Week 7: Mortification

Week 7: Mortification

The dictionary defines mortification as the feeling of humiliation or shame, as through some injury to one’s pride or self- respect. As we venture off to breakfast today, foggy headed with black feet and the smell of sweat and beer, I wonder how it came to this. At what age does this stop? Exactly 24 hours ago we were celebrating Tampa Bay’s annual Gasparilla festival, and yet 24 hours later my speech is still muddled. Just as children wait around each year for Santa to fall down their chimney, adults in Tampa wait for pirates to invade the city and rape every career-oriented adult of their dignity.

Ryan’s silence worries me- he may be tired but something tells me I really blew it yesterday. In two cars, we arrive at Lupton’s Fat Mans BBQ Buffet— only to see two of their matchless customers swinging their infant by the arms in the parking lot. I wonder if they are aware that a child’s arms can easily break. However, my vision is in Gasparilla mode and I also wonder if it’s actually a real child or just an uncanny couple swinging their thrift store Cabbage Patch. Regardless, my friend Jen lets me know that she can’t wait to read the Meatball Chronicles, and can already tell I’m documenting shocking thoughts in my head. I can’t let anyone on to me, let’s get in there and focus on the food. Ryan asks for a quarter and I’m hesitant to give it to him in case he’s planning to buy a new girlfriend. Nope, just a newspaper. He’s so old and wise….

Now, we’ve been to Lupton’s before but today we’ve got a group of 8 and no one was in the mood for waiting on others. We will feed ourselves and it will be amazing— We take the first large table we see and it’s conveniently located right in front of Jesus. Thank you, Jesus is just what I need the day after Gasparilla. I sit there pondering my religion. Ever since my first trip to Lupton’s, I had envisioned God being black. But now here in front of me is a white Jesus. I wonder what the rest of Lupton’s general population thinks about this. I decide not to ask anyone at the table, as Ryan’s friends are “new friends” and I don’t want a religious debate.

We all get our food and as usual the buffet selection is unbelievable. Unfortunately, we are not unbelievable. I would say that for the majority of our group, our hangovers overpowered our desires to eat. Even Ryan managed to play with his food a significant amount of time and build some Eiffel Tower type stack of chicken skin, bbq sauce, biscuits and bacon—only to leave the masterpiece behind. I had loaded my plate up with hash, but it wasn’t good hash. I would say Lupton’s specialty is lunch and by the time I realized this I was too dizzy to go up for seconds.

I didn’t experience the real definition of mortification until the second half of breakfast when we realized no one was eating. For lack of better things to do, the silence was broken and we decided to reminisce on the memories of yesterday. For some, it involved falling off a swing, or taking a picture with a hot asian, or sharing a portable restroom with my younger brother.  For me, it was two crying voicemails which were both shared with the rest of the table. To make matters worse, one voicemail was crying about macaroni and cheese. It was also brought to my attention that I had run my fingers through an old pirate’s straggly yellow beard, and was then fed a bologna sandwich. I hate bologna.  The more I learned, the more I wanted to be decapitated and hung on the wall alongside Lupton’s lovely collection of animal heads.

I hate to say this, but I couldn’t wait for this brunch to be over. Although I was alongside good company, I really just wanted to be horizontal on my couch with a Disney movie. All I could think was what if I spend the rest of my life with Ryan, and with his new friends, are they going to judge me from this weekend on? Does the future hold a wedding where the best man will jokingly announce to all attendees that Ryan has settled down with a pirate hooker who legitimately wears fanny packs?  I finally get a grip–after a quick look around the table, I realize that no one would dare. With the exception of two safe souls, I’ve got crap on everyone.

Until next year, Jose Gaspar you have won again. You ruined my Sunday brunch adventure, and you also ruined the following Monday. It took 72 hours to fully recover from your Machiavellian ways.

PS—I apologize for writing absolutely nothing about food but I honestly can’t recall what I ate. Maybe next time?????

Lupton’s Fat Man’s BBQ & Country Cooking on Urbanspoon

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