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too hot to handle

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I will never even begin to understand the human instinct.

Why do we do some things, even when we know the outcome may possibly be less than desirable?

As many of you may know (and if you don’t, do you even read my blogs?), I work in a restaurant in The Great Little Big City. And I have to say, my sampling of the human race that serves as our restaurant patrons do not give me much hope.

I’ve had people ask stupid questions, say stupid things, and order things like “hush puppies” and “onion rings” (we have neither).

But there is one thing I have noticed without fail.

However, let me preface this next bit with a little background info (as always).

We have recently installed new glo-rays at work. This now means that our plates, which are normally pretty hot, are now unbearably hot, within just a matter of minutes. I mean, it’s almost impossible to leave a plate there for even the amount of time it takes to assemble it and then be able to pick it up again. The glo-rays are good for food temps, bad for fingertips.

Which brings me to my observation.

As I deliver these said piping-hot plates to picky patrons, I always say, “These plates are very, very hot. Do NOT touch them. In fact, it would be in your best interest to just merely eat the food right off the plate, right where it is, unless you want your flesh to melt together in a most horrific way.” (Okay, that last part was an embellishment, but that is exactly how hot these plates can get.)

You would think this would be an ample warning.

Oh, no.

People take plates from me, grab them out of my hands, and then utter some curse and proceed to drop it on the table. Oh, golly gee, I wish I would have TOLD you the plate was hot, you jerk.

Or another reaction, one of my favorites, is when you set the plate down and people automatically feel the need to look to see if you’re looking and then grab the plate. I’m sorry, did you think this was a test of strength? I will win, believe me you. Or they give it a quick quarter-turn one way, then another quarter-turn back. What the hell was that? Does that make it taste better? Do you want to shift the food around a bit? Or is it just that necessary that you touch your plate to see if it is hot, then you want everything to think that you had reason to touch it. As you turn your plate, others that so patiently waited and tried to avoid first-degree burns will turn to one another, nod and say, “Oh, yes. He had to turn his plate. It was absolutely essential that he touched his plate.”

There are variations of this example of the human instinct.

For example, when you get a taste of something really gross, and you spit out the offending material and then lean to the person next to you and suggest that they take a taste as well.

Or when you smell something really horrible and then try your hardest to contain that smell so that someone else can smell it and back you up on the fact that yes, it does indeed, smell.

But you know what? I’m guilty of it, too. I make the wrong decisions, too, a LOT, and it always seems like I end up getting burned.

Anyway. That’s all. Just something I was thinking about.


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