Magic is something perhaps best appreciated when we are young; the world is still full of wonder, our eyes wide with a genuine interest that seems to fade with age. I suppose this heightened perception makes things all the stranger when adults join in supernatural appreciation with us.
My father, sister, and I travelled to Universal Studios, Florida for vacation when I was nine years old. In addition to the rides and attractions, we made a point to hit up as many nice eateries as possible- our dad fiercely leading the way. One day in particular, he exhibited an almost frightening eagerness and dedication to eating that left my sister and I stunned. The temperature was a fine one hundred degrees, but he left us to wait for half an hour while he stood in line for a scalding hot bowl of clam chowder that he swears was worth it.
Shortly thereafter, we went to super-chef Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant for lunch. We were hungry, but our dad was STOKED, ignoring the fact that he was full on boiling chowder. Daunted by the sophisticated menu, I went with a filet of some kind- the first real steak I can remember trying. I think my sister got the same thing, my father too, along with several other courses.
I ate until I was full, savoring the filet but unable to finish it. My sister fared similarly, but our dad managed to not only finish his several complete meals, but our leftovers as well. His seeming insatiability came to an abrupt halt, and with that lunch, he was benched for the rest of the day, leaving my sister and I frustrated and in utter disbelief of anyone’s ability or desire to eat so much damn food. As a kid, I loved that meal – the newness, the quality, the magic – and looking back on my dad’s Count G-like reaction, am sure that I would love it even more now.