It’s Friday, everyone! And since you’ve all been good boys and squirrels this week, we’re going to line up single file and walk quietly to the cafeteria for this week’s nutritious edition of my Millionaire Saga! After that grueling, cutthroat competition in Fastest Finger practice, we need to recharge ourselves and put a little food in our tummies! I just wonder if we can find anything in the ABC commissary that looks more edible than the rabbit food they called a continental breakfast back in the green room…
Me and the cast of thousands who made up these two taping groups were all led upstairs to the commissary for a pre-show lunch. You never know who you might run into in the cafeteria of a major television network, especially if like me you wouldn’t even be able to recognize the President of the United States if he bumped into you on the street and you got beat up by the Secret Service guards.
The first thing I noticed as we entered the commissary was all of the promotional posters of different ABC shows on the wall. The one that stood out the most to me was the poster for a show called “The View”… which only happened to be one of the most popular talk shows in the country at the time, and I’d never fucking heard of it. Joy Behar had been a contestant on the most recent celebrity edition of the show, and I had no idea who she was and why she was supposed to be a celebrity. Oh… so she’s a panelist on this show called The View… great, more last minute realization that I’m a total moron.
Enough gawking at posters of allegedly famous people I’ll never be able to remember anyway… I’ve got to get in the dreaded chow line. I make darn sure I wind up as close to the end of the line as possible so I have more time to decide that I don’t like anything they have out there. Maybe from the rear, I can spy the spread in time to bail out of line if nothing particularly stands out… what’s the worst than can happen if I play on an empty stomach?
As the line inches closer and closer to the vittles, I can start to make out what’s in some of the trays. I see something that looks like macaroni, and not that neon orange stuff they show you in the commercials for Kraft
Macaroni and Cheese Cheese and Macaroni, but that glop you see on every buffet table in the country that looks like someone vomited out of their nose. Doesn’t matter anyway, I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t care for macaroni.
There’s something that looks like shrimp… hell, I don’t know. I don’t eat seafood of any kind. And I see a tub full of some kind of mystery meat. It is almost embarrassing how little I know about food, and even being able to recognize different kinds of food. You could throw lasagna, caviar, guacamole, fondue and meatloaf out on a table, then give me five signs to match up with each of them… and I guarantee you, I’d fuck it up and be lucky to even get one of them identified correctly.
As much as I was hoping for a fire drill or something, it was inevitable that I’d make it to the front of the line. I reluctantly grab a tray, and start looking… make that scouring everything, hoping maybe I had missed the fried chicken or something. No such luck. I’m up, and the ABC lunch lady is patiently waiting for me to pick something out. The veins in her forehead start throbbing through her hairnet as she can already tell by my possum in the headlights look that I’m going to be a major pain in the ass…
Sigh. I very reluctantly point to the shrimp… at least I know what that shit is. Who knows, maybe I’ll even like it. The network television culinary expert begins scooping up the shrimp one at a time and placing them on my tray. One…. two… three…
OK, that’s enough of that shit, dear. Moving along down the line we have… um, are those tater tots? As hard as it may be to believe, I had never eaten tater tots before at that point in my life. I had absolutely no idea what to expect… but using the same logic one might use to… oh, say work out a tough question on a game show, I figured that tater comes from potato, and potatoes make french fries, and I absolutely love french fries of almost any variety. Hell, scoop me up a nice big heap of those tots, bitch!
So with nothing on my tray but four fried things that got caught in a dolphin net and a whole heap of tater tots, I manage to make it to the end of the line where the beverages are sitting on ice. I saw it waiting for me at the finish line, and it kept me strong as I battled through the maze on unknown, distasteful, and inedible foods. I reached for the shiny blue can, and placed it on my tray in triumph that I had finally found something in this god forsaken building that I needed absolutely no convincing to imbibe in…
I took my bounty of questionable taste and found an unoccupied table. I stared at the mess that was on my plate, and it no doubt stared back at me mockingly because I was being forced outside of my palate’s comfort zone. I grabbed a tot and stuck it in my mouth…
Hey… these things aren’t that bad! In fact, they’re pretty damn good! Well, I won’t totally starve anyway. May as well give the shrimp a try. No doubt I’ll probably find that I’ve been missing out on something delicious all my life, right?
