Riot at the Golden Corral

We Pennsylvanians love an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant. One that also offers a self-serve “chocolate fountain” to top our desserts brings ecstasy.

When the late and lamented Chuckie Cheese at the Lehigh Valley Mall was converted into a state-of-the art Golden Corral a couple of years ago, pandemic regardless, lines of hungry customers couldn’t wait to chow down. Olive Garden may have an “bottomless salad bowl”, but there are no “seconds” on the “Tour of Italy” and customers cannot drench their tiramisu in self-serve chocolate.

We Pennsylvanians are also a combative bunch when sensing injustice. Robert E. Lee felt our wrath at Gettysburg.

A Golden Corral customer ordered a well-done steak. He was dismayed when another customer behind him in line received his rare steak before the well-done one was finished on the grill. Angry words were exchanged. Words soon devolved into punches being thrown and chairs being thrown. Up to forty customers were involved. The bad news is that the restaurant was then closed for the day to repair damages. The good news is that the chocolate fountain survived unscathed.

A revelatory side note to this story is that the incident occurred at 4:30 PM on a Friday. The forty brawlers were there for the Early Bird Special. Likely, they were senior citizens hoping to eat before the 5:30 local TV news as opposed to a motorcycle gang looking for trouble. Somehow, the first police call to that building was not for an overly-rowdy 10 year old’s birthday party in the Chuckie Cheese days but for forty oldsters throwing chairs at each other. By the way, Golden Corral does not have a liquor license and is not BYOB. The rioting seniors were sober.

Do not stand between a Pennsylvanian and his food. We get cranky when hungry.

By Ed Dufton


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Lynette Dufton

These posts are written by my father, Ed Dufton, who has an incredible knack of condensing the day’s news into a witty and insightful commentary on society.