Sunday, January 26, 2014

Straws and Toothpicks

Recent conversation at a local dining establishment:

Server: Here are your drinks, ladies. And I’ll just leave yous some extra straws.

Diner 1: We don’t want any straws. We are perfectly capable of drinking out of beverage glasses without straws. Additionally, “yous” isn't a word, and one never starts nor ends a sentence with a conjunction!

Server: It’s company policy that we leave more straws every time we fill or refill a beverage order. That was one of the rules I was told when I got hired last week.

Diner 2: How wasteful and environmentally damaging is that! I know of no normal person above the age of 2 or 3 who can’t drink reasonably neatly from a cup or glass without a straw.

Diner 3: Now all restaurants are trying to revert us back to arrested development behavior patterns by mandating we adopt immature or restricted independent life choices when it comes to meals- straws, pre-selecting which side dishes we must consume with an entree, “package” choices from a limited meal-deal menu.

Diner 4: It is a human developmental milestone when children learn how to drink without a sucking aid, including bottles, sippy cups, and the like. Look here-they are even placing those cellophane wrapped toothpicks in shot glasses on every table, too. Shot glasses are barroom impedimenta, and no one should be attending to dental detritus in public.

Server: I recognize yous wimmin now. You’re the Hot Tea with Honey Ladies. No wonder everybody was laughing when they assigned me your table. Just because I’m new here, trying to earn money to pay for college… *Sniff*

Diner 1: Now dear, don’t cry. I believe we can help. I know we are your last table of the day. Why don’t you clock out now instead, and then come join us for a nice cup of tea. Don’t worry- we brought our own honey.

Diner 2: Could you please bring along a plethora of extra straws, and a few thousand more toothpicks, too?

Several months later at a very different local dining establishment:

Ex Server 1: Ladies- The satellite television trucks are awaiting you outside, and the Grand Opening line goes around the block twice. We also just received a call from 60 Minutes.

Ex Server 2 (friend of Ex Server 1): Ladies, all of us again want to thank you for your compassion, understanding and creative plan to allow us to attend college and work. By the way, we had never heard of elocution lessons before we met you.

Ex Server 3 (friend of Ex Server 1 and 2): We still don’t know how you managed to find us all scholarship money to cover our complete education costs, and even those beautiful apartments you call dorms, but…

Hot Tea with Honey Lady 1: That’s neither here nor there, girls, but right now put on your big smiles and let’s go meet the press…

They adjourn to the entrance patio. Servers circulate with finger foods and complimentary beverages.

Reporter 1: How did you come up with the concept for the Green Little Pigs Restaurant? Mmm. These little sandwiches sure are tasty!

Hot Tea with Honey Lady 2: We were so very tired of seeing natural resources used unnaturally in dining establishments. Nobody needs to drink out of a straw while dining out. It cheapens the experience and demeans the dignity of the diners.

Hot Tea with Honey Lady 3: We began collecting unneeded straws every time we dined, along with a few toothpicks. The idea apparently caught on, and before long, donations were arriving from all over.

Hot Tea with Honey Lady 4: Not only are straws and toothpicks unnecessary for a pleasant dining experience, they are contributing to the decline of natural resources, and the packaging is another waste. People can drink from a glass or cup absolutely fine without straws, and we won’t even discuss social appropriateness and toothpicks.

Reporter 4: Can you tell us about the green impact of the restaurant? Hey- these shots are the real thing!

Hot Tea with Honey Lady 1: The entire operation was designed to be certified green, and has won several awards for low environmental impact, resource conservation, and every other green related kudos one can imagine, including Energy Star ratings. It was entirely designed by these young ladies behind us. They are all engineering, design, environmental studies, women‘s studies and other majors at North Punty University, right here in North Punty.

Heating is geothermal and solar, as is power. The building rotates to use sun exposure to the best advantage to conserve energy. In warmer months, extensive greenery shades public portions of the building, reducing artificial cooling needs.  The water comes from an artesian source. Cooling is geothermal, and piggybacks off the huge snow mountain behind the building, collected during the winter.

Hot Tea with Honey Lady 2: All of our foods are certified organic and are sourced from within the country, locally to the extent possible. Meat and poultry comes from free range farms and ranches, dairy and produce from local small, independent farmers. And we do have lots of honey, sourced from local apiaries.

Our culinary staff boasts award winning chefs, and we offer internships to students in the university’s Culinary Arts Degree Program. We are initiating a guest chef appearance project, where world famous food industry icons will design specialty menus, and train, oversee and cook here for limited engagements. 

See our website for a complete list of chefs and dates. Hurry to reserve your spot during these limited engagements. There is also a link to reserve accommodations in one of the areas fine hotels, bed and breakfast establishments, and other recreational or hospitality facilities.

Hot Tea with Honey Lady 3: Our designer tableware is made by local craftspeople; local weavers create the high end linens, and local artisans craft the flatware, glassware and other supplies. Products are available for purchase here at the restaurant, at the newly opened Artisan Shop Pedestrian Mall in town, or online through the Green Little Pigs website, which has links to individual artisan’s sites, too.

We are pleased to partner with so many talented community residents, helping to boost the local economy, while providing employment opportunities to people who wish to learn a craft.  Individually hand made products were the backbone of this nation’s growth, and those skills need to be kept alive. We offer attractive incentives for craftspeople willing to relocate to this area to establish a permanent business. See our website for details.

To enhance your dining experience ambiance, live music is provided by the university’s music studies students. A schedule of performances and selections is on the website and included in the menu.

Reporter 5: Why the name Green Little Pigs? We understand the “green” reference now, but it sounds like a play on The Three Little Pigs story. Can someone please pass me another one of those beverages with a slice of orange on top?

Hot Tea with Honey Lady 4: We have three dining rooms based on the three building materials the three little pigs used in their homes. The first dining room is a play on Pig 1’s house of sticks. All the furniture is made from those socially inappropriate and unneeded toothpicks so grossly offered at restaurants. None are used, of course, and all were donated a few at a time but people supporting our green awareness campaign.

 Unlike Pig 1’s house, our furniture won’t collapse with a huff and a puff. It was ergonomically and sturdily designed by our college student ladies, and made by students for credit under the supervision and tutelage of local professional wood crafts people.

Hot Tea with Honey Lady 1: Our second dining room’s furniture is created from all those environmentally damaging straws, again donated by supporters and designed and sturdily crafted by students and local craftspeople. By the way, one can order any of our furniture offerings for home or office, too. We additionally offer a custom design service to meet individual needs.

Reporter 6: Who is the Big Bad Wolf? These honey tarts are delicious.

Hot Tea with Honey Lady 2: The Big Bad Wolf is the established restaurant industry, especially those chains with inflexible policies and “one size fits all” menus. People are individuals. Individual tastes and needs must be taken into consideration to give diners an experience worth the money they pay for a pleasant meal in a sterling environment.

Reporter 7: So now we are at Pig 3’s house. In the story, his is made of bricks and impermeable to the wolf’s huffing and puffing. How can you beat that? I never was served an aperitif before at a press conference.

Hot Tea with Honey Lady 3: Actually, this was the easiest of all. All the furniture is made from those reprehensible dinner rolls restaurants indiscriminately toss on every diner’s table. Those things are so full of GMO products, chemicals, preservatives, stripped down food stuffs containing little real food ingredients, artificial flavoring, artificial colors, additives and substances linked to a variety of hazardous health conditions, that they will never decompose, and remain as hard as brick for years to come.

Hot Tea with Honey Lady 4: So now we invite you to enjoy a unique dining experience in a unique environment.  Press kits and additional information are available inside. We promise no huffing and puffing. Bon appetit!