Saturday, April 15, 2006

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

My apologies for not updating frequently but it was Spring Break and the family and I just returned from Las Vegas. I had intended to write while there, but hey, it's Las Vegas....

I have to comment on something, however. I never intended this blog to be a personal online journal, but there's something my family and I encounter a lot in Reno and Las Vegas that has just started to bother the hell out me, and it's something I've never told the rest of the family. But I have to come out now and tell the world (or at least the 20 people who visit my blog each day!) how I fell about...buffets. My kids in particular love to go to buffets, especially those at the bigger casinos: Nugget, Atlantis, Peppermill, Aladdin, Tropicana, get the picture, we've been to quite a few. But I've come to realize that buffets are the epitomy of American largesse, greed, rudeness, self-rightousness and above all, gluttony. I've never seen so many people, packing so many pounds, move so fast to get to the last Chinese egg roll. Maybe it's because I've spent so much time in rural and bush Africa, seeing friends go without a decent meal for days and never complain that this is starting to get to me. Last week I encountered a relatively rotund older woman and her husband rudely cutting in front of people to get to a particular food item. (I would have understood if they had been going for the Tandoori Chicken kabobs, which the staff was having trouble keeping stocked; but they were aiming for the mounds of mashed potatoes and fried chicken!). Forgive me, but these two could have fed a pride of lions for a year, yet they had that look of panic on their faces like Death was on their heels if they didn't make their food quota for the day. I was thinking the whole time I would have loved to have airlifted most of the patrons in the place to the middle of the Kalahari just to see how many would make it to Gaborone on foot.

Now look, I'll be the first to admit hypocrisy. I'm overweight myself (althought not nearly as much as the majority of buffet patrons I encounter - plus I'm actively working on it). And I still go to buffets, so my actions are counter to my words on the subject. Nor am I against overweight people. But really, how much food does one person need?

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