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Monday, June 11, 2007

Poor Choice

I went out to a Fundraising Dinner last night, the first since my father, OB”M, died. People who came up to me and remarked about how glad I must feel to be able to come to these functions again have totally missed the boat with me. I was not missing these things at all last year.

Anyway, they put me at a table with people who were total strangers to me, and I did not attempt to communicate with them for several reasons. One, I am antisocial. Two, the music was just loud enough, and my ears just shell-shocked enough from a band practice earlier in the day, that I couldn’t hear anything any of them were saying. Three, my voice was hoarse from the rehearsal so they couldn’t hear me without my attempting a yell (CAN YOU PASS THE MARGARINE? THE MAAAARRRRGAAARINNNEEE???). And four, I’m antisocial.

Fortunately, there was mixed seating at this event, so at least I could sit next to Mrs. B, as long as I didn’t have to walk out because I was being paged by the hospital (which was ALL the time).

This was one of those events where we were given an advance choice of main courses, and I opted for the fish, thinking that I always choose the meat so why don’t I choose the fish. Well, as soon as they brought it, I realized that it was a mistake. I love all kinds of fish, with the exception of baked fish, which is of course what they brought me. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re going to bake a salmon, you might as well save everyone the trouble and just dump it straight into the garbage. I’m just sayin’. Broil it, fry it, grill it, but bake it? Phshleh.

Meanwhile, the other people at the table were getting prime rib (which looked really good), including the guy sitting next to me who apparently never showed up for the event. So I had this plate of tasteless, textureless fish in front of me, and then a plate of prime rib next to me, saying “eat me”. But then, I’m at a table of total strangers and it might seem odd if I were to suddenly switch dishes while they stared at me. Plus, what if meat-boy actually showed up?

So I figured, what the hey, it’s only $250, I’ll eat the fish. It’s going to a good cause. So I ate it. And it was…eh. But I was still hungry afterwards. And the prime rib was still sitting there, beckoning to me.

And then I’m thinking…$250? I spent $250 on this meal and I’m still freakin’ hungry?? Whass up wit dat? Nobody’s eating that meat, it’s just getting cold. They’re only going to throw it away…

So I’m going back and forth on this, and I get paged a number of times and have to go out to the lobby to answer the pages, and then I come back and the plate is still there. And I think…screw this! I’m eating the meat!

But just then, the speeches start. And I’m sitting on the side of the table with my back to the podium, meaning that all the strange people at the table are facing me and looking past me to the speaker. And it’s totally silent at this point, other than the speaker. Nobody is even eating anymore. For me to pull this plate over, and start making tinkling knife and fork noises with it (and, G-d help me, chewing noises) would be very conspicuous. Not to mention…kinda low-classed. So I just kept looking at it. And it’s possible it may have been looking back at me.

I can only imagine what would have been going through its mind, assuming it had one. “What are you looking at? Eat me already! Can’t you see I’m just sitting here getting cold? Who do you think is going to eat me? What do you think they’re going to do with me? Nobody will be taking me for lunch tomorrow! Stop being such a wuss!”

I was about to make my move when…the pager vibrated. This then became a very complex mathematical equation. It went something like this:

(Bad Fish Dinner)+(Still Hungry)-(Conspicuous Consumption)-([Boring Speech]+[Good Excuse to Walk Out])-(Urgency of Hospital Page X Random % of Actually Important)+(250WTF) = Good Fodder for Slow Monday Blog Post


Juggling Frogs said...

I think you made the right choice. You forgot the non-linear aspect of the equation: If you had poked a fork into that meat, the absent guy would have shown up, for sure!

Maybe I'm just jealous: We rarely get prime rib at tzedaka dinners. Boiled chicken makes baked salmon sound like a delicacy! (Actually, I'm delighted *whenever* it's someone else doing the cooking...)

You can call me, Sir said...

I was waiting to read that after you started eating the forbidden meat the speaker motioned to your table indicating that "the empty chair and the plate of food symbolically represents a place-setting for all the poor and hungry people of the world and that....Oh."

That would've been comedy gold.

m in mke said...

I just opted to skip the dinner. A waste of 3+ hours if you ask me.

PsychoToddler said...

You missed a great speech by the main honoree. It was hysterical.

Ezzie said...

See, I would have just gone to the kitchen and gotten myself whatever I wanted, assuming that the dinner was being held on site. (?) [And that I have the right dinner.]

What was hysterical?

Holy Hyrax said...

psshhttt, wuss. This wednesday is my daugthers school anual banquet. The damn thing is $750, so there is no way I am leaving there hungry. In fact, I am seriously considering, (for what we paid), that I will be bringing some to go boxes to have something for the rest of the week.

Ralphie said...

We had our shul dinner, too. We planned to leave early to try to get our baby to sleep, and were optimistic that the invite said "Dinner at 6 PM." Of course, dinner meant "Salad served, then sit through speeches, then get your prime rib." They brought out the meat just as we were leaving.

But at least I got to sit through 90 minutes of slightly amusing and somewhat touching speeches. So I got that going for me.

PsychoToddler said...

JF: Good point. Nothing like a little superstition to factor into your equations!

Sir: indeed.

Ezzie: He's a very good writer (hint) and an entertaining speaker. very folksy, lot's of jokes thrown in, but a really good point was made (if something needs doing, then do it!). Ironically, he told me his speech was influenced somewhat by my shabbos talk!

HH: For $750 I'd want a piece of furniture.

Ralphie: I know, we stayed through some very long-winded speakers because after all that, there was no way I was leaving without dessert.

Anonymous said...

Doctorbean and I both had the prime rib. Oh, and Ralphie, then he ate yours. Of course, if I had ordered the fish for him, it would have been grounds for divorce.


RaggedyMom said...

You need to start charging people $250 to listen to you speak on Shabbos. Prime rib optional.

Miriam L said...

“What are you looking at? Eat me already! Can’t you see I’m just sitting here getting cold?"

I think the general rule is: when the steak talks to you, don't talk back, just eat it.

Jewish Blogmeister said...

I think they have therapists who deal with people who have food talking to them...that mathematical formula was to advanced for me sorry...really hilarious post!

Anonymous said...

you should have had the prime rib - it was excellent! And there was more in the back - you could have easily changed your order. Remember, you should always ask.

PsychoToddler said...

Yeah, but it would have been even more tacky than eating the other guy's food. Or...maybe not.

question girl said...

you should have grabbed the plate as you ran outside to answer the page

question girl said...

ok, that WAS pure sarcasm on my part - since i AM new to your blog.... but SERIOUSLY, by that time, it was OBVIOUS that the person who was SUPPOSED to eat it was a no-show.... you WERE hungry.... and you were already going to be running outside to miss part of the speech anyway - might as well stay out a little longer to eat the good food

PsychoToddler said...

In other words, walk through the entire room full of people who are sitting quietly listening to the speaker, carrying a plate of prime rib.

Well, I could always pretend I was a waitor.