Saturday, June 4, 2011

It Really Doesn’t Matter

If you are the kind who admires confidence and decisiveness, I am afraid I won’t be leaving a great impression on you if you happen to be seating opposite to me after the waiter has handed the menu cards.

It would have been easy if we were seated in a French or an Italian restaurant and I were too shy to mispronounce a dish; I would have chosen the one which is easy to roll off the tongue regardless of how it might taste. Instead, I am shameless enough to say the number against the dish or point finger at it on the card and then nod when the waiter pronounces it properly (I am sure they are trained with only those French /Italian words). Or I can always show it to you and you can order it with grace. So my unwillingness to choose from the menu card is cuisine-agnostic. (I might be flattering myself by calling it unwillingness, as it is most probably perceived as an inability.)

It’s not that I lack the discerning taste altogether. Capsicum is chilly and banana is sweet. Chilly is better than sweet. And I do derive pleasure from the food, especially if it tastes like chocolate (chocolate is not counted in sweet). But I find it hard to calculate which item on the menu will bring me more joy. Sometimes I have a vague idea, but I believe it will be too arrogant on my part to announce based on that, because you will take it as a well thought decision based on clear preferences. It will be an implicit lie. I can’t be cheating someone who is dining with me unless I am bound to benefit a lot from it. I would rather let you choose and go with it, feeling safe in the knowledge that overall there is more satisfaction in the world.

Admittedly, there is a catch here. It might be too taxing on you to pick for two. It’s unfair to assume that it’s easy for you to choose. I don’t want to be a freeloader. As a means to avoid implicitly lying and freeloading, I have decided to take the following route the next time I find myself with a menu card in my hands:

“Honestly, it doesn’t really matter, but I’ll go with X, with toppings of Y, although Z seems to be equally fine. However, if you have a better idea, feel free to pitch in.”

This should not imply I am open to eat a half cooked cat. The variance and quality is bounded by the cuisine and the place of which I am aware by virtue of holding the corresponding menu card.

Ideally (subjective), the menu card should simply have a scale which asks “How hungry are you?” (In future, they can have scanners at the door that judge the hunger-level without relying on perceptions.) They can make the card fancy by starting the levels from “As hungry as a rat” and ending at “So hungry that I can even eat a rat right now”.

There is little confusion in the case of drinks though. It all depends on whether I will be driving afterwards. If no, I go for whisky, else beer it is. If you are a guy and you order vodka or a cocktail, I won’t trust you with my car. So you better not be a guy.

Too many ‘if’s and ‘I’s in this post: another not so impressive trait in a man. But I am relieved to have made my stand crystal clear.

6 comments:

Meghana Naidu said...

you are a self proclaimed cockroach. by default you dont leave yourself with a lot of choices.
Also, do you mean to imply that you are not averse to eating an well cooked cat?

leave em rolicking is your motto aint it.
and you're doing it proud.
:D

BrownPhantom said...

Well, a cockroach has more choices than most of us. You probably meant that it's not very particular about any of them. True.
As long as it is not too sweet, yes.
Thanks, you are so kind :).

Me said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Me said...

Phantom...
I would love to dine with you at one of these fancy French/Italian restaurants where even I haven't been before and sit back; waiting for you to order for both of us.. :D
been a long time..loved the read and the thought behind it

Cocktail Party said...

I didn't know that a Phantom has problems while reading a Menu card with weird and Greek names:) He should be able to use his embedded chip to decode the same..lol:) Joke s apart..I enjoyed reading your post..I must say you touched on a dilemma all of us face at one point of time or the other....So do we eat only home made food then???? - Nah!!!Don't we know to play it safe!!!:)

Whuaat? said...

You made your stand clear and you did it well!