Now maybe my upbringing was different from yours. I was brought up in a southern home with a southern baptist upbringing. That said, there was just a rule regarding food. The last piece isn’t to be touched – unless there was “just enough” and Daddy wanted it. But to be fair, that wasn’t a “Daddy makes the money, Daddy rules” sort of thing. Let’s be honest, my sister & I were little goblins with eyes bigger than our stomachs. We’d have taken the last piece of something and picked around it and ruined it for any adult. But beyond that, it was something instilled in us. No matter if everyone said they didn’t want that last piece- whether it be chicken, a plate of steaks or pizza- you still didn’t touch it. It was rude. Once we were having steaks and I remember looking at the last one. They were big steaks my uncle and Daddy had grilled and they were so good. I wanted more. My uncle, not thinking of anything but his little big-eyed niece, said “baby get that last piece- go on.” My hand and fork met to go, but you better believe my little goblin hand and fork never made it to touch that last piece. I’ll leave that right there.
Fast forward to something I heard on the news today. In a town about an hour north of here there’s a buffet. It’s a certain type food BUT they offer crab legs. People stand in line for over 10 minutes- more like 20- and await the next batch to be brought out because they’re said to be that good. The crab legs come out & some guy loads his plate- gets way more than his fair share while standing behind him was a mom- hungry children in tow. Now I want to think the best of this mom for two reasons. One, she did what we’d all feel like doing; and two? Well when someone has the chutzpah to do what we all feel like doing then I say kudos to her.
Maybe it was having her kids behind her and forgetting she was in public, I don’t know. All I do know is that what happened next was solid GOLD. I wish I’d been there to see it. The mom takes the other set of tongs and whacks the man with them. Yes she did. So to defend himself what does he do? He keeps his tongs in hand to ward off the incoming blows and deal some of his own. Picture it. A modern day sword fight with tongs. Over all you can eat crab legs.
Now let’s be clear. Sometimes the phrase “all you can eat” throws people off. It doesn’t mean take all you can while others are waiting for the exact same thing, right? It doesn’t mean your $10.99 is worth more than theirs and doesn’t mean you can have the “lion’s share” of one particular item. I have to think this particular gentleman did not have a strong southern Mom. I bet he ate the last piece of everything if someone said “No, I don’t want it” because in the south, 9 out of 10 times that isn’t true. We want it but we know better than to take it. Of course when this happens, when we say we don’t want it and someone actually does take? Inwardly we think “ill-raised heathen”. I’m just being straight with you. It’s what we do, say and think. Some won’t admit to it but let’s be honest. Southern people- you know you DO want that last piece but you just don’t. *Unless you’re at a buffet, no one is looking and then you totally take the last one because it’s a buffet and it’s up for grabs. But I digress..
So this man loads his plate full of what everyone is waiting for. And apparently they don’t bring out tons. A woman who has reportedly eaten at the restaurant in the past said that she has been in that same crab legs line before and waited 10 minutes only to have to wait 20 more for another plate to come out.
Who wants to do that at a buffet, right? You’re standing there getting full on what you’ve already eaten and wasting that $10.99 because you’re not going to be able to eat as much as you would’ve had you not had to wait! Your belly is sending the “I have food now” signal and you’re just wanting to make sure you have some of those delicious crab legs, apparently a highlight of the place. *Side-note: if that’s the case, your game plan needs to be to go in and get crab legs first. Even if you have to wait. Again I digress.
The end result? Police were called, both parties admitted to having gotten away from themselves. The man [ill-raised heathen] was shown wearing a couple bandaids on his head so no one could view the blood where the mom had gotten him with the tongs(!). Both are being fined and the mom was charged with 3rd degree battery. Yes, with crab tongs. Probably not her weapon of choice, but she’s probably lucky that’s all she had or her hungry children might’ve wound up not only missing those crab legs but missing mom due to a prison stint.
So in summary, if you’re from the south you know this and if you aren’t just learn it. We love food. We LOVE food. Look at health statistics in the south and you’ll get it. But we also have manners. Very good ones. So just know that some southern mom may decide to discipline you should you show your ill-raised heathen manners in a buffet line. And also know that ONLY if you’re 1) in a buffet line with 2) no one waiting behind you and 3) no one looking, may you take that last piece. But in NO SITUATION WHATSOEVER should you take that last piece anywhere else (especially someone’s home!). Yes, everyone says they don’t want it- and they do but really they don’t because no one wants to be the ill-raised heathen. Never. Ever. So you see that last piece of food…have reverence for it. Respect it. Because that piece is NOT for eating – it’s DECORATIVE!