"The Muffled Cries For Help From a Daddy of Four Beautiful Little Girls"

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Does Salmonella Have One "L" Or Two?

One of the problems about being part of a husband/wife blogging duo is that there are times when we race to the computer because we want to write about the same experience we have just shared.
Neither one of us would want to write about second; that would be so unoriginal.

So after tripping Cindy and booby-trapping the stairs, HA! You are reading this here on MY blog first.
I like to keep things positive, but sometimes you have moments that are technically not positive. Lunch today was one of those moments.

I am a total cheapskate. It pains me greatly to be on vacation knowing full-well that there are fixin's for a really cheap pb&j sandwich back at the rental house but we are more than an hour away from said house.

I don't know if you're familiar with North Carolina's Outer Banks; essentially, the state contracted with someone to have this string of really long islands miles off the coast accessible only by an interminable van ride with 4 children who were told they could have ice cream which we gladly would've bought had this not been the last week or so of the off-season when everything is closed. So instead of making a meal out of ice-cream as planned, we had to resort to plan B.

We had with us a list of recommended restaurants, and one of these was actually open. I won't give the name of this restaurant because within three seconds I'm going to say some yucky things about it.

There was a dog inside the restaurant (bad sign #1). This was not a seeing-eye dog, I presume, because there were no other customers (bad sign #2) and both the employees I saw made eye contact with me when I spoke. The dog was simply sleeping under one of the tables, having seizures and/or bad dreams. Quite possibly it was dying; after reading this post, you'll vote for that option.

Now, I don't know a whole heckuva lot about restaurant management, but I watched a movie once that led me to believe that live animals, feces and un-netted hair were no-no's in the business.

For some reason, we overlooked the dog and went ahead and ordered our BBQ pork sandwiches, hot dogs, chicken tenders and cheese fries. Evidently, in the off-season, hot dog buns are difficult to come by, but we convinced the kennel owner that we'd survive with another bread product. We were also forced to survive with little to no sauce on the BBQ sandwiches...and cole slaw that was made with perhaps no dressing of any kind.

And with the unforeseen potato shortage in the Outer Banks, we'd also have to forgo the cheese fries, thus making this an entirely cheese-free meal (bad sign #7 or 8; we stopped keeping count).

Another difficult thing to find in the off-season? Fully-cooked chicken tenders. Anyone looking at them from the outside would assume they were cooked through and through. In fact, the almost-black, crunchy exterior made me think they might be more than just a bit on the dry side clear through. Then my daughter asked, "Do these chicken strips have a creamy filling or something?" Cindy and I got deathly silent. We'd had a bad experience with raw chicken before.

I would normally reply with, "I just spent $30 on this lousy lunch that on the other side of this body of water would've cost a mere $8.75, so I don't care how unnatural it feels or how weird it tastes, you're going to eat all of it."

However, in the last 5,328 miles along the cost, I didn't recall having passed a hospital. I've seen "ER" enough to know how to do a tracheotomy or an amputation below the knee if ever called on to do so, but I'm fairly certain the treatment of salmonella poisoning requires neither.

So we rapidly concluded our meal. I asked for my money back for the uncooked chicken. I should've asked for ALL my money back, but it looked like they were going to be needing some extra cash for vet bills, judging by the deterioration of the dog in the corner.

You'll be happy to know that none of the children ended up getting sick...yet.
Aside from the lunch, the rest of the day was perfect. Check out the pictures of the day here on Cindy's blog. We saw three lighthouses, met one 92-year-old son of a lighthouse-keeper, rode two ferries, flew kites and built sandcastles on a beach, fed sea gulls and heard almost NO complaining.

Imagine that. We fed our children raw meat, and THIS was probably the meal they complained the least about on the whole trip.


Chris said...

I have a new supreme compliment to pay people. . ."you 92-year old son-of-a-lighthouse-keeper!!!"

Emily said...

whoa. The chicken thing is totally freaky. So glad you stopped her from eating it. Some kids are not so....shall we say...careful?

And what's with NOT taking a picture of the dog?

Iris Flavia said...

Eeeeeek - a filling?!

javamamma said...

I cannot show my hubby this post, lest he relive a horror story of raw chicken. Hope the trauma doesn't stay with your girls long. :)

Tammy said...

You stayed about 30 minutes longer than I would have! Makes me wonder if they indeed were ingesting uncooked chicken or Old Yeller's last little buddy?! Hmmmm.

THEhooahwife said...

Oh Gross. That is just DIS-GUST-ING! I'm glad you guys caught it fast!

Richard J said...

I just found your blog recently, and I'm really enjoying it. You're right: dying animals inside a restaurant are generally a bad sign.

I hope the girls get through it without getting sick. It does seem like my kids can eat things that would kill adults, without getting hurt...

Mr. E said...

I hope the family stays healthy. Yeah, you should have taken a picture of the dog. When I was on my trip to Corpus Christi recently we ate a local Mexican Food place in a town called Refugio. They had a red-light shining over the meat section of their buffet. You could not tell what kind of meat you were getting so I did not get any. The place was a dump but we were hungry and ate their anyway. I was a little ill that evening. I'm glad your kiddos pointed out the bad chicken before they just decided to eat it.

Ronnica said...

Sounds like you experience Carolina BBQ. That's just how it is...disgusting. I was SO thankful to get REAL BBQ while I was in Texas this weekend!

Annette said...

I think "back in the day", some people did happen to survive on raw meat. Not something I plan to do in the near future, however.