Oh dear…. shrimp is absolutely disgusting. There’s no way I’m eating this shit…
My Dad makes it back with his plate and he has…. bacon!?!?!? Where in the hell did he find bacon in that spread? There’s no way I would have missed that, dammit! Dad’s a sport, so he traded me his bacon for my three pieces of shrimp I hadn’t touched yet. This could have been real disastrous, because three years after this all went down, my Dad had a horrific allergic reaction to some shrimp while he and my Mom were on vacation that nearly killed him. I can totally see one of my
babysitters associate producers coming up to me right before the taping to let me know my Pop has swelled up like a beach ball and might have to go to the hospital. Yeah, that might’ve ruined things…
But Dad did not in fact have an allergic reaction to the shrimp, and I did not have a hissy fit from having to eat any crap I didn’t want, and I had just barely gotten my grub down when one of the AP’s came in to announce that it was time for us First Tapers to get ready for our big moment. I would imagine that most of my group who didn’t eat like the world might end in a few minutes hadn’t gotten anywhere near enough time to enjoy ABC’s free lunch.
Our companions were told to wish us good luck, as the next time they’d be seeing us, they would be in the audience watching us come out on stage to get it on for the big bucks. There’s nothing touchy-feely about me or my Dad, so there was no long, dramatic, tearful goodbye… I just got up from the table and waited for us to be led on out of Chez ABC. Heck, I can’t even remember if he even said anything to me since he had his mouth full of poisonous shrimp.
And now it was time for the butterflies to start occupying the parts of my stomach that weren’t busy trying to process warmed-over tater tots and bacon… and there wasn’t much of a chance those fluttering little bastards were gonna get digested along with everything else.
Come back next week as me and my newfound rivals get ready for primetime!
You don’t like macaroni or pizza? I would have to snub you for that, except for the fact you have Cyanide & Happiness AND Chef Barth in one post. Awesomeness=restored
Whew! That was a close one! At least I have good taste in relevant images….
Shane and I are with you ES! Food that isn’t immediately recognisable or has had things done to it to make it “interesting” we don’t want to know about. What do they say about a free lunch?…..
Ain’t no such thing! Even in TV Land, apparently….
I love shrimp, but only recently as an adult. As long as there isn’t a bullet in the chamber.
That sounds like it would hurt to bite into…
It’s the poop chute….
That would definitely hurt to bite into…. oh wait, I think I get it now! Duh. You are my density…
I’m not sure if it hurts exactly, but it sure isn’t pleasant. LOL
I like shrimps and I admit the “boring” food in sesame-street style looks tasty :o)
Eating Elmo is so much more fun than tickling him…
Glad I’m not picky about my food, I’d starve to death. 😉
Pickiness is why I don’t like to travel… and no way in hell anyone would ever get me out of the country.
Omg, I could so identify with the scary cafeteria foods post. Yay, I am not the only picky one! I have gotten to where I’ll eat more foods over the years, but still not salad. Lettuce is like wet cellophane – how do people eat that? And shrimp? Yuck, seafood freaks me out. That’s also why I won’t swim at a beach. Seafood.
My kids are worse, especially Thing One who I think eats 5 different foods total, including spaghettios. But we’re all still alive. We should form a club to stand up to people without finicky tastes – they are always giving opinions on what we should eat. You don’t like shrimp? Hahahahagarfuglangurf (sound of shrimp being wedged in someone’s throat).
Looking forward to the hot seat. REGIS, REGIS, REGIS!
