It is just past 11:30 PM on Thursday night and today is my mom's 72nd birthday. I came home to Westport yesterday and had a good time until we went to her favorite restaurant for dinner, the usually appealing Bombay Grill.
Whenever I have gone there previously it has been during their buffet lunch, which is pretty tasty and affordable, but we missed lunch hours and had to return at 5PM for the dinner menu, a menu which jacks up the price tag to an alarming degree. Now I eat a lot of Indian food in NYC, and one thing that any afficianado of such fare in the Big Apple can tell you is that the shit should be inexpensive; in Westport an order of chicken tikka masala will set you back by $16.95. Yet I didn't squawk since it was my mom's birthday dinner and I wanted it to be nice.
That plan quickly went south as our meal arrived:a sub-par mulligatawny soup (usually my barometer for a decent Indian joint; if the mulligatawny ain't good I will walk and never return), oversized and greasy poori (that airy inflated bread), rogan josh that appeared to be assembled from gray leftovers, meat samosas comprised of 85% potato and 15% meat of undiscernable origin, and chicken tikka masala. My mom happily scarfed down her dishes with gusto, aided and abetted by a palate deadened from her years as a chronic smoker while I forced myself to eat the warmed-over and just not very good "delights" in front of me.
The trouble started with the soup, a near-tasteless gruel that was a disturbing shade of gray/green, and continued with the chicken dish; from the moment that the chicken tikka masala crossed my tongue I knew it just wasn't right, but in case I was wrong I managed a few forkfulls. Soon I stopped eating altogether for the simple reason that the overpriced repast just plain sucked. My mom noticed this and I laughed it off, claiming that my eyes were bigger than my stomach. After much nagging, I finally admitted that I didn't think the food was that good, which lead to her bitching about how I'm just a food snob and that although she didn't eat Indian as often as I did she knew good food when she had it. Biting my tongue so as not to further spoil her birthday, I endured in hunger while she eagerly devoured on.
And then my stomach began to rumble.
I began to sweat a bit and once mom had finished I asked for the check, which of course lead to a litany of bitching about how I was rushing to leave. Upon leaving, I told her of my gastric distress and the need to get home immediately, but she insisted on stopping off at the local Cumberland Farms so she could play the numbers. As she went in for her Lotto tickets my guts began an arabesque of evil and I squirmed in abject agony. Once back in the car, my mother slowly began to realize my situation and hauled ass back to the house. The car had barely come to a halt before I vaulted out and dashed to the toilet.
While my ass reenacted Mt. St. Helen's, I tried to fight off the urge to violently puke all over the place... Once the doo-doo doom ended and I flushed, I had about twenty seconds of respite before I flung myself face-first into the bowl as vomit spewed forth in a technicolor dream. This delicate action went on for a short eternity and when it was finally done I felt like I had run a marathon.
Bleary-eyed and teary, I made my way up to the kitchen where my contrite mother made the situation worse by doing much guilty hand-wringing and being overly-protective (too little too late, beeyotch!). After about twenty minutes I was together enough to fix a couple of Red Hots which I sucked down like a hunger-crazed madman; bear in mind, this was the first food I had eaten in nearly ten hours that hadn't done the stomach trebuchet thing, so it was like ambrosia from Olympus itself.
In a little over twelve hours I will be back in my beloved Brooklyn and all will be well, by which I mean that I will be near friends, women, food of my own making and booze.