No crab legs for me ... no inspector either
Regular readers of this space know that my bride and I dine out in the area often — and I write about those experiences from time to time. Recently we stopped at a place in Abington (near the Target store) called the Old Town buffet. We hadn’t been there for a long time, but recalled that it had snow crab legs, as many as you could eat, and that seemed like a good idea for dinner.
We arrived at the restaurant and were met (greeted would be too strong) by a young lady who barely acknowledged our presence and whose entire salutation was “how many?” She took us to our seats.
I headed off for the crab legs. The pan was there, it had water in it and one claw. I asked a server when they would replenish the tray. She smiled at me. My suspicion is that she and I were not conversant in the same language. So I went to get salad (lettuce was pretty much it) and some you-peel-them VKULPS. , WRRN fiYH DnG IRXnG WKH PRVW watery cocktail sauce I’d ever seen. In the corner of my eye I saw some snow crab legs arrive, but before I got there two ladies fiOOHG WKHLU SODWHV wLWK DOO WKHUH wDV DnG OHIW.
I ate my salad, splashed the watery cocktail sauce on my shrimp and headed out looking for crab legs. I was third in line when the server brought a new, about halffull, steaming hot tray of those guys. Again, WKH fiUVW WwR ODGLHV Ln OLnH (RnH RI wKRP clearly never misses a meal) wiped out the supply again. When I got there I found one skinny leg, not just a claw. I called to the chunky consumer and told her “you missed one.” I don’t think she spoke the same language as me either.
One more shot at the crab legs was attempted, but after standing there, alone (obviously there’s an art to being there at the right time), for a few minutes it was clear that none were coming. I went and got an ice cream cone. Which meant that for my $12.55-SOXV WDx , JRW D OHWWXFH VDODG, fiYH shrimp with watery cocktail sauce and an ice cream cone? My wife ate more than me, but she said the food quality was “not WHUULfiF.”
When I paid my almost $30 bill, the same young lady that seated us was also the cashier. She said nothing, didn’t even look up. Finally Cindy could stand it no longer and said, “Can you talk?” The cashier scowled at her and said “thank you.” And, my reply, by the way, was “you’re welcome.” You won’t see me there again.
We got a new roof on the old manse recently. We hired a Willow Grove-based company to do the job, because I like to support local businesses. It wasn’t the greatest experience I ever had. I encountered the language barrier here too and had to wake two of them up from their naps to get them back to work, but all-in-all they did a pretty good job. OK, so they dented the crap out of my rain gutter, but they replaced it and the one-day job spanned three.
Part of the deal, I learned, was I needed a building permit, which the contractor got for me from Abington Township. It arrived in the mail a few days after the job was done — no need to posit it while WKHy wHUH wRUNLnJ. 7KH FRVW flRRUHG PH, LW was $180! I called John Speigelman (my commissioner) and asked exactly what the $180 got me. He admitted that he didn’t know but would look in to it. The response he passed along to me was a lot of words that, basically, says you pay us $180 or you don’t get the work done. No inspectors showed up (if they had, then I’d feel a little better about the charge), and probably no one but the clerk who typed it and the person who copied it on the township uerox probably even knew it was being done. I could live with $25, maybe even $50, but $180 for no one doing anything and a sheet of paper seems a little much.
Switching gears to the subject of WUDIfiF, RnH PRUnLnJ nRW VR ORnJ DJR , was trying to leave the Abington Target store from the upper driveway where a sign reads “Right Turn Only.” A guy in front of me with darkened windows VLWV WKHUH DnG VLWV WKHUH, finDOOy flLSV Rn his left turn signal and sits some more. Then, when he sees an opening, he flRRUV LW, URDUV RXW RI WKH HnWUDnFH DnG turns left — right in front of an Abington police car perched on the median Rn 2OG YRUN 5RDG. , fiJXUHG, “2K ERy, he’s toast.” Wrong. What does the cop do? Nothing, he ignores it. Let’s see, illegal left turn (against the law), darkened windows (against the law), and a high rate of speed. Imagine. But don’t try it yourself.
Ron Dunbar, who apparently also sent away for stuff as a kid, wrote and said, “Being of your generation, I found your recent column about kids in an earlier time to be very entertaining. However, I want to take you mildly to task on a minor point of ancient history. The decoder came not from Tom Mix, but from Captain Midnight, who was sponsored by Ovaltine. I didn’t like Ovaltine much, but Mom made me consume the whole jar of the stuff before I could send in the label and money to get the decoder. As I recall, I got a new one every year for three or four years.”
Well, Ron, your decoder may have come from Captain Midnight, mine came from Tom Mix. I was wrong about Ovaltine, but I liked it (that was the good Captain’s sponsor), Tom’s sponsor was Ralston and I liked its cereal too. We’ll call it a draw. Thanks for writing, Ron.
Ted Taylor can be reached at ted@ tedtaylor.com.