The buffet

With my fair share of team lunches and birthday treats, i've learnt a lot from attending all-you-can-eat buffet meals. Restaurants employ their own tactics to make a profit while deceiving you into thinking you've had your money's worth of food. Heavy porcelain plates that lure you into the illusion of eating too much food, or attractive group discounts that guarantee you a good deal. Different people look forward to buffets for different reasons. Its the best thing if your pals have an enormous appetite, and a bit of a bore if you are a vegetarian ( thats like half of the menu that you cant eat ! ). Some lunches are so boring , that you have nothing better to do than observe your companions. And here's what i concluded.

The Zen approach :

Divide and rule. Perfect harmony of the senses. No drooling or overladen plates. Infact these are the guys who probably end up tasting most of the menu than anyone else. Will probably finish up last. Not the one who has half a dozen jamoons for dessert.

The Hen approach :

You think you can conquer the buffet, but you will only pick at your food like a hen. I'm sure that the food left on your plates will fill atleast two starving people.

The Veg-at-home, Non-veg-outside guy :

Will do all the rituals that are demanded by his/her religion. At home, i'm good person abiding by all rules laid by my religion. Will show true colors in buffet, and will not have one pure veg dish on plate. Also, will leave a clean plate on table.

The one with the sweet-tooth :

Will have 3 jalebis/5-6 jamoons/3 cakes or pastries + 2 scoops of icecream ( 1 if strawberry ). For these guys, the dessert is the USP of the meal.

Starve and attack :

if ( Lunch=Buffet )
 skip Breakfast;
 eat_light (Breakfast+Lunch) ;

And then there's the eternal question as to eating with fork or Desi style . You first start nibbling the salad, and then watch your compatriots at the table. The fork-users, or the desi-style. Draw a line against each column according to how one is eating. By the time you're done with that piece of cucumber, you know what the votes are in favour of. If you dont give a shit, then you just skip the math and eat the way you like.

And once you're done, unless its predecided, then the drama that ensues the arrival of the bill is like watching a boxing bout. First you just hover, and then ignore that there's a bill. Then you look at watch and comment that we should go, or wait until the others waiting glare at you. Then someone fishes out plastic card to pay, and few people sincerely fish out multiple notes to pay their share. That brings about another problem because the total when divided individually is never one that has 2 zeroes at the end. So you combine and pay, or recollect some old dues that needed to be balanced, or simply just round it off and pay. And then the guy who gave his plastic card scribbles names in his mind to remember who paid and who didnt. Pleasantries are exchanged and false praises of the food are made. Bid your farewell, sing B'day song or just a plain burp will do to bring the curtains down ! 


vikas mk said…
Some other types i've seen ...
The hawk: Scanning the buffet from a distance for a food of his liking and then going in for the kill.
The diet guy: who is heaping his plate with just salads and fruits making everybody else feel guilty.
GB said…
Ah! that heavy plate trick didn't strike me in my first & only team lunch.My colleague helped herself to 3 servings of Ice-cream somewhat stealthily. I have bitter memories as I had a nasty stomach ache in the night.
if(Lunch == Buffet) :)
I could imagine at least one person in each category from my last buffet.
anusha m said…
Vikas : Oh yes, there's always someone who's on a diet.

GB : Lucky you, to have gone through only one buffet.

Guru : Then i got it spot on !

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