I was off site last week, facilitating a large, annual conference. One of the highlights, according to my greedy colleagues, is the free, buffet lunch that the conference facility offers. The event, a three day off site retreat, is in its 15th year of existence. It’s normally held in mid to late March and beginning in April, the folks at my organization begin discussing the lunch buffet. This talk reaches a fever pitch in the days leading up to the meeting.
All the chatter about the buffet is lost on me because buffets are not my thing, for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, I’m a germaphobe. Yep, the idea of buffets freak me out. Too many nasty hands touching too many tongs, handles, trays and everything else. Too many people breathing, sneezing and coughing too close to the food that I might consume. And, I work with these knuckleheads. I’ve seen them exit the bathroom without washing their hands. Use the tongs after you? Not if you paid me. I’ve worked in the events industry and inside a catering kitchen long enough to know that stuff happens, but I’d rather not knowingly invite the nastiness into my world. Ick!
Secondly, it’s an excuse for gluttony and that’s just not a part of my life anymore. I can admit that in college, the idea of the buffet at the Golden Corral used to make me giddy with excitement. We were paupers and all you can eat for $9.99 was a dream come true, especially when we realized that Zip.loc freezer bags in our backpacks made for fantastic to go platters to transport our midnight snacks! It’s no wonder that I gained about 80 lbs during my college years. I lived and breathed “excess”, but no more.
Thirdly, since have gastric bypass surgery a couple of years ago, my tummy is about the size of a small grapefruit and I couldn’t partake in much on a buffet even if I wanted to.
So, although I was not excited about the buffet lunch, the facility normally has a delicious selection of soups. On the first day of the conference, I walked into the dining room and saw a long line near the soup and salad area. Unsure what to make of it, I joined the line as it crept ever so slowly toward the soups. When participants got to the corner, they seemed to become frozen and then they began talking excitedly about what lie before them. I could not understand the hold up, until I got to the corner of the bar.
There, perched on the corner, in a large, shiny, stainless steel bowl, was a mountain of bacon. I, too, was stunned. Amidst placards touting “Healthy Choices”, “Veggies are GREAT!” and “Steam It!”, was the biggest bowl of bacon I’d ever seen on a salad bar. I love bacon so much, that I almost reversed my stance on buffets. I was so stunned by this little piece of heaven lying before me, that I had to take a picture with my camera phone (sorry for the quality).
Long live the other white meat! BACON, BACON, BACON!!