My mother gets every Thursday off from work. She’s employed by the State of Florida, and some time ago they went to four 10-hour-a-day work weeks. In order to avoid a lot of office infighting, everyone was given the choice of having a free Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Nobody was allowed to choose Monday or Friday, because everybody was going to want a Monday or Friday.
Joe,” you’re surely saying. “Certainly government employees are grown
adults and can fairly agree on a way to assign who gets Mondays and
Fridays off, right?”
Sure, and I just came home from a date with Keira Knightley. Government employees argue over everything.
I worked for the government for two years, and if you “borrowed”
someone’s stapler, you were risking getting shot. I can only imagine
the riots that would ensue over trying to get the day you actually want
off of work.
“But Joe, couldn’t they use seniority or—AAAUGGHHHH! MY EYES! MY EYES!!”
apologize for using mace on you, but if you keep interrupting, I’ll
never get this damn blog finished. Besides, the point of this essay
isn’t shitty government employment; it’s the fact that my mother was off
of work last Thursday, so she, my father (who’s retired) and I met for
lunch at Olive Garden.
I hate to admit this, but I am a
functional idiot when it comes to food. I don’t know what half the
items are on any decent restaurant’s menu. The problem is exacerbated
when the restaurant is a chain that supposedly makes food from a
different country, because the shitheads in marketing are always going
to make the dishes sound as “international” as possible. This is to
convince you, the ordinary ignorant fat-ass American, that you are
indeed spending your hard-earned money well. You see, you might not
want to pay more than six dollars for “Baked Chicken Next to
Vegetables”. But hey, ten bucks for “Venetian Apricot Chicken”? Sounds
like a bargain!
To make things further complicated, I’m on a low-carb diet. That means I can’t have pasta.
Or tomato sauce.
In an Italian restaurant.
I have no idea what anything is, but I was secure in the knowledge that
95% of their food could possibly kill me. That’s why, when the server
came, I just blindly pointed to a random item on the menu:
Server: “And what will you be having today, sir?”
Me: (Pointing randomly) “I would like this.”
Server: “You would like ‘Copyright Olive Garden 2008’?”
Me: “And please hold the tomato sauce.”
at her suggestion, I ended up ordering the Venetian Apricot chicken,
which tasted like (surprise!) chicken. I tasted neither anything
Venetian nor anything apricot about it. I did detect a hint of
Swanson’s Microwave Dinner, though. At least my parents seemed to enjoy
One last anecdote before I end this pointless
essay. Before eating my non-Venetian non-Apricot chicken, I excused
myself to use the restroom and wash my hands. The first thing I said to
myself upon entering it was, “wow, do Italians not have urinals in
I’ll let you figure out what mistake I made and why I was apologizing profusely to several people about two minutes later.