I love a good buffet, not just because of the huge quantities of food, but because you walk in, pay, and you’ll be eating in under five minutes.

I recently found a buffet that offers a senior special – lunch for $5.99 and that includes a drink.   That’s cheaper than McDonalds.  Of course, it only applies between one and four p.m., but that’s the time I usually eat one of my meals.

I’ve discovered a problem, however.  As I was sitting there, picking through the seven kinds of mean on my place, I took a good look at my fellow consumers, and it scared the hell out of me.

We’re not just talking about chubby people here: we’re talking about huge, gross mountains of people, most of whom are wearing sweatpants and t-shirts that they wore long ago in high school.  And I’m sitting there amongst them wondering how they’re looking at me.

My immediate urge was to flee, but there was still a lot of food on my place, and waste not, want not, etc.  I did almost skip dessert though, because I was so stunned.

It was an experience much like I often feel at Wal-Mart.  I shop there because stuff is cheaper; it’s just that simple, but as you gaze around at the average customer, they look like they could have been playing the banjo in that scene from the move Deliverance.  At the very least, many of them live too close to a nuclear reactor.

Now I’m not a real dressy guy, but I do try to scrape off most of the animal feces on my jeans before I go somewhere.  I also follow this fashion tip:  The fatter you are, the more of your upper body should be covered.  In fact, more of your body should be covered.

I may be a little snobby since I work at Barnes and Noble part-time, and we think our customers are a little more sophisticated, or at least they can and have probably read a book.

Of course, we get the occasional stupid questions like, “I don’t know the title, author, or subject matter, but it has a yellow cover.”

I’d like to answer, “Oh, yes.   That’s in our yellow cover book section,” but I like the job, so I refrain.

Maybe it’s just that civilization is going to hell in a hand basket.   There seems to be much less civility and much more rudeness, and maybe we all need to be just a little more tolerant of others.  Even to those lardo, sweat pants wearing, torn t-shirt, filthy jean wearing yahoos, I keep running into.