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An Abundance of Casserole

The First Thanksgiving

I can only imagine the Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving encountering the mammoth woman I did at an outdoor restaurant event Thursday, and saying, “C’mon lady. We got a long winter ahead. Save some of that grub for later, will ya?”

That woman was so big, I had to turn sideways to squeeze past her in the wide aisle. She was, shall we say, abundant. Next, I had the misfortune of getting in the buffet line in back of her. The staff was replacing the empty casserole containers, and I suspected it was because this woman had cleaned them out. She carried not one, but two of the large, heavy plates, one three inches deep with food, and the other piled so high it resembled Mount Vesuvius. I swear it was as big as three angel food cakes. I figured there must be some sticky food in that pile to keep it from falling off the edges. She needed hands as thick as beefsteaks to carry those plates; the mountainous one had to weigh 20 pounds.

Mount Vesuvius

So I got through the line and headed for a table. The singles group organizer intercepted me and invited me to sit at her table, which was empty. But I no sooner sat down than two obese ladies sat at the same table. One was – you guessed it – the one with an elephant’s appetite. On this Thanksgiving Day, I was overwhelmingly thankful that she sat at the end of the table, because she’d have needed all three seats next to me to park her moving-van-sized derriere, and half the table to spread her array of foods. (Surprisingly, the woman was pretty, and could have looked appealing instead of appalling.)

Jurassic Period

I figured she was going to finish about a third of that plate piled high as a landfill, and glanced a couple of times to assess her progress. She’d made a dent in it, and I couldn’t imagine she’d be able to advance much further. After all, she was simultaneously working on the smaller pile to her left. Finally, as I was cutting the delicious raw sushi tuna on my plate, I checked her situation again, and was amazed by what I saw – an empty plate. Not a morsel of food remaining. I looked around the room for a magician who must have come by unbeknownst to me and vaporized that plate. The other one was almost empty. That woman belonged in a carnival, I decided. She probably was banned from those hotdog- and sweetcorn-eating contests for inadequate supply of dogs and ears.

But she wasn’t through. A waiter came to her spot with a covered plastic tray, set it down beside her, and removed the lid. There lay a hunk of roasted meat, apparently the leg of a bird-like creature from the Jurassic era. I wasn’t sure if it was meat or a sculpture. If that was a turkey leg, it had to be from some freak of poultry that was butchered after winning the Guinness Book of Records contest and finding its way into Ripley’s Believe It Or Not compendium. Otherwise, it could only have been the leg of a kangaroo – one of the strong, longer hind paws used for hopping.

I waited to see what she would do to that awesome specimen, and was greatly relieved when she replaced the cover, looking a little embarrassed as the two others at the table and I gawked. I fully expected her to sink her teeth into it like a rapacious animal while driving away, unable to resist till she got home. Too bad there’s no law for Driving While Gorging, or Driving Under the Influence of Gluttony, with a six-month sentence to an addiction recovery program.

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