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Southern Eyes

One of the out-of-town relatives visiting us last week for my grandmother's funeral was my niece and her four children. My oldest son, James, offered to take them out to lunch one day. Being the frugal man that he is, he took them to Ci-Ci's Pizza in Martinez, where they got to eat all the pizza they wanted for a few dollars. So, there were two extremely happy 9-year-olds, and one happy 8-year-old and 5-year-old.

But, knowing James like I do, I'm sure his motive was more than frugality and convenience (the restaurant was close to where they were staying). James loves any place that offers all-you-can-eat anything. And there's no other place that he can get mashed potatoes with bacon bits and cheese (his favorite) on top of a pizza crust. It sounds gross to me, but my son loves it.

While they were at Ci-Ci's, they thought a birthday party was happening there. But it turned out to be a baby shower. James said he'd found his new Jeff Foxworthy joke -- "If you have your baby shower at Ci-Ci's, you might be a redneck." He went as far as to joke about having his own wedding at Ci-Ci's, but then thought better of it. He first needs to find a girlfriend. He and I and his brother had a good laugh talking about it later.

So, imagine my surprise when I was checking out news on the internet and saw a headline revealing "McDonald's in Hong Kong responds to demand and offers weddings." Of course, I had to click on the story. McDonald's in Hong Kong is offering weddings, complete with baked apple pie wedding cake, balloon dress, party favors and food, for a few hundred dollars. Couples are expected to supply their own clergy person. The decision was made because approximately 10 couples a month would call and make the wedding request, according to the story.

I don't know the Cantonese term for "redneck." But whatever it is, apparently Hong Kong has a lot of them. I'm just surprised that they beat Americans to it.

And I guess it makes sense for the younger generation that consumes much more fast-food than any generation before. When I was growing up, going to a fast-food restaurant not only was a special treat, but it meant a drive across town to find one. Today, hamburgers and French fries are almost a daily necessity for busy families running from school, to ball practice, to boy scouts, to grocery shopping, then home to do homework.

I guess it's why their kids grow up craving loaded-mashed-potato pizza. I should know.

Web posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

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