When last we left our highly sensitive heroine, Lorna, she was traumatized by the Drunken Noodle Debacle at her favorite Thai restaurant and hoping that Old Thai Lady Curses could be neutralized by the affections of a swarthy former Marine.

A week passed before I was ready to try Chinese food because I was nervous. The last time I had eaten Chinese food (Vegetable Lo Mein), I got sick because it was so greasy. That was about 20 years ago. I hoped that with all we’ve learned about the dangers of trans-fats in our backsides…diets, recipes might have changed in the last two decades. But the restaurants available to us in our little “city” hadn’t changed, and the management probably hadn’t either. Change doesn’t come easily to rural America, unless you count weather and the pot holes in roads getting worse–those are changes you can count on.

This pot hole started out as a snail sanctuary. Now you can land a fairly decent-sized trout after a good rain. Next year, I hear there are plans to stock it with salmon…

Phil picked the Chinese restaurant for our dinner. We thought we would do what everyone does: take-out. But when we entered the small establishment with a fast-food ambiance, complete with “vat-of-frying-things” aroma thickening the air, the 4′ X 10′ plastic marquee of options that hovered above the serving counter boggled my mind. Phil immediately saw my eyes glaze over thicker than sweet-and-sour deep-fried [pick an item on the menu that doesn’t resemble or taste like what it’s supposed to be]. He handed me a poster-sized double-sided take-out menu printed in font the size of a deer tick. For you city dwellers, that’s so small that you need a magnifying glass to see where the damn thing bit you and gave you Lyme Disease.

“Gee wiz, I didn’t realize there were this many selections,” I remarked as I was hunting for my binoculars…reading glasses. And, yes, I really say things like, “gee wiz.” Golly, haven’t you ever heard a person express surprise before? “I’m going to need some time to look at this.”

“They have booths over there,” Phil pointed of a wall of booths separating the take-out counter and exposed kitchen area from the place where no one eats in. “We could eat in rather than do take-out.”

I trust Phil’s judgement on all things Asian because:

  1. He’s eaten Chinese food since Obama’s been President.
  2. He spent one year in Japan while in the Marines, and that’s closer to anything truly Asian than I can claim. That’s also closer to anything truly Asian than American Chinese restaurants in strip malls can claim.
  3. He loves me.

So we ate in. This proved to be a culinary mistake worse than Angry Thai Lady.

Oh no! Even I know that Chinese food is meant for take-out. I do it morning, noon and night. Um, well, between Taco Bell, KFC, and McDonalds. So many fast food joints, so few hours in a day and days in a week…

Stay tuned to see what happened…