Sunday, December 7, 2008

You look like a monkey and you smell like one too…

At Outback, our attitude towards life is down-to-earth, laid-back, 'no worries'. Our attitude toward food is another story. It's a story about big, bold flavors, a story about quality, consistency and preparation. We take great pride in serving the freshest, highest-quality food possible. At Outback, it's all about quality — and all about the food.
So let go of the worries of the day, and Go Outback.”

Damn straight. That’s the Outback way. That’s why Outback is my favorite restaurant in the world. That’s why I drag my family to the Outback once a year. You see, I’m pretty much forbidden to eat there all year round. Why would I possibly be kept from a Mecca such as this against my will? Because my lovely wife thinks it’s a shit-hole, that’s why. But… because deep down she loves me more than almost anything except her furry Uggs, she allows me one free pass. Every year on my birthday we drag the whole family to the Outback so daddy can stuff his fat face with the following delicacies:

Appetizer - The Bloomin’ Onion

Not much to say here except, “look out!” If you don’t have heart problems before you eat one, you’re probably going to have them after. Definitely looks the same coming out as it does going in.

Appetizer #2 - The Steakhouse Salad

This almost sounds like it could be healthy. NOT! What fun would that be? Birthdays are for being gluttonous and indulgent. Extra ranch dressing, Garson and don’t skimp on the croutons.

Appetizer #3 – Bread

Not exactly an appetizer but it’s so fresh and warm that it must be noted. They also give you a knife that you could hack off your own hand with, to cut it. Outback never “cuts” corners.

Entrée – 16oz Prime Minister’s Prime Rib

You haven’t had Prime Rib this good since you cousin Steven’s Bar Mitzvah. Cooked to perfection, fatty and Au Jus. Better pop the pants button before you dig into this baby.

Sides – Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Aussie Chips and Fresh Steamed Veggies.

That’s right. I order two items from the potato family. Got a problem with that? I didn’t think so, tough guy. I’d have them deep-fry my veggies but it’s not an option. That’s coming straight from Outback management.

Drink – 20oz Fosters, served chilled.

Nothing says Australia like a Fosters. Actually, my Australian business partner has told me that both the Outback and Fosters are for shit. It’s supposedly like having a Milwaukee’s Best at an IHOP. It beats hanging out with Hugh Jackman and that puss face Nicole Kidman, that’s for sure.

Dessert – Chocolate Thunder From Down Under.

This is irresistible but unfortunately I am Lactose intolerant. So I have learned my lesson the hard way in the past. Now when I come to Outback, I wear an adult diaper and pack a spare for good measure.

Bon Appetit.

If you haven’t guessed by now, it was my Birthday today. If you don’t believe me, check my wall on Facebook. Last time I checked I had at least 200 Birthday wishes. That sounds fairly impressive but when you take into consideration that I have 1269 friends, it’s pretty underwhelming. There’s a higher percentage of people responding to direct mail than that measly turnout. Woe is me.

I shouldn’t make fun. Facebook and the never ending wall posts were actually quite the highlight for me today. I actually think most people that attended my birthday parties between the years 1972 – 1980 sent me well wishes today. That was kind of nice.

The cold hard fact is that I never got to go to Outback Steakhouse today. Didn’t really even come close. My day started off pretty well. My wife let me sleep in. This isn’t ever as simple as it sounds. Before we had kids, we’d sleep in every weekend. Now in order to sleep in, one of us needs to get up with the kids and let the other one sleep. But my kids are so freaking loud that we need to turn on the exhaust fan in the bedroom-bathroom, leave the bathroom door open, close the bedroom door and then open the closet door all the way so it double barricades the bedroom door. It’s like the opening to Maxwell fucking Smart for god sakes. The most pathetic part of this is that my wife took the kids out of the house so I can actually slumber but as soon as I heard them leave… and I most certainly heard them leave… I jumped out of bed and hurried upstairs to exercise. This was my thought process. Would I rather sleep in peace or workout in peace? Thinking that I was going to Outback later that night, I chose the latter. I should have slept.

When my family came back, I was ready to roll. We were actually going to a birthday party. You’d think that on your own birthday, you’d be going to your own birthday party. Wrong! I was going to a 2 year olds birthday party. Double whammy here. Birthday party on Sunday = no football on the couch + annoying clown puppet show and Barney songs. I wasn’t very smart in school but I’m pretty sure this is the square root of SUCKASS.

After the party we headed back home. At this point we still planned on going to Outback. We were just going to rest for a bit, open my presents, then head out. Normally there’s no danger here. Rest and presents. It’s like bunnies and puppies. Harmless. Wrong again! Apparently I wasn’t supposed to get the presents that I got because my oldest daughter threw a shit fit. Now it’s tough times out there, so we kept the presents modest this year. All I wanted was a couple of DVD’s and pair of gloves that didn’t look like the Freezy Freakies I’d been wearing for the last 10 years. But apparently my daughter hadn’t approved the purchase and she was pissed that she didn’t get to pick out my present. So I got a tongue-lashing. Then my wife got involved and told her to apologize to me. Uh oh, not good. “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!” Most of the time I just respectfully decline the apology because when kids apologize (at least my kids) they don’t mean it anyway. I’d rather them just let me know they hate me so we can move on. It’s a lot simpler and quieter. Suffice to say the rest of the evening didn’t quite play out the way I had planned it. I made the decision to stay home for dinner. I told my wife and two daughters that my one remaining birthday wish was to have everyone stop yelling for the rest of the night. I said that I didn’t want to go to Outback with them because it seemed like too much trouble. I wanted Pizza instead, with sausages and mushrooms. Agreed!

When the pizza finally arrived, we all sat down at the table and my oldest daughter said to my wife, “Mommy, let’s go around the table and we’ll all tell daddy why we’re thankful for him on his birthday. Then he can tell us why he’s thankful for us on his birthday.” My wife went first.

Wife – “I’m thankful for Daddy because he works hard every day so he can earn money for us, so we can have the things we need and want. I’m also thankful that Daddy is still very handsome after all these years.” (I swear to Allah she said the handsome thing. She must be relieved that I didn’t catch the ugly train after our 10th anniversary or something.)

Oldest Daughter – “I’m thankful for Daddy because he works hard every day to bring home money for you, so you can give the money to me, so I can buy stuff from the school fair and buy all the other stuff that I want.

Youngest Daughter – “Thank you Daddy. I don’t want mushrooms!!!!”

Oldest Daughter – “Ok Daddy. What are you thankful for?”

Daddy (Me) – “I’m thankful that there are at least 6 – 8 hours in every day that I get to be asleep.”

Cue the laugh track…

Even on my birthday, I was still Out-Numbered…