Friday, August 13, 2010
The reptilian maître d’ at the Perkins Family Restaurant and Bakery in Gainesville, Florida.
As She Who Must Be Obeyed and I were on our way back from South Florida last month, we elected to snag our mid-day meal at the Perkins Family Restaurant and Bakery, conveniently located near the interstate highway in Gainesville.
Perkins is kinda-sorta like Bob Evans, or any other of those semi-nondescript full-service chain restaurants. It falls somewhere in between fast food and the higher-end chain ops like Outback, Carrabba’s, Red Lobster, or Longhorn. You can get a reasonably good meal - nothing too fancy - for about a sawbuck, including tax, tip, title, and license.
The large Polymeric Alligator Effigy at the entrance caught my eye right away. Clearly, the alligator was performing two roles: Not only was he serving in his usual local capacity as college mascot - after all, this was the home of the University of Florida - but the presence of an apron and moustache would indicate that he was also filling the role of waiter... or even maître d’.
[Alligators, being reptiles, are not capable of growing their own moustaches. The one our maître d’ was sporting must have been a Facial Merkin, perhaps a remnant of a prior meal.]
It later occurred to me that our reptilian friend was also performing a third function. Standing there as he did, he made a perfect Jimbo-Repellent... for, as everyone knows, Jim’s loathing for anything that resembles an alligator or crocodile is practically legendary.
In line with local sensibilities, no alligator dishes appeared on the menu at Perkins. Eating the local University Mascot no doubt violates some sort of taboo... and besides, you have to be somewhat adventurous to want to eat something that, in Jimbo’s words, resembles a “large, heavily armored, spiked turd.” I, myself, have eaten of the alligator, and I find that its flavor resembles nothing so much as veal.
You were expecting chicken? Sure you were. But really, alligator tastes just like veal. Veal that has lived in a swamp all its life.
Hey, now there’s a Marketing Concept for you! Swamp-Veal™! The other other white meat!