Sunday , February 25 2024
Pondering the nuances of a Chinese restaurant buffet table.

“There Must Be an Angle, Playing with My Heart”

So I drive to my favorite Chinese buffet for two pick-up dinners (sesame chicken and beef fried rice, if you must know), and when I get there the second thing I do is take a look at the empty lunch buffet tables. There, on the sneeze guard, are labels telling us ignoramuses what each item in the food trays is supposed to be, and I’m checking to see if my favorite label is still there. For several years now, the proprietors of Jumbo Chinese Restaurant have been telling me that the appetizer I’ve known for years as Crab Rangoon are a.k.a. “Crab Angles.”

Check the restaurant’s menu, and it’s a different story: the same item is listed as “Crab Angels.” The discrepancy never fails to amuse my wife and I (yes, we’re easily amused). Like stores and business unable to properly spell “convenience” — if you can’t spell it, can you provide it? — it’s guaranteed to bring out the inner William Safire in us.

I walk over to the buffet tables, set my sights on the appetizer section, and what do I see but “Crab Angeles”? Sounds like an underwater city off the SoCal coast: a place where Homer Simpson might frolic, singing about the glories of the ocean while periodically chomping down on a sea creature and moaning, “Ummm, crustacean!” I hold this image for a moment, then return to the waiting area for our takeout.

Angels must be slippery creatures, I think: it’s hard to get an angle on ’em.

About Bill Sherman

Bill Sherman is a Books editor for Blogcritics. With his lovely wife Rebecca Fox, he has co-authored a light-hearted fat acceptance romance entitled Measure By Measure.

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