It’s not a buffet if you don’t go back for more.
That was the official motto for corporate lunches at a small exploration company where I once worked. Every so often we’d venture from our headquarters to the retail area of a nearby gentrified neighbourhood to enjoy a modest selection all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. When the weather suited, we would walk to appease our guilty consciences for the gluttony we were about to embrace. I was still in my early thirties by the time those glorious days ended and I could still, for the most part, easily “go back for more”. Often I’d go back for more yet again.
Oh how long ago those days seem now. Approaching my mid-forties the all-you-can-eat buffet has become more uncomfortable chore than treasured vice. This is disconcerting on two levels. From a fiscal standpoint, I no longer leave a buffet with the smug satisfaction of knowing I consumed far more than my money’s worth. It used to be that buffets were exceptionally cost effective from a “calories eaten per dollar spent” perspective. This was especially true in my twenties when I could eat volumes of food that would impress bears awakening from hibernation. I’m afraid that is no longer the case thanks to the considerable deterioration in my consumptive ability coupled with the rise in buffet prices.
Where’s My Buffet Viagra?
The second way this new normal is perplexing me is that I don’t understand why it is happening. I mean, I get that our appetites tend to wain as we age, whether we heed that reality is another point altogether, but why at any particular sitting am I unable to eat the same volume of food as I used to? It makes no sense. My stomach hasn’t changed in size, has it? Even at twenty, I was gorging at a buffet not until I was full but until I literally couldn’t fit any more stuff in my gut. So why, at forty, has that physical capacity for excess diminished so?
Perhaps it’s an elasticity issue? The stomach, though essentially the same volumetric size, is unable to stretch like it once did? It would hardly be the only organ to suffer such indignity with aging. Is it simply a case of Elastile Dysfunction? And if E.D. truly is the culprit, then why the hell is there no Buffet Viagra available yet? A handy little pill you take when you know buffet eating is forthcoming. I imagine a burnt yellow, oblong capsule reminiscent of a miniature egg roll. It’d even come with a warning stating that if you are still eating any buffet after four consecutive hours to contact your physician immediately.
Because I’ll tell you something, eating an ungodly amount of food in one sitting is every bit as vital to the vigor of a man’s ego that getting it up for a few minutes of bumping uglies is.