Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)
Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Big Big Salad

I hate when you go somewhere new, and you're the only person who doesn't know The Rules.

The other day I went to a salad place to get some lunch. It was pretty cool- you got you're own bowl and tongs, and went around the servery things getting what you wanted. Then you took the bowl to a counter where they put some chicken and dressings on, and put it in a take away container.

It looked like a complex system, so I stood outside for a bit, watching other people in order to work out the protocol. It looked do-able, so I went in and got a bowl. This was the beginning of my downfall.

The bowls were those massive stainless steel ones. Maybe this is a male thing, or maybe it's just me being greedy, but the way my mind works is, if you give me a big bowl, I'm going to fill it. So I begin conquering the serveries.

There are three types of lettuce, so I get all three. A few cheeses, so I get all of them. And so on. About mid way, I'm getting a bit concerned. This is one big salad, and I've not used a lot of discretion as to what goes with what. It's kind of looking like a Caesar Garden Green Spanish Greek Salad. With a Cosmopolitan Modern Australian twist. And Asian overtones.

For the first time, I look at the person behind me. It's a girl, and maybe it's a female thing, or maybe it's her ungreediness, but that massive bowl is looking decidedly empty. It's a picture of zen-like restraint. A bit of rocket, a quarter of a tomato. Three croutons. And a bean. She looks at my bowl, then at me. Then at my bowl again. I detect a vague disgusted sneer flash across her mouth.

Anyway, I eventually get to the counter, and sense many eyes looking my way. I'm aware of my give-away 'yes, I'm an idiot' expression, so I try to affect a new one, to disguise it. I go for the nonchalant 'yeah, this is a massive salad, but it's not just for me, it's for seven of us back at work'.

The person at the counter assesses the amount in the bowl, and looks to the three sizes of container available. She sighs, grabs the Jumbo, and rolling up her sleeves, attempts to stuff my contents in there.

It's hard going. Fetta becomes bosom pals with tomato. A bean pierces half an egg. The container is wall to wall filled, no air pockets anywhere. It's time to put the lid on. She needs all her weight, and some sort of ancient martial art to get it closed.

Bending at the knees to prevent back injury, she lifts my ubersalad and sends me on my way. A lot of weight is removed from my wallet as a result, but this helpfully makes way for the seven tonnes of lettuce (3 kinds) my small frame must now bear.

And so I add the salad place to the ever expanding list of places I must never go to again.


Dawn Merz said...

Hilarious Ben!! I shouldn't go there either, except that while reading your post, I began extremely hungry for a salad! My equivalent to your salad bowl is a mexican fajita,when you have one wrap and PILE it with beef, lettuce, tomato, salsa, refried beans, sour cream and guacamole and then cannot even begin to wrap it up. I'd better go and get something to eat. I am feeling very hungry now for salad AND mexican food.

Traxy said...

Well, if they give you a big bowl, why not fill it? Wouldn't it have been a lot easier if they had just provided you with the different sized containers to put the things into straight away? That's what they do with the salad bar at Morrisons (supermarket). You pick a plastic container of the size you want, then you cram it full (we do, anyway) and close it and then you can pay. So you always know how much space you've got.

That being said: Mmmm salad!

Have a nice weekend! :)

Ben McLaughlin said...

Dawn- oh yeah, a fajita is so easy to overpack. You wouldn't want a scrawning one though anyway.

Traxy- exactly, if they give me a giants bowl, what do they expect?