Pass The Croutons
Where we go to eat changes weekly. Some weeks we go out for pizza. The next week we might hit one of the 70,000 chain restaurants that have found a home in Terre Haute (That’s French for “What’s your soup today?”). You name a franchise eatery and it has a store here. Good, bad, or ugly, if they have a plastic menu they can make a buck feeding the residents of the Hautian Ocean.
This past Sunday we all gathered at one of the busier, more popular spots. I hesitate to mention their name, not because they are bad or demonically evil, I just don’t think that they would give me a free cup of soup in exchange for the free plug. I am a commercial enterprise after all – mainly non-profit unfortunately.
Dawn, Alex, and I got there at noon. The others were already there – Bill, Cindy, and Alex’s Aunt Sue.
We chatted, we ordered, we nibbled on an appetizer we didn’t need, and chatted some more. It didn’t take long for our food to arrive and some serious wolfing began. Between bites we kept up a constant flow of conversation. That was when it hit me.
I grant you that it was prime Sunday Brunch Time and the place was filled to bursting with hungry Hoosiers., but Good Golly Miss Molly, it was like trying to chat inside a jet engine while eating a Caesar Salad. As a result I had to give up any hope of conversing with anybody other than Aunt Sue who was right across the table from me. We had a nice little yakety-yak going on until the people at a nearby table started to sing “Happy Birthday” to a two year old. The kid was not impressed and began to cry. Actually it sounded closer to the howl of a banshee with a bad tooth. All communication ceased. The only thing I could do was to try to enjoy my soup and salad and resist the temptation to shove a crouton or two into my ears.
I understand that when things get busy it can get quite noisy, but that place last Sunday was off the charts. Just a few weeks earlier I went through Hurricane Harvey with 100 mph winds and torrential rain. I thought that was loud, deafening even, but lunch on Sunday in a crowded restaurant in Terre Haute made that hurricane seem like Brahms’s Lullaby.
I’m going to suggest that for next Sunday we all go have lunch with the nuns at their convent. I understand that they have a vow of silence.