My lovely and vivacious wife deserves to have at least one night off where she can relax, let her hair down, and enjoy herself. That’s why I took her out last Saturday. I took her to the greatest place I could think of, to partake in a meal fit for a queen. It is quaint, and rustic, and serves what most red-blooded Americans would proclaim the best authentic eye-talian cooking this side of Naples. I took her to The Olive Garden.
Or, as we gangstas like to call it, the OG.
I took her there because I love her, and she deserves to enjoy all-you-can-eat bread sticks and to be amazed at the never-ending pasta bowl.
Also, we had a gift card.
So we finished our errands for the day and by 3:30 in the afternoon we had retired to our OG booth to relax and partake in delicious soup and salad, when we had the opportunity to look around at our fellow diners. The first thing that struck us was how incredibly full the OG was at 3:30 in the afternoon. Now, I would never wait more than 5 minutes to be seated at an OG. It goes against my rule. I refuse to wait at a place like the OG or Chilis because I’m sure I could find a local hole-in-the-wall with cheaper, better food and fewer suburban yokels. But shortly after arriving, the place filled up to the point that the line stretched out into the foyer, where desperate, hungry people stood clutching their vibrating notification devices.
All of which raises the question: Why was it so busy? I knew why WE were there—the aforementioned gift-card played a huge part, as well as the fact that it was on our way home, and we’re nothing if not lazy. But what prompts entire families to haul their minivans over to the OG at 4 in the afternoon?
The second thing that struck us was that there appeared to be a specific type of person who likes the OG. What I mean is, in addition to the quantity of people, our curiosity was piqued by the quality of people. With few exceptions, it seemed like the customers had wandered in from a State Fair—a lot of camouflage shirts stretched to the breaking point over an extended belly and upper arm jiggle.
I can understand why people come to the OG, but let’s be honest: the OG is a little bit WT.
And just as I was about to make a joke about living in the South, my lovely and vivacious wife said “wow—they look just like the types of people who eat at the Olive Garden in Minnesota.”
Except for more gun-racks and confederate flag decals in the parking lot, I said.
No, she said, you see just as much of that in the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities.
And she’s right. You do see that sort of thing up North, as hat-haired denim-wearers with nebulous blond mustaches take their overly-coiffured wives out to the OG on a Friday or Saturday night.
The whole thing got me thinking (and here’s the moral of the story, so pay attention): Folks really are the same all over.
Especially white-trash folks.
I feel good. This was like an after-school special, and I think we all learned a little something.