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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Breakfast with the fat guy

Magill's offers Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 15.
By Robert Schwaninger

When habits become formed over the years we justify them using the word “tradition.” Why do we stuff our bellies to bursting levels on Thanksgiving? It’s tradition! Why do we dangle precariously by the gutter in an ice storm hanging lights and deadly electrical devices at Christmas? It’s tradition! Why does my wife spend hours at the return desks at the mall after I’ve tendered her things that I thought were cool? It’s tradition!

I have, therefore, noticed that the word “tradition” can be used to cover the insanity and the bizarre and even the dangerous with a sentimental glow that disguises the fact that our traditional acts are often kinda silly. Consider those nut cases that jump into the Bay in January. Yeah. Not one of my traditions.
No, if you want me to join in a traditional act, it better involve food that is listed as cardiac poison by the CDC for men over 50. Preferably something with a warning label that clearly states “NOT TO BE INGESTED BY ANYONE WHO MAKES NOISES GETTING OUT OF A CHAIR.” Find me that and I’m in.

With that in mind I have succumbed to the tradition of going to Mike Magill’s restaurant for his annual Breakfast With Santa which is on Dec. 15 this year. This event is terrific for all of us that are tired of eating granola or veggie-smoothies or some other form of mulch for breakfast and acting like we’re enjoying ourselves. Be honest. You want bacon.

After being good girls and boys for most of the year, Magill’s all-you-can-eat buffet with eggs, two kinds of sausage, bacon, biscuits and sausage gravy, and a variety of other things to tantalize the naughty side of your taste buds is a welcome relief from healthy eating. Meanwhile, you bring the kid and get his picture taken with Santa as cover. Now it looks like you’re just being a loving parent. Nobody has to know why you’re really there. And if you want to wuss out, there’s some healthy stuff on the buffet too, but isn’t that taking that whole “role model” thing too far?

“Uh, George?”
“Johnny is done eating and he had his picture taken with Santa over an hour ago.”
Gulp. “Okay, well, I need to finish this bacon, and I want just a little more gravy on my eggs and then we can go. Uh, tell you what. How about you take Johnny for a little ride around town and pick me up in, say, 20 minutes?”

Now, for me it’s a little harder. I don’t have any kids to perch on Santa’s lap, and last year Santa said something rude about “load limit” when I tried to get my picture taken. So when I’m going back for fourths my agenda is a little obvious.

My dodge is signing and selling books. I’ll be at Magill’s on the morning of the 15th for Breakfast With Santa selling my books, A Married Man’s Guide to Christmas and Isabel and the Christmas Crow. Just let me apologize in advance if some of them have gravy stains. [Magill’s is at 7201 Little River Turnpike, Annandale. Breakfast with Santa is Dec. 15, 9-11:30 a.m. $8.50 for all-you-can-eat buffet includes photo.]

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