Defining western omelet and other lessons from the cafeteria in Salt Lake

Now that the AP World History reading is over, it’s time to reflect on what I learned eating at the communal dining area at the Salt Palace.

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Don’t ask the cafeteria guy what’s in the omelets: Most of the people we have come across in Salt Lake City have been very, very friendly. Not omelet-serving cafeteria guy. One morning, the Salt Palace Convention Center cafeteria, where we ate every day, was serving western omelets, and the western omelets were labeled as such in several places.

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Cheese AND mushrooms?! What manner of omelet is this?!

Jim, curious about what was in the omelet, asked the cafeteria guy if the omelet contained mushrooms. Cafeteria guy’s sullen response: “It’s a western omelet.” He said this strongly implying the following unspoken addendum: “Jackass.” Then, the next lady in line asked if there was cheese in the omelet, and cafeteria guy said, “it’s a western omelet (jackass).”

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As a nation, we can do better than these milk containers.

Milk containers have not improved since the dawn of milk drinking: Some days at the reading I liked having cereal for breakfast, especially when more than one person had asked cafeteria guy about the ingredients in a western omelette. Unfortunately, the only milk containers were those small cartons that schools sadistically sell to elementary school kids. I say sadistically because the list of things easier to open than those cartons is long, and it includes: beer, a half-consumed jar of jelly, bio hazardous waste containers, and a human chest cavity. I’m not sure what kind of milk carton consortium has blocked the use of 21st century sealing technology for milk containers, but they aren’t winning this battle. Guess what, crappy-ass milk container? I’m putting some freaking milk on these bargain-brand Rice Krispies even if it means I have to use this plastic knife to cut you.

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Mission accomplished! And I didn’t even have to use my knife.

Some highly educated people are bad at eating: The cafeteria has these large round tables, and, from time to time, we ended up eating with strangers. One morning, a professor sat down with us and ate some bargain-brand honey nut Cheerios while he told us about the essay he was scoring. Unfortunately, it was hard to concentrate on what he was saying because he ate sort of like Cookie Monster, with maybe 75% of the Cheerios actually delivered to his mouth.

The other Cheerios cascaded to his tray, his shirt, and the floor. The whole time he was eating, I was imagining Laura’s reaction, since she can’t stand this kind of messy eating. I think it would go something like this:
(Laura, staring intently at Cheerios guy’s mouth) “I need you to stop eating right now. YOU ARE SMACKING! Stop talking with Cheerios in your mouth and TAKE SMALLER BITES!!!”
(Cheerios guy) Nom, nom nom, chomp, chomp, nom, nom, nom.

4 thoughts on “Defining western omelet and other lessons from the cafeteria in Salt Lake

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