A Little Less Conversation A Little More Food

I had a big lunch because history has taught me that there wouldn’t be much food at supper. I didn’t count on the drinks coming slowly. I also didn’t count on there being rules.

I also didn’t count on my food trying to kill me.

Tonight was the welcome party for new teachers at the school where l work which meant everyone assembled at a bar for drinks and food. However, I spent part of the afternoon hunting for bottles of ink. I also had a sneaking suspicion that there wouldn’t be much food so I had something called the Chicken Chicken Platter for lunch. This involved two pieces of what e’d call “chicken fried chicken” back home and some chicken nuggets, salad, soup and rice. Then I decided to have ice cream because Baskin-Robbins was having a sale.

A group of us met for pre-drinks and then went to the party. We were impressed by the live seafood we had to pass on our way to our room but dismayed when our welcome was an unusual rule. Although the restaurant was “all you can drink” they required that the first drink be beer. After we finished a glass of beer we could order other drinks.

I do not understand why this was so but I suspect it was a way to force us to do the Japanese tradition of everyone pouring everyone else’s drinks in the spirit of camaraderie.

Then the food started trickling in and we quickly discovered two problems: 1) the food was only trickling in and 2) the drinks were only trickling in as well. We quickly learned to order extra drinks, but the wait left us with little to do but converse. Those of us who’d gone to the pre-party were, of course, relaxed and brilliant, but everyone else was way behind and, quite frankly, struggling.

Eventually, even those of us who’d attended the pre-party found ourselves struggling to remain relaxed and brilliant without the distraction of food.

The food itself posed an interesting problem. We had to grill it ourselves and, at one point, we were served fresh clams. They went on the grill and sat there doing very little until a couple of them decided to explode and spray shell fragments around the room.

Luckily no one was injured. The truth is, though, if the drinks had come faster, we’d have probably laughed about it and done our best to make the rest of the clams explode. Instead, we just ended up talking about how dangerous it was.

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