My grandparents are dragging me to the Steak House Buffet again; kids twelve and under eat free. I don’t turn thirteen until May. I know they’re cheap. I wonder if they ever see what I see. Maybe I’m the Germ Spy in the buffet line. Certain people have to be watched before you get your food. Those to watch include little kids, just big enough to reach the food, working men coming in a group, and old people with bad eyesight. Really gross stuff happens around here all the time, just watch!
There’s subject number one: he can just reach the food and his finger is in his mouth. Wait for it. Wait for it. The finger is coming out of the mouth. He’s touching the cookie with that wet germ ridden finger that came out from under that runny nose. Mom says no, pulls his hand back and leaves that finger licked cookie for someone else to eat. That’s why you always get the cookies in the back. Finger lickers can’t reach that far.
Here they come joking and pushing each other real men with dirty jobs and no soap and water. See that guy by the mashed potatoes he just reached across to get some gravy. One of his buddies hit his arm dust went everywhere. No Granma they haven’t started putting pepper in the mashed potatoes. I think I’ll wait for a new batch of fries to come out.
See that elderly couple, they must eat lunch here every day. Last time we were here she left him to get salad dressing. He can’t read the writing on the serving spoons because of his eyesight. So he dipped the tip of his finger in the dressing and tasted it until he found the French dressing he liked. I had to eat the fat free, finger free dressing from a bottle starting that day. He always does something gross just wait for it. He’s picking up a piece of fish, smelling it, touching it. “Mother, is this chicken.” “No, dear that’s fried fish” “Don’t like fish!” Back in the pan it goes. You know I really don’t like fish today.
She’s new just tall enough to get in trouble and her mom’s fixing her plate. Oh, Man did you see that! I think I’m going to be sick. She just reached up and took a green bean out of that vinegar three bean salad. Her face cringed and she took the green bean out of her mouth and put it back in the bowl. Her mother is looking around; maybe she’s looking for someone to tell what happened. No, she’s in the clear no one saw what her daughter just did, so off they go. At no extra charge today, a little saliva on your salad, four year old vintage slobber with a touch of vinegar.
“What are you doing, it’s time to fix your plate.” “Yes Granma.” “You want some mashed potatoes and gravy?” “No Granma.” “Your father was never a picky eater; you must have got that from your mother’s side of the family.” “I’ve told her and told her she gives in to you to much.” “Yes, Granma, have you tried the three bean salad, the fish looks good, would you like me to get you a cookie.” “You’re such a good child despite your mother’s poor parenting skills”
After all I’m almost a teenager. Be a Germ Spy at your next buffet, you’ll see bon appetite!