Alex enjoys reading.  And apparently Pizza Hut is not above bribing children to read.  If they read a certain amount within the month of October they get a free personal pan pizza.  Then you have to take them there and pay for your own food.  Not bad marketing…plus it looks like you care if kids read.  So…Alex had a coupon for a free personal pan pizza.

Add to that the fact that school got out at 11:30 today for conferences.  Lots of parents taking lots of kids for their free pizza.

Add to that the brilliant minds at Pizza Hut corporate headquarters who make this a celebration month for their 110th anniversary: Mon-Fri lunch buffets are $3.99.

So…it’s 11:45 and all that addition equals a zoo of a Hut.  There are kids with coupons, parents with kids, people getting out for lunch with co-workers, some guy sneezing all over the sneeze gaurd over the salad and me with my family (before we go to see MegaMind in 3D).  It’s loud, it’s crowded, the waitresses are doing their best to keep a smile on their faces and not accidentally spill drinks on people as they weave through the tightly packed crowd.

“I’m trying really hard not to freak out and let anxiety get ahold of me here, Dana.  I just have to take a deep breath every minute or so.”  I say.  She responds, “This is just community.  Isn’t this what you’re always preaching about?”  She has a wry smile.  “This isn’t community.  This is a cattle yard feed lot,” is my response.

Then I start to take closer notice of all the people around me.  There’s a huge group with 5 tables pushed together – an extended family.  There’s every booth filled with 4-5 at each table.  We’re sitting at 2 tables pushed together.  Right behind me is a really loud lady.  Behind Bis is a mom with her two kids at a booth.

Behind Dana is an older woman.  She’s probably 80 and enjoying the buffet deal.  This kind of atmosphere makes me want to scarf food and get out of there.  But not this lady.  She’s quietly sitting alone.  The noise doesn’t seem to bother her, and she just quietly eats.  And I wondered about her.  I wondered about her community, and if she has one, and  if this is her only chance to be around people, and if she relishes the opportunity.  I could be wrong about her.  I hope I am.  But I suppose for some who have no community – real community – the cattleyard is as good as it gets.  People in the same vacinity who don’t know each other and just consume in each other’s midst. 

It doesn’t have to be that way.

  1. November 12, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    1. We make it look like we don’t care about our kids’ reading because we don’t participate in Book It. 🙂

    2. I had a bit of community the other day myself. I was at Goodwill with my adorable three-year-old daughter who was convinced she needed another stuffed puppy. I told her she had puppies coming out the wazoo and that I wasn’t going to buy her another one. 🙂 This made an elderly lady laugh, but not make eye contact. I took her bait and engaged her in conversation about the cute things kids say. We had a several minute conversation during which I surmised that she was widowed. I figured part of the reason she was shopping that day was for more than cute dishes, but for companionship of any sort.

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