The Anatomy of a Lunch with Weirdos

What do you get when you mix five old friends with a giant buffet, lousy with delicious vittles? You get a bunch of overly-full nutbars, that’s what! A few weeks ago, I met my peeps at The Milano Inn for lunch. It’s an Italian restaurant downtown sporting an ENORMOUS buffet that tricks you into thinking, “I’m not even CLOSE to full. I can eat six or seven more plates!” After we went the first time, I didn’t want to think about, discuss, smell, taste, hear (?), or see food for 40 days and 40 nights. (Exaggeration is such a fun literary technique.) My general feeling on the buffet equation is:

Buffet = amplification of my inability to control myself, fueled by absurd justifications like:

  • “I only had an omelet, bacon, two muffins, and hot cocoa for breakfast so I’m splurgin’ at lunch.”
  • “Did y’all try those potatoes? I’m getting more so I can figure out what’s in them.”
  • “They have a whole dessert table too?”
  • “I’ve never tried that particular variation of apple pie.”

Despite this pitfall, The Milano Inn is a bit of a stomping ground, so we returned, armed with notions of portion control and hyper vigilance…all except for Mr. Keester that is. He came wearing his elastic-waist eatin’ pants. 😉

I don’t think I’ve properly introduced the gang so let’s begin there:

Meet My Peeps

Here’s the story:

Once upon a time, there was a noble state agency where a silly fella called ‘The Bumpster’ worked. For years, the agency had allowed undiscriminating FrontPage fans to maintain its Web site. Soon it grew into a hideous, hellacious mess, riddled with evil, proprietary code. The agency wisely decided to create a powerful, centralized Web team, boasting the state’s most-brilliant Web developers and designers.

About that same time, The Bumpster happened to be attending some IT training workshops at IU, where I teach. We were introduced by another teacher and soon after, he revealed his knowledge of the new Web positions. I was looking for a full-time gig and so, elated, applied immediately. At the state’s typically glacial pace, four crazies were eventually hired, thus creating a terrific Web team. This team consisted of Mr. Keester, The Bumpster, Hammy Toe, and me. We happily worked shoulder-to-shoulder in the trenches for more than a year. Then Hammy left to pursue other endeavors. Enter AZBad, who was hired to replace Hammy. Once again, we were a happy foursome, though we missed Hammy terribly. After two years, I was ready to spread my wings and found a new job. Around that same time, it happened that Hammy was again available. When I left, he took my position, again closing the circle.

Never have I had the pleasure of working with such an fun, odd, yet well-matched bunch. Our respective levels of insanity seem perfectly calibrated to one another. We all think it’s funny to ponder what a monkey with a gun might do or make plans for launching innocent passersby into the canal. Granted, the boys are a tad more fixated on meat products than I am, but it synchs well with my own oddities, and I’m able to laugh. I’m grateful for my new job, but every day am confronted with the reality that it’s an actual adult job with adult responsibilities. Never again will I experience the leisure and ignorant bliss I enjoyed with my peeps at the state agency. *head tilt followed by melancholy expression of nostalgia*

So there we were, five Web dorks lookin’ for some grub at The Milano Inn. Drinks were served and I opened the conversation by asking Hammy what he thinks of Nelly Furtado’s latest chart topper, Promiscuous. His response:

AZBad & Hammy

Thumbs up baby! Our chatter was soon interrupted by a scream from Mr. Keester, “Uh oh! I think I’m gonna pass a stone!” The Bumpster stared thoughtfully into space as Keester endeavored to force the crystalline mass through his body:

Bumpster & Keester

After the stone debacle, we were all quite riled up. Hammy suggested we do a bit of yoga to calm down. We happened upon a lovely meadow, where Hammy struck a tantric pose and insisted we follow:

The Gang in Tuscany

It wasn’t long before an evil troll who lived in a cottage in the meadow saw our contortions and claimed we were possessed by Satan. He forced us to take a time out in the naughty chairs and think about what we’d done wrong:

Outside the Principal's Office

He finally let us go, and off we skipped to a nearby park. There we found a very stoic fellow, who seemed engrossed in his newspaper:

Extra! Extra!

AZBad got distracted by a cutie paper boy and insisted on tipping him before we left:

Tip for the Paper Boy

As the day drew to a close, The Bumpster remembered he needed to gas up his hoopty, so we hit the petrol station. Unfortunately, the nozzle confused Hammy and he shot gas in AZBad’s eye-yowch!

Gas Station

After helping AZBad clean up, the droll bunch drove off into the thick gray haze of downtown Indianapolis. So long! Smooches from AZBad:


And “Peace out!” from Mr. Keester:

Keester Waving

P.S. “My friend likes you!”


One Response to “The Anatomy of a Lunch with Weirdos”

  1. Sweet Basta Says:

    That Mr. Keester is one Hombre Caliente!

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