I’ll Eat It, I Just Don’t Know What It Is.
At more and more hotels the Free Breakfast has become almost unavoidable. The big chains, such as Holiday Inn, Marriott, and a dozen others trot out the hot trays every morning to feed their guests between 6 to 9 AM. During those hours you can see the early risers slumped over their plates of eggs, sausage, and potatoes.
While I admit to being among that crowd on most mornings I am doing so for mainly medicinal purposes. Every morning I have my own buffet of medications that I take to stay alive and I am obligated to have something in my tummy to buffer the explosion when the pills kick in. So, I head down to the hotel lobby and the “Complimentary Free Breakfast.”
It really doesn’t matter which of the hotel chains you are using or where in the country you are the menu doesn’t vary. It will contain the following.
Eggs: Barely scrambled
Meat: Either sausage or, in some places, stiff as a board bacon.
Potato: some strange little shapes of what they swear are potatoes.
Much of this food is as tasteless as an evening with Pauly Shore.
Some places also offer a burbling pot of oatmeal that would also work fine to patch cracks in your driveway.
I pass on a lot of this stuff and just grab a bagel or Danish. All I need is something to wrap around my pile of pills…and Coffee. Thank God there is always Coffee. Gallons of Coffee. Oceans of Coffee.
That Coffee jump starts my heart and helps me to focus my eyes so I can find my plate.
We were at such a hotel last week. At a little after 6 AM I stumbled down to the lobby to be with the Traveling Sales Representatives (AKA “Road Warriors”) and the itinerant Junior Executives all of whom will be on the road before sunrise. My wife, the lovely and blissfully unconscious, Dawn, was still wisely asleep in our room. She rarely joins me for these Complimentary Free Breakfasts at 6 AM. I am there alone.
One morning of our stay there as I was slumped over my Coffee there was one diner who caught my attention – a young boy. He couldn’t have been more than 10 or 11 years old, but he had the appetite of a team of 30 year old football players. His plate was piled high with anything that could be stacked up. He was eating a pace that made him look like he was double parked. My guess was that this boy was just going into puberty and as a result he was little more than hormones with shoes on. He was feeding the engine of his approaching adolescence.
As I sat there clutching my third cup of Coffee the kid made trip after trip back to the buffet.
Hot food, oatmeal, pastries, Milk, OJ, and more of everything.
I don’t know where he was putting it all. He must have the metabolism of a nuclear powered Aircraft Carrier. This kid could have a future in that Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest if he so desires, or if he can put down his fork long enough to get to Coney Island.
This Mini-Bessemer Furnace was as thin as a rail. His body needed fuel and there was nothing left to be transformed into fat or Superhero Muscles. It was 6 AM and this kid was eating more than every lumberjack in Alaska. It was kind of inspiring. With kids like this one around, eating everything in sight, thousands of farmers will be kept gainfully employed.
Me? I’ll make sure that, as long as there is Coffee, the “Complimentary Free Breakfasts” will always have enough food to feed the young gastric bypass patients of the future.