I compared my picky ass with George Carlin’s old “Fussy Eater” routine in an earlier part of this story (When I was walking all over NYC trying to find something… anything I felt like eating). I like the idea of standing up to the culinary snobs… here, if you like it, YOU EAT IT! (cram!)
We’re getting closer to the Man, the Myth, and the Legend…… stay tuned!
I LOVE that routine of Carlin’s! So awesome.
No fried chicken?! Oh piggy dear heavens. Mom so feels you on this trip through the horrid food line. She would have been two steps past starving without her chicken. Ya’ll have that in common! XOXO – Bacon
I’m glad there’s someone else out there who appreciates our national food as much as I do! We need to show those people in New York what real Americans like to eat!
Noooooooo not squirrel loaf!!!!!!
I consider myself a “foodie.” I’ll try anything if it is done right. But your description of the food at the ABC cafeteria sounds absolutely disgusting.
And speaking of disgusting… Who the F__k are those women on The View? I recognize Babs but I have no idea who the rest of them are or what qualifies them to be highly paid onscreen personalities. Who the Hell watches that show? Honestly we need a show called “Underground Bloggers” or “Blog Stars.” I’ll have my people call your people and we’ll do lunch (with chicken of course.)
LOL! I found one of those neat Wikipedia timeline graphs that shows who the hosts were at any particular time since The View debuted in 1998 and I almost posted it. But the Fab Five in that shot from circa 2001 are Meredith Vieira (Who would go on to host the syndicated version of Millionaire for almost a decade), the aforementioned Joy Behar and Star Jones, Lisa Ling, and of course, Babs. Babs is obviously established, and Mere’s carved her own big footprint in the world of daytime television… but those other three are still obscure even to this day!
I may have done the food in the ABC cafeteria an injustice describing it from my POV, but to me, it certainly looked about as appetizing as what one might find at a soup kitchen. Blech…
Thank goodness for bacon and tater tots and Pepsi. I’m not that picky, but I have fo be able to identify what I’m eating or no uh uh…and if its mushy or sloppy or mixed with something I don’t like, no uh uh.
Yay, you’re finally gonna be on tv!
YAY indeed! Finally……. eventually……… hopefully!
Mushy, sloppy or mixed reminds me of TV dinners. I just can’t find any of them appetizing at all….
Tv dinners have evolved somewhat. Some are even edible..and some are “inspired by top chefs” *eyeroll*…most are nasty. They have come a long way from turkey or salisbury steak in watered down gravy. Gag inducing just to think about it.
Shrimp would have been my absolute last choice, whether I recognised the other food or not! I finally gave in and Googled “Tater Tots” as I’ve seen them mentioned several times. Now I know what they are (we have something similar but since “Tater Tots” is a registered trademark we call them something else).
I hope that mouthful of bacon is enough to see you through the taping!
Tater Tots is copyrighted!?!? Say it ain’t so! I hope the trademark bearer doesn’t sue my nuts off now….
It figures, though, it seems like all the good words are off limits…
It’s amazing how many words are used in everyday speech which are actually brand names, like “Frisbee” or, in the US, “Jell-o”.
Wow. You are REALLY milking this for all it’s worth. I’m impressed. I get one lousy post out of something that happened to me and you get a whole series. I need to rethink my approach!
I am, and I certainly hadn’t planned on that! I ran across a comment I made very early on in this series where I said, half jokingly at the time, that it might be July before I got to the end. Ha! I think my Friday content is covered until around Thanksgiving…. gobble gobble!
And now you love Tater Tots, right? And you didn’t say a thing about how good the Pepsi was with the bacon, ESN. Onto the stage next week! Perhaps …
I do love me some tots now, but have rarely come across them since! Once they were put on the buffet at the restaurant I eat lunch at, but that’s it. Now I’m hungry for some….
Pepsi makes anything taste better…. even bacon. Since I’m not a bacon worshiper, that statement is not heretical….
We shall see where next week takes us……
At least you got one identifiable foodstuff, or at least, beverage!!