Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Hot Stuff Buffet

"Looking for your hot stuff
Baby, I need it
Looking for your hot stuff
Baby, tonight
I want your hot stuff
I got to feel it
Got to have your hot stuff
Got to have your love tonight"

sung by Donna Summer

The other night I had one of those bizarre moments when everything just struck me as a hilarious irony.  We were eating dinner at Shoney's.  Now, I know a lot of people scoff at Shoney's, but I've found that most of them have never actually been to a Shoney's - they are just on some anti-Shoney's bandwagon because they don't have the guts to go against the "cool" crowd who loudly hates certain things they've deemed "uncool."  The Shoney's we go to has a top-notch salad bar with three times the variety of fresh cut veggies than other uppity places offer (Ruby Tuesday, for example, has a rather limited salad bar in comparison).  This Shoney's even has the premium spring mix of baby greens and "fancy" lettuces and spinach in addition to the standard iceberg and romaine mix.  The salad bar also has chick peas and a wide variety of fruits, nuts, raisins, etc.  Anyone who claims that there is nothing good at Shoney's is just showing their own ignorance.  There is also a hot food buffet with a variety of cooked veggies and meats including fish, chicken, pork, and beef. There are soups and breads too.  It's not all fried fast food style junk, nor warmed up canned stuff. Honestly, I just love Shoney's because it's quick and good and satisfying.  I sometimes crave the variety of salad and hot stuff without having to cook it all and clean up afterwards.  Besides, when I was a kid my dad was the manager of the Gatlinburg Shoney's so it has always had that nostalgic aspect.  Back then it was still called Shoney's Big Boy, and they did not have a buffet but just a menu.  I have lots of fun memories about that Shoney's.  Some time after my dad moved on to another career the Big Boy company parted ways with the Shoney's company in this part of the country.

So, back to the bizarro moment the other night.  We had just sat down with our plates of steaming hot goodness, and I noticed that Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff" was playing in the background.  I looked around and saw that we were, at 50 and 52, the youngest people in the restaurant other than some of the employees.  I wondered if all those older people noticed the music.  It seemed so strange for such a song to be playing in a place populated by people with oxogen tanks, walkers, wheel-chairs, and canes.  Then I realized that all those old people were probably in their disco partying primes when that song first came out in 1979.  Wow!  I couldn't help but laugh out loud.  It was similar to the feeling I got when I first heard Nirvana on the "classic rock" radio station.  Getting old can be weird and surprising, and I wonder if other people are as struck by the oddness of these moments of in-your-face passage of time.  Did their hearing Donna singing about wanting "hot stuff" bring about memories of their youthful pursuits of hot love?  Or were they like me and the only hot stuff they were thinking about was sitting on their plates?