It was a gathering of men. Lunch at the Hometown Buffet at Country Club Center on Watt Ave. Twenty or so men ranging in age from the mid thirties to the early seventies. All the men weighed 250 to well over 400 pounds. Some using canes and others using walkers to help them get around.
The Grazing started at 2pm well after the lunch rush and we had the restaurant mostly to ourselves. The first round went by in a flash, catching the wait staff by surprise. Your out of Shrimp! someone yelled, other person asked if anyone bring out some more beef, cause there was only a tiny piece left when he was up there. Slowly the group surrounded the steam tables, choosing new food items missed on the first round.
The men are in a food high, few people are talking, just staring, fading.
A small Asian woman is walking around, checking out the food. I thought it was odd that she didn’t have plate. Staff members are replenishing the food, adding new items. Someone from our group twenty feet way, said ”Cinnamon Rolls” I stayed in my chair, I didn’t smell anything AND when was Cinnamon Rolls an option at Hometown Buffet?
My doubts didn’t deter the herd ,who instantly snapped out of a state of unconsciousness revived by the sounds and smells of hot Cinnamon Rolls leaping to their feet. I remained seated, this is after all Hometown Buffet and watched these men attempting to run to the steam tables. One thick gentleman with a turbocharged walker was forcing his arthritic brothers out of his way, pushing them into various table and chairs.
Between them and the promise rolls was an unsuspecting Asian woman who is oblivious to the 400 million pounds of manhood charging her way. I looked to the staff, hoping one of them would intervene and save her from Armageddon. But they stayed away. I asked one of the wait staff, if they had more Cinnamon Rolls and if they did they need to bring them out NOW! You got fat people here, it could get real ugly! The young man went in the back and ran out and said something to his co-workers and the three of them ran back to the kitchen .
It was too late for the lady, they were at the steam table. Her expressions went from surprise to shock, as she was completely surrounded by the crazed crowd. No one said excused me as the reached around and over her to get to the dessert. Some of the men were using utensils from the other steam trays hacking at the rolls . Meanwhile, two women, I’m assuming a part of her group, were watching helplessly. In less than two minutes it was over. Or was it!
The three women left the area . However, there were several men standing in silence with empty plates.. Two staff member replaced the empty tray with a new tray of Cinnamon Rolls. One of the staff member’s stayed to serve the Rolls, while a man and a women brought out two trays and placing a towel underneath the trays and served Rolls from the other side. I stood up to see if the three women were still in the restaurant? The experience may have been too much. GONE! I ask the a staff member about the Cinnamon Rolls? She said during slow times they put out different foods. But the manger said he don’t want you guys to come back.