“Band-Aids Aren’t Food”
Over Thanksgiving break from school this year I returned to Laredo for some semi-peace, semi-quiet, and a second showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One (which for the record, made me cry). The break started out as uneventful as they normally do: see the horses, watch America’s Next Top Model, eat like a pig, and play with my smaller pets.
Two nights before we were supposed to deliver me to San Antonio (remember that I don’t have a functioning car. Basically I have to rely on the kindness of others to drive my ass around when I feel like stepping out into the outdoors when the unnatural brightness of my laptop screen becomes to much for my corneas to bear) so that I could return to Belton for school.
After the movie my mom and Tex decided that at 10:30 at night they were hungry. So, where do you go late at night after eating a trough full of popcorn and butter? Why, the newly opened Indiana Highwayhouse, of course!
If you have never been to the Indiana Highwayhouse I urge you to go. Upon entering you’ll be greeted by seven or eight servers whose only job is to smile and remind you that at seventeen years old they are making more than you. You will then be seated at a booth or table whose top and the surrounding area is littered with peanut shells and other sources of “natural ambiance” that previous families and people have left as donations to the building as a sign of thanks for the meal. It’s lovely.
Now, the food isn’t all too terrible. I had a chicken Caesar salad (which was pretty standard) and about four of the homemade rolls with cinnamon butter provided by our seventeen year old server who probably, after observation, couldn’t spell menu more less figure out where ours were.
Halfway through the meal one of the younger servers cranks up some random country song and about ten or so of his other employed friends gathered in a line in front of our table and start doing a very rudimentary line dance. Now, I say there were eleven people in the line, I didn’t say that all of them were dancing. Only about three knew the dance, four wobbled their legs around and went "Yee-ha!" to appear “Texan”, and the other four just stood there and laughed at everyone else. It was really classy.
After the song and dance were finished the restaurant went back to it’s normal noisy self for all of about four and a half minutes. After that grace period was up I see a waitress run from the kitchen to the front host/hostess/waiting pool area and announce:
“Has anyone seen a band-aid?”
Now, I’m not the cleanest person in the world. My family works in a morgue, has 15 pets (over half of which are farm animals), and frequently travels to unclean areas of the planet. However, I do have some standards. One of them being: Don’t announce lost medical equipment in a crowded restaurant. Apparently this girl didn’t hold this standard very close to her heart. Normally though, medical whatnot and doo-hickeys don’t bother me while I’m eating, this though did for one good reason:
Grilled chicken, when covered in Caesar dressing, looks almost exactly like a shiny band-aid (I dare any of you to eat a chicken Caesar salad now and not think that. Go ahead, go for it. In fact, comment back after you’ve eaten one so I know you’ve done it.). At this eating establishment it probably even tasted like a band-aid. I wouldn’t know though. Why? Because band-aid eating isn’t one of my hobbies. Clipping toe-nails with my teeth? Yes, I’ve done that. When I had long hair I used to chew on it. Who hasn’t? Eating band-aids? No. That’s basically on par with sharing used condoms. It’s just not done for a lot of reasons.
The reactions at the table to this little announcement are very mixed:
Me: “Did she really just say they lost a band-aid in the kitchen? I think they did. Is my salad okay? Can I make a scene and get a free meal?”
Mom: “What? No, she didn’t say that. Besides, if she did, don’t make a scene. Don’t embarrass me or Tex. Eat your salad and don’t think about it.”
Tex: “Eh, it’s Laredo. What can you expect?”
I don’t think my mother and they boyfriend understood the gravity of the situation. People in Laredo don’t wash their hands. Imagine how they treat open sores. That, and, Tex had a steak. So unless he had an ethnically colored and politically correct band-aid in his steak, he didn’t care.
I am now convinced that if I die any time before I am 107 it will be because my salad contained some herpes/scab covered/plague ridden band-aid from some illegal chef in Laredo, Texas and not because I drank myself stupid to try and forget some of these events that drove me to start drinking to begin with. I mean, really, who would want to break a cycle like that?