Choking is one of those things that seriously grosses me out. I can’t exactly explain why, but I think it is at least partly due to an experience from childhood. Of course, with the unfortunate event of Wednesday, it brought to mind this memory:
Several years ago (at least 12 or 14), my family bought a new van. We went to a nearby town in Illinois (we lived in central Illinois), to pick up this van. My dad decided to make it a fun family event, so he asked the car dealer for a good restaurant recommendation. The man said that Queens was the best restaurant and great for families. My dad took his advice, and we headed there for dinner. We were no sooner seated and preparing to order when a man at a table nearby began to choke. Someone helps and evidently whatever was stuck became dislodged, but this caused the man to vomit on the floor. (Let me say, I don’t do well with any throwing up, either.) The next thing we see is him pulling his chair back up to the table, over the vomit, and begin eating again. I am so upset by this point I can barely keep myself from being sick, much less order my meal.
We tell the waitress what we want and then we hear a woman behind us order, “Um…I’d like the 12 oz. steak, but instead of steak, could I substitute cottage cheese? And instead of the potato, could I have some cottage cheese?” My sisters and I exchanged horrified glances: she can’t be serious? Sadly, she is, and I think the confused waiter suggested she might just want to order sides of cottage cheese. (Side note: wouldn’t it just be cheaper to go and buy a carton of cottage cheese? She was dining alone.) After this additionally disturbing event, we were convinced we did not want dinner…but it got better. The man who choked finished his dinner and left – finally they can clean up the vomit we can’t help staring at! The bus boy cleans the table and then brings out a broom and a dustpan and sweeps it off the carpet…no cleaning solution…nothing. They reset the table. My dad decides by this point, that we’ve had enough. We leave, vowing never to return to this horrible restaurant.
We have since heard that it went out of business…I wonder why?! Who would recommend it? It felt like a very bad joke. The evening was looking up, though, when it finished with Baskin Robbins…I think my dad just felt sorry for us! :)