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The Human Trough…

On our day off together, which is rare, Renee and I decided we were going to shop til we dropped….for the children of course. But before we got started on this full day, we agreed to treat ourselves to a nice lunch, because we both were famished, and because we could.

I had eaten fast food twice the day before, which I abhor, so I really wanted to eat something light. A nice big salad sounded good, and she was in agreement. Where can you get a good salad?…hmmm..tricky!… Suddenly, I got a picture in my head, with beams of light surrounding it… PONDEROSA!

We rarely go here, because…well…the concept is disgusting! Not JUST because most children and a large portion of adults have sneezed, coughed, and touched all over the food either. I've grown quite used to this nonsense, in my own home.

I think many people are drawn to this place for the price alone. For $6.99, the price of a small sandwich at Arby's, you can help yourself to as much, frozen in a box, down home cooking as your eyes and stomach can hold. You can get unlimited refills on soda, and eat as many desserts as your heart and large intestines desire! Here, you can clog your heart and arteries, as quickly as you'd like, for about $50/week +tax.

I remember getting to eat here as a kid. We were poor folk, but every once in awhile, my grandparents would treat us to PONDEROSA, which was the fanciest place to dine, in our small town, at the time….Or at least that's what they told us:). So we'd get dressed up in our ecru colored pants and dressy polos, and head on our way.

They never let us get a steak, or anything like that, but the lunch buffet was our oyster! We would stuff ourselves with endless fried chicken tenders, taco meat, mashed potatoes, rolls, and Mac and cheese, then follow it with pie, cake, cookies, and at least three trips to the fancy ice cream station, where every topping in the world was available. We would load our mouths and bellies until we were on the brink of projectile vomiting!

On the way home, my brothers and I would be relatively quiet, because we were all so sick. We would all unbutton the top button of our dress pants, and take turns showing each other how far our bellies stuck over the top of our underpants:). We had no idea, that our grandparents had just CLEARLY allowed us to commit one of the 7 deadliest sins!! All I know, is that on these days, we never felt poor;).

Anytime Renee and I decide to go there now, it is always with the intent of getting a salad, since they have the full bar, but its too hard to stick to it, and one of us always caves, and ends up getting a piece of meatloaf or fried chicken, and a piece of mincemeat pie or red velvet cake. This time, I did not falter, and I'd rather not mention who did!…..

…..So, as she was getting a piece of key lime pie, I closed my eyes, and allowed myself a minute to relax and just take in the sounds of the music. “You've got that loving feeling” was playing overhead.

I looked around at all of the people in the establishment, and it didnt take a rocket scientist to note that these consumers were not in the best health. There were no group of athletes in here…..just the “regulars”, and Renee and I.

I saw a few people with oxygen tanks, and several different people in wheelchairs. The people in the wheelchairs had full use of their arms and legs. They would actually walk themselves to the buffet while sitting, just with the added help of the wheels. They could still hold the plate with one hand, dish food with the other, and shuffle their feet to get from one buffet to the next…..AMAZING! I watched, as people took their third and fourth and fifth trips, trying to fill that last spot in their stomachs, the spot closest to their appendixes (that is if their apendix hadn't already rotted off!), and I became a little nauseated.

As we were getting ready to leave, I had one last fleeting thought of my childhood Ponderosa days. I remembered that they used to have A1 steak sauce, on every table, which I thought was so fancy, at the time. Then I looked down at the steak sauce on our table now, noted the brand name of “Steak Sauce” on the bottle, and became a bit disappointed. Then I asked the waitress for a “to go” cup, for my iced tea. She said “I'm going to have to charge you 50cents for the cup darlin”!

Hadn't I already paid for this drink with my $6.99? I didn't even get a refill! Then I remembered something that Heraclitus of Ephesus once said…..”Everything changes and nothing stays still”. And I believe it!!…..:)



4 thoughts on “The Human Trough…

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