b Papa Dog's Blog: Dispatches from the Road, Part VI

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Dispatches from the Road, Part VI

Gran has been ecstatic to have a Li’l Puppy over which to fuss, we’ve enjoyed the visit, and Doggy Dog has been thrilled to have the run of a back yard the size of a dog park. Still and all, all things good or otherwise come to an end, and it’s time to head back home to Oaktown.

Last night’s dinner was at – and if you’re vegan, cover your eyes here – the Outback Steakhouse. If you’re not familiar, this is a chain restaurant of the sort that populates suburban America, notable for offering entrée portions larger than the annual intake of your average Rwandan village. I’d only ever heard of the place previously because it was mentioned in Dan Savage’s Skipping Towards Gomorrah. In this sprightly hands-on survey of the seven deadly sins, Savage chose Outback to represent Gluttony, and I did my best to follow his lead. My entrée was actually pretty small by Outback standards – the “Barbie Chook ’N Bacon,” which is really just a chicken breast on a bun with some bacon and cheese. It would fit comfortably into one corner of the 16-oz. steak that Gran somehow packed into her waifish under-five-foot frame. I would have been okay if I had bypassed dessert, but somehow we always have dessert when we go out with Mama Dog’s parents, and I ended up getting “Sydney’s Sinful Sundae,” though, as with the “Barbie Chook ’N Bacon,” I couldn’t bring myself to say the stupid name out loud. In the first case, I just pointed at the menu. In the second, I said, “I’ll have the sundae,” and let our exuberant server respond with the entire tawdry alliteration. Sadly, no matter how I ordered it, I was going to end up a groaning bloated mess by evening's end, and it's in exactly that condition that I was rolled home.

Here’s the thing, though, that puzzles me about the Outback: despite its Aussie theme park ambience, the place is nothing other than a celebration of American excess. Why name a shrine to gluttony after a desert wasteland untouched by ice cream?

Anyway. We’re off in a few hours. Tomorrow, I’ll write from home.


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