Sunday, January 15, 2006

As I sit here sipping my diet ginger ale and eating my sugar-free Jell-O gelatin snacks I reflect upon my doings today. Aside from the usual Sunday Day Care Center heist, I got to enjoy some excellent cuisine, courtesy of the classy restaraunt "Olive Garden". Please allow me to spin my tale from the beginning.

The time was 9:00 a.m. I was awakened to the sound of gunfire and the screams of my comrades. I peeled out of bed and into the usual shower where I shed my temporary skin and later brushed my teeth. After said washings I clothed myself and headed down the stairs, where I prepared my breakfast consisting of a bowl of Alphabits, followed by course two consisting of Low-Sugar Oatmeal. "Dee-licious", as Queen Latifah would say with a soultry grin.

The morning came to an end as the whole clan boarded into the mobile and headed to the residence of the grandparents of the very hands typing these words. They also boarded said vehicle and the entire possee set course to the classiest Italian restaraunt this side of Sicily, "Olive Garden".

Maybe you've been to an Olive Garden. Maybe you've seen their commercials and have been enticed by promises of "Unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks". Anyways, I'm sure if you've even heard of it you'd know it's about as Italian as Taco Bell. If I were an Italian man and saw these commercials I would say something like, "That is not what Italy is like" and then continue sweeping the hair off the barber shop floor. Upon entering this institution of Italy, I noticed how the walls were dressed to look like a wine shop or other Italian stereotype. Now I've never been to Italy, but I'd imagine most of the walls in town don't have "Women" written on them above an unsanitary door.

I noticed this sign near the front door.

Nothing says "Italian Immigrant-run" like Asian immigrants.

After exchanging English words with a female employee who was more "hill-person" than "Italian master of pizza, pasta, and the mafia", we were sat down at a table purchased in a large warehouse and in chairs one could find at Office Depot. As I looked around I found I was surrounded by fake leaves and bottles of $4 wine. A portrait of an awfully Native-American looking gentleman stood almost five feet tall on a wall. I received my menu and browsed at my leisure, often laughing out loud at the menu items. The headlines for each category of food were written in Italian with the English translation provided in parentheses next to them. Thanks, Olive Garden! I couldn't figure out that the item labeled "Create Your Own Pizza" in the category "Pizze" meant "Pizza"! My head was near exploding with confusion until I spotted the translation.

I selected to eat the "Chicken Castellina", which, according to the authentic Italian website of this eatery, goes well with a red wine. This item is described with these giving words on the menu:
Chicken, mushrooms, artichokes and pancetta sautéed in a smoked cheese and sun-dried tomato sauce, tossed with penne.

After months of pouring through thick leatherbound textbooks and eating more lasagna than a man named Luigi does in a week, I translated those ingredients into what is actually used. I present the translation:
Chicken, mushrooms, artichokes, and bacon mocrowaved in Kraft American Cheese slices and ketchup, tossed with pennies.The last word still confuses me, as my plate was not covered in copper coins. I chose to replace the provided pasta with the optional "Whole wheat linguine" because I have a vagina.

As we waited for the greasy Italian chefs to spend hours microwaving our frozen lunches, salad and breaksticks were offered to the table as if we were gods. The breaksticks looked familiar, where had I seen them before? Oh yes, that's right. These were the same breadsticks available at bowling alleys. Authentic if I've ever seen them. During the wait my ears were delighted with such propaganda as the stereotypical song "Mambo Italiano", as if to remind me that this was in fact, an Italian themed restaraunt. Thanks, the illustrated vineyards on the cover of the menu made me think this was a Mexican restaraunt.

When the eats were served, my meal was crappy as expected. The most humorous portion of the meal was the cheese pizza ordered by my brother. It was served on a miniature pizza paddle made of plastic to help set the mood. I actually began laughing out loud when this was presented. I think the beast of a lesbian who was our waiter (waitress? waitranny?) thought I was laughing at her, which I was, but I kept that to myself. The pizza served was obviously microwaved and looked roughly elementary school calibur. It was given a solid 2 out of 10 points by the boy consuming this gourmet dish.

When the spent plates were carried off by imported Italian children, I began to peel over the dessert menu. I don't think a certain item would sit well with Italians. It is called "Chocolate Lasagna". Here is a photograph of said Italian dessert:

Nothing says "A taste of Italy" like nice American chocolate cake.

I also found an item appropriately named for what you expel from your bowels after an Olive Garden meal.

A "Chocolate coconut steamer".


I should stop typing right here, that was plenty to fill your bellies.

Anyways, the large sized bill was paid and the gang headed for the exit, but first I had to "take a monster whiz", as I put it. I was pointed to the wall with "Men" scribbled on it, and entered the mysterious Italian restroom. Basing this assumption on feature films, I expected at least four men in suits to be drowning a fifth man in a suit in the toilet. This was not the case. I was alone, and mounted a urinal. Quickly I noticed I was standing in a puddle of a sticky substance. I saw where I was standing, and how this substance felt, and put the clues together to solve that I was standing in a puddle of Kool-Aid. After a taste test I found that I was actually standing in urine. I suppose relieving one's self into the toilet was not an authentic Italian custom. After a brief exploration I found that flushing the toilets must not have been either.

We exited the restaraunt with memories of Italy in our heads. As I sleep tonight I'm sure my dreams will be filled with men named Tony making pizzas and other Italian delicacies. So thank you, Olive Garden.