My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Tuesday, September 17

Olive Garden Gusto

The spelling of “gusto” might more accurately be “gutso” when you consider the fat-friendly menu at Olive Garden. Since we hadn’t been there for over a year, we thought we’d like to try it again. We arrived ahead of the evening crowd and were seated at the far end of a totally non-descript room near the back of the restaurant—off white walls, west windows blinded from the setting sun, no paintings, no sculpture, not much of anything to entertain the eye while waiting to be served. There was seating for almost twenty people in this back room, which gave us a chance to watch the later diners enter and be seated—a family of five at the other end, a couple behind us, another couple ahead of them, and another family of six to our left. Both Rosalie and I are overweight, not fat or obese, but definitely heavier than we used to be or should be now. But we’re featherweights compared to those we watched come into Olive Garden. The motto of the family of five might have been “The family that eats a lot together can gain a lot of weight together.” The father and mother, with backs to us, were mountainous, with butt cheeks dripping off the sides of their chairs, a twentyish daughter across from them with a full-moon face and pendulous arms, a teenage son and a pre-teen son alongside, both apparently living up to their parents’ gustatory expectations. The two couples were more of the same, ditto the family of six. In that room, then, there were seventeen of us, and my wife and I were the two closest to an acceptable weight. Let’s now examine the menu item that may have attracted all us generous eaters to the OG. For $9.99 they have a “never ending” pasta bowl, which is restaurantese for “all you can eat.” That’s a flashing sign to all those hefties who go out on Fridays for “all you can eat” fish fries, putting a large dent in the ocean’s cod and halibut populations. At OG it’s the never ending soup and salad and breadsticks and pasta with never ending choice of six sauces. And if that doesn’t fill you up, they have a never ending extra of chicken fritta, Italian sausage, or meatballs for just $2.99. So, for $12.98 one could go to OG and consume prodigious amounts of those items listed above, staying there from noon to closing, until the wait staff finally had to roll you out on a flatbed to your car, where you would ooze your way behind the wheel, dreaming of the next day or two when you might return and do it all again.
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