Roman Stoad’s Rules for the Road: Part 5

2011 July 13
by Roman Stoad

Eating in Restaurants

It is currently Restaurant Week in NYC.  Restaurant week!  My god!   Are there no restaurants the rest of the year?   Why not have Dollar Store Week.  Or Bodega Week.  The real “week” we are celebrating is “Cash Week,” as in “Get out and spend that loose cash!”  Haven’t you heard, the recession is over. Contribute! Do your part. Eat out twice a day on this great holiday of Restaurant Week and make Mayor Boomburg proud of his little subjects. He’s probably banking on it, and needs your participation to fill his coffers.

But don’t come crying to Roman when your diarrhea keeps you up at night, or your credit card can’t handle the tab. Cause if there is one thing that pisses off Roman Stoad, it’s people who eat in restaurants. I walk past these self-satisfied clowns every day, whenever I pass through your town. I see your culturally privileged elite in their restaurants stuffing their faces with fancy food that’s been shipped in from god knows where in the world.  What you don’t see, unless you make an effort, are the Mexicans and the Blacks back in the kitchen out of sight. I bet you “foodies” feel good about yourself cause you’re giving them a job.

Sure, Roman reads the menus. It’s cheap entertainment—menu porn.  But Roman couldn’t afford to eat in these joints even if he wanted to. But it’s more than that drives his venomous tongue—it’s his sense of disgust.  Not to mention his concern for the quality of life. After all you restaurant eaters: think of the misery and pollution you cause with every tasty morsel (which you probably don’t taste anyway because your main concern is “being there”). Do you think you can get a date or a job by “being seen” in the window of a trendy place. The sad truth is—that might very well be the case.  Something to think about.

But you should also think about the gasoline and jet fuel that is wasted to bring these fancy foodstuffs to this particular location in your neighborhood so that the people of your neighborhood can pretend they are eating in France or Sao Paulo or Kuala Lumpur or wherever. Think of the coolers groaning 24/7, think of the diesel that is burned constantly to first transport and then to keep this food refrigerated to keep it from spoiling until it reaches your privileged mouth. Think of the truck fumes your neighbors (and other neighbors that you don’t see) are forced to breath, spewed out by the idling vans and semis parked outside the food distribution centers for hours while the fork lifts also spew exhaust into the air.

Think of the vast amounts of wasted food thrown out because the appetites of the rich are just not so big as their outsized income, or, more likely, that this is their fourth or fifth meal of the day after their hors d’oeuvres and snacks and appetizers and free trade organic Ceylon hybrid blend tea. And they deserve it; they have after all, they have a right to it, while most of the people in the world get a crust of bread and maybe a roasted pigeon bone cooked over some dried out cow shit—a meal that they paid for with the dime they got for a weeks worth of work hauling those special organic vegetables to the boats and planes that would bring them to the tables of the privileged Williamsburg diner who prides him or herself on the sophistication of his appetite. In(fucking)deed.

Roman has worked in restaurants and he knows that every day they throw away enough food to feed numerous families if not a small town.  And Roman has suffered the condescension of restaurant diners, these generators of waste, many times as he labored his way toward the rent by pretending to serve the demanding “takers” of our society. He has seen the fattened faces of these “takers” with their exaggerated self-regard as they sneered at him like some lower creature who should thank his lucky stars that be should be able to serve them. But Roman is a humble man and he doesn’t care for the opinions of fools.  Restaurant culture is a culture of vast waste and I know I am making numerous people angry by saying so; many of my liberal friends think the best thing you can do is eat in a restaurant with a gustatorial theme derived from some oppressed people, as if eating in that restaurant is helping the peasants and not the well-to-do entrepreneurs.

It takes a field of corn to make a couple steaks, so think about that.  It takes a trail of burnt fuel and pollution to bring it to your plate.  Think about that. Think of that tasty menu that you love to read in your dreams of bourgeois social progress as a narrative of pain and oppression in the lives of the oppressed workers who service that dream. Think of what you are putting in your mouth as a form of defecation on the poor. Maybe that’s okay with you. Maybe you don’t mind eating the flesh of the poor and toasting the good life with your white Chablis while you munch your guatemalan pine nut bread fried in Amazonian flower oil squeezed out of the delicate rare flowers harvested via the destruction of indigenous tribes and their habitats. Think how when you’re shoving that food in your face and gabbing with your equally wealthy friends that your are actually squeezing the life blood out of some brown person you never have to watch die a horrible death.

Think about how cool you feel when you blow thirty five dollars on some fancy vegetables etc. picked by migrant workers that you hate because they are taking something from you, something that you don’t even know you have. Note how the fruit in Georgia rots in the field for the sake of a few pompous assholes who think God gave them America, just as God gave mankind the animals to slaughter at his will.

Hey Roman has no beef with home cooks. Roman loves those who grow their own food and make it with love not with blood. But that’s not what restaurant culture is about. I’ll tell you what you ought to do. Cook your own goddamn food. Go out and scavenge 2x4s and kill some fancy rats and roast them over a hickory fire, then you will know what misery you are causing. Then you will know how most of the people in the world eat.

So the next time you see it is Restaurant week in your city. Draw a big “No Way” over the sign. Tell your friends that fancy menus are really death tracts.

Or feed your face and grow the economy along with your ego.  Book your reservations now!

I am Roman Stoad. Doppelganger, specter, mirror image. I represent every evil you have ever committed. Look for me in your back yard, outside your door, hanging around in the gangway. Hear my voice in your dreams. I am your future.

Footnote: NYC & Company makes no representations or warranties about the information provided in the NYC Restaurant Week mini-site or other related collateral. NYC & Company hereby disclaims any responsibility and/or liability for failure by any third party to honor the offer or for any errors, omissions, incorrect information or other misprints that may appear. Offers cannot be combined with other promotions, savings or offers, and do not include beverage, taxes, gratuities or service charges. Additional restrictions may apply.

3 Responses leave one →
  1. 2011 July 16
    Ando Arike permalink

    Would you like some freshly ground caramelized tarantula venom on that, sir?

  2. 2011 July 21
    rightbank permalink

    Hear, hear! Thanks for expressing my disgust so well… For the workers’ perspective, see the brilliant pamphlet, ABOLISH RESTAURANTS, available at Bluestockings Bookstore.

  3. 2011 July 21
    Roman Stoad permalink

    For a real Restaurant Week, we should close all NYC restaurants, in fact all American Restaurants for one week, and send the food to Somalia, where hundreds of thousands are dying in the worst world famine in decades. Oh but wait, those people are terrorists aren’t they. Maybe they deserve to die.

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