Anyone who’s ever gone with me to Olive Garden has probably also made fun of me for asking for more mints than however many they bring at the end of the meal. I can remember one particular time when the waitress brought an actual styrofoam bowl full of them for me. I still get mocked for that particular occasion, and it’s been a couple of years since that one happened.
For me, an Olive Garden meal isn’t complete without the Andes mint taste at the end of it. I’ve had a meal or two there where I didn’t get a mint, and it ruined the meal experience for me. If I had known beforehand that they were out of mints, I wouldn’t have eaten there. Really.
I’ve been told “you know you can just get a box of them at Wal-Mart, right?” Of course I do. Why, though, should I pay $3 for a box of mints that I only want after eating Olive Garden, especially when I can get enough of them at Olive Garden right after eating there? Especially considering how much one pays for a meal at Olive Garden.
As I mentioned, I’ve been mocked for this practice. Frankly, “mocked” isn’t a correct enough word. I’ve been made to think I’m some sort of freak who belongs in a sideshow for this practice.
It was comforting, then, to find that I’m not alone. On Friday, Tycho at Penny Arcade (I can’t in good faith recommend their site – they use naughty language as a matter of habit) wrote about how Gabe has the exact same “problem,” and it caused a further problem when he went to get a membership card out of the same pocket where the mints were being stored. I quote it here because I love the way he wrote it:
The mints themselves came from Olive Garden, which I’m slowly realizing we have some kind of fascination with, and since I’m not partial to mints regardless of the mountain range he usually takes all of them. And he makes it clear during the check phase of the meal that a single mint will not be sufficient. Oh no. When they come back to grab the card and run it so that their lives may continue, he places a hand on it and in a low voice, so low they must bring their ear close to hear it, he establishes that it could be “worth their while” if they bury him in mints. I am certainly pro tip, I have a a bank of odd neuroses regarding it I will bore you with at some point, but if the idea is to secure as many mints as possible there are grocery outlets in operation which could no doubt improve the rate of exchange. He’s not into it, there’s something about that ritual that makes the mints more flavorful. At any rate, this is all meant to say that he probably had somewhere in the neighborhood of ten mints in there with his wallet and his Edge card. His pocket had become a kind of rich stew.
It’s just nice to know I have company, even if we’re on the train to Weirdsville.