Assumptions and Their Consequences

This morning the Crankee Yankee (my husband) and I went out to breakfast to one of our usual haunts, a nice little local diner. The food is always good, and the coffee is always strong. I asked the waitress if the Breakfast Quesadilla, loaded with tomatoes, onions, peppers, spinach and cheese; had meat in it. It didn’t, but it did have eggs. I said, “oh, I didn’t see that in the ingredients.”

The waitress replied tartly, “Yes, it has eggs–that’s why it’s called a *Breakfast Quesadilla.”

Which got me thinking: what if someone had an egg allergy and ordered this item especially because did not mention eggs? And how exactly does the word “breakfast” imply that eggs are involved? Are we to assume that bacon is also included? Or sausage? Or toast? What some restaurant’s “Breakfast Special” included eggs, bacon, toast, and a coffee, but didn’t mention the fact that they only use ostrich eggs? That would mean you’d be getting a plate of eggs the size of a small third world country. Assumptions about consumption can be risky.

Years ago this incident would have sent me off on a tear about being specific about things (and also carping about bad grammar and irresponsible usage), and engendering a rant that bored the pants off everyone within hearing. I’ve come to realize over time that this self-righteous behavior of mine is not only NOT appreciated, but not listened to, either. (The only place these types of opinions are welcome are with other grouchy grammarians and humorless usage nazis.)

But this was a pleasant morning, the Breakfast Quesadilla was delicious, AND the Crankee Yankee remembered to bring the Sunday paper in so that we could enjoy it together. So I let it go. However, the next time you go out for breakfast, you might want to nip around the back of the place just to be sure they don’t have an ostrich out there….

*Reminds me of the song, “Breakfast Blues,” as sung by the Austin, TX-based group, Trout Fishing in America, which goes:

“You give me hard eggs [heartaches] in the morning,
Cheese omelet [jeez, I’ma let] you go.
Yeah, