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Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Lunch Report: Acadiana

I usually brown-bag it for lunch every day but today, I was persuaded by my co-workers to take a break from my leftover Roast Beast with carrots and potatoes in favor of getting out of the office for a drive in the open air of a convertible.

It seems that one colleagues’ son is out of town on business so he decided to drive his Mitsubishi to work, just for the fun of it. I wasn’t fully sold on the idea until another co-worker suggested we go to Acadiana. That was the ticket.

If you live in SA but haven’t tried Acadiana, you are surely missing out on a treat. I’m not a huge fan of Cajun dishes but I have never been disappointed with the regular fare. Lunch is about $6.25 for whatever their specials are, so with drink and a tip, you can get out easily for under $10.00.

I had the catfish, red beans & rice and green beans with a slab of corn bread. The iced tea was great and the service was spot on. One colleague had the full red beans & rice plate with a hunk of sausage and the other had the jambalaya with sausage. All three of us were happy with our selections. We didn’t order appetizers, but if you ever go, consider the fried pickles – they are quite the tasty treat.

Oh, as we were leaving, we got to see a group of military guys from the 149th Texas ANG come in for lunch. They were all in flight suits and one guy was extremely huge. I shouldn’t poke fun as I’m no slim Jim myself, but upon seeing him squeezed tightly into the “Bag” (as flight suits are often referred to in military jargon), I asked how the guys enjoyed their sausage.

I guess you had to be there.

Anyway, for our ride to Acadiana, I took the passenger seat and it was quite a hoot riding with my knees pressed against the dash. Okay, there was nothing funny about it. It was pretty uncomfortable. But I felt bad for my friend in the back seat. Even though he is not nearly as tall or fat, I was guessing that he had even less room.

So, after lunch I was pretending to play Mister Nice and offered to take the back seat for the trip back to work. My plan was that I would make him feel guilty since he is shorter and he would scoot the seat up really far, thereby allowing me a little more room for my legs. This worked fine and I was able to maneuver my way into the back seat and place my feet flatly on the floor, though admittedly with my knees shooting straight upward towards my chin. Good times!

But then, with the top down, we started driving and we weren’t even out of the Acadiana parking lot and on to Loop 410 before I realized what a real error in judgment I had made. The top of my head, and most importantly, my hair was elevated above the height of the car’s front windshield. If I were a model posing in “Fat Middle-Aged Guy” Magazine, this might be cool, but driving back to work at 70 MPH with the wind (and potentially a few flying insects) flowing through my well maintained hair, I was suddenly not having nearly as much fun as I did riding in the front seat.

At one point, I could see from the front mirror that my co-worker was talking to me. I would have attempted to read his lips, but through a mirror, it looked like he was talking backwards. And I sure as hell couldn’t hear anything he was saying, what with the buzz of dragonflies and wasps zooming past me.

At about the time we were pulling off of Loop 410 on to Medina Base Road, I took the opportunity to run my fingers through my hair as sort of an old-fashioned comb technique like my mom would do when I was 4 years old. But I suspect back then, my head was not completely numb like it was now. Thankfully we only had a few more miles to go and at much slower speeds.

When we arrived at the gate over on Security Hill, the driver needed to show his identification so we could get on to the base. This would not normally present a problem, but in such a small car, he was not able to reach his hand into his back pocket to retrieve his wallet. Just as the guard thoughtfully recognized the situation, I volunteered to present my ID which I had handy in my shirt pocket.

I should mention that the picture on my ID is less than a month old so, by everyone’s assessment, it should still look like me. But the guard looked at the picture, then looked at me, then looked at the picture again, then looked at me again. Just then, I caught a glimpse of my new, windswept “Afro” in the mirror and quickly patted it down enough to make me appear to be who I really was.

I’m thinking next time, I’ll drive.

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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