The Hawaiian please, minus ham and pineapple
When it comes to ordering food, society can be grateful that men have yet to evolve from their grunting days, says David Moseley.
One of the great joys of being male is being able to saunter into a restaurant, plonk yourself down on the nearest dusty stool, glance at the menu for 11.3 seconds and instantly order a meal with no regrets.
“I’ll just give you five minutes to decide, sir.” That won’t be necessary my good man, I’ll have the burger and chips. “Would you like to hear the specials, sir?” No, it’s quite fine. I’ll just have the burger.
“We have a wonderfully fresh crab paella that just sings of eastern Spanish seaside towns”. No, no. The burger will do just fine.
“Very well. And to drink?” Beer. “Which kind, sir?” Cold.
We’re a simple folk, us men. Sure, we’ve been dragged kicking and screaming into trying new things, and we like it. We love it. Show me a man that doesn’t coo and ooh over a soothing coco-leave, mint extract, strawberry blossom aftershave balm and I’ll show you the very picture of an uncouth Neanderthal.
But when it comes to ordering food at restaurants we remain primal and focused. Our very existence once depended on eating fast and furiously. The first foodstuffs we spied, we devoured. Today we may dig deep-V cardigans, ironic jeans, drive hybrid cars and talk about our feelings, but our dining habits have barely evolved.
Which is why eating out with the female of the species can become an infuriating experience. “Darling, you always have the burger. Why don’t you try something different.” I like the burger. “I know, but look at the variety.” I like the burger. “
But there’s more. Men know what they want within an instant of sitting down – surely a throwback to the days when our meal choices were limited to raw gemsbok or raw gemsbok. Ladies, seemingly never in a rush to chow down on anything other than a forbidden apple, love to dither.
“Hmm. I’m not sure what I’ll have. It all looks good. Perhaps the fish, I like fish. Oh, but the pasta sounds divine. Or maybe a salad, I had such a big lunch. Yes, I think I’ll have a salad.” Are you sure my love, because last time you had the salad you ate all my chips before I could finish my burger…
Pizza restaurants are the finest example of women-kind’s dining uncertainty. Thank heavens our evolution from hunting grunts to smart phone-savvy civilization relied on our ability to snare doe-eyed game rather than our skill at baking the perfect pizza. If that weren’t the case, we’d still be sitting in a cave taking toppings orders, while chimpanzees and border collies worried about fluctuations in the markets and Twitter follower numbers.
“And for you, madam?” Well, I was thinking of the Hawaiian. But could you remove the pineapple and add avo? “Certainly”. In fact, can you take off the ham and add salami and tomato. “Yes, of course, so you don’t want the Hawaiian, but rather the Italian.” No, no, the Hawaiian, please. Just with those toppings…