Then I hurled for the next three days afterwards.
Today is the first day I’ve felt all right. I don’t have any regrets. As far as Todd knew, I had a spectacular meal. That leaves me feeling warm inside.