Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Line, Line, Everywhere a Line

I've never been to Cici's, but according to this commercial, I guess this is how the Pizza Buffet "line" works- you start at one end of the heat lamp table. You proceed slowly through the varieties of pizza until you get to the one with the toppings you like. If that means you stand there for several minutes as the people in front of you ponder the different offerings, oblivious to the fact that there are other people waiting, well, that's just your problem. It's apparently taboo to just take your tray to another part of the table- the part that includes the pizza you like. Nope, you are just supposed to stand there like a doofus waiting to be in front of that pizza, even if that requires looking like an idiot with an empty tray (as opposed to an idiot with a tray full of greasy, artery-clogging slop.)

Personally, if I were the woman in front of this guy, I'm pretty sure I'd turn and ask "what are you doing? If you know what kind of pizza you want, why don't you go directly to that pizza and take some? Are you mentally ill? Are you just looking for an excuse to stand next to me? What?"

Of course, if I were the guy, and this was actually a line, I'd respond by asking her if she were going for the World Record for Slowest Building of a Salad in the History of The Universe. Or I'd remind her that in only four hours, the restaurant would be closing.

Instead, we get this weird "Line Jumper!" pizza-deprivation hallucination, in which this guy imagines that committing the sin of getting some pizza will make him a social outcast and turn the other people in the restaurant into finger-pointing lunatics. The woman he "jumps" seems especially irritated- from the tone of her voice, I think she's had a particularly hard day and this is about a lot more than "line-jumping." Not at all surprising that this hallucination includes a cameo by the guy's Grandmother- because the only thing ROTFLMAO more funny than talking babies or smart-ass kids is a pissed-off grandma, right?

At the end of this truly stupid waste of time, the guy decides that having all hell rain down on him from the other patrons for line-jumping is totally worth it, and he goes for the pizza. We aren't surprised that nothing like he imagined actually happens, because after all- there really isn't any line here for him to jump, and even if there was, I simply can't understand why anyone would care that much. Is it because I've never been to Cici's?

Am I just blind? Is there a line here for him to jump, and I just don't see it? What the heck?

Postscript- anyone out there ever been to a Cicis? Can you tell me if people really dress like this to fill themselves with white flour, cheese and sugar? Or is it more like the sweatpants brigade I see waddling into IHOP and Golden Corral every time I drive by?

Another Postscript- don't you just love the way the pizza table is in such pristine condition? These people are not the first customers- the place is already full- so in reality, wouldn't there be jumbled piles of rejected slices, puddles of salad dressing, and scraps of toppings everywhere if this scene was at all realistic?

And yet another Postscript- "Lollygagging?" Really?


  1. "Line-jumper!" Because the rest of your life is always second grade.

    My seventeen year old daughter wants me to tell you that your assumption of "waddling sweat-pants brigade" is the correct one. And she added, "But tell him we were not dressed that way!" (and I'm also to remind you they were there under duress because of their grandparents).

    When I ask her about the quality of food, she just shrugs and makes a face, but this is also the same place I had to hear the whole, "They [in-laws] made fun of us because we got salads" story the first time around.

  2. You can take this buffet into the coach section of any airliner today - complete with people waiting until the plane is nearly empty to begin leaving themselves -- never mind who might be detained behind them. The aesthetic here is faintly reminiscent. Don't try to leave, eat, breath, or in any way assert any hint of self-reliance or individuality. You'll make everyone else look bad.

  3. Pahz:

    As I said in the commentary to Fat Moron Dad, we here in Saint John get the same experience at a chain called Pizza Delight; the only 'delightful' thing about it for me is the realization that I'm not as far gone looks-wise as I could be.

  4. I can definitely see frequenting one of these places just to be the best-looking guy there. (Of course, I feel that way pretty much no matter where I go...;>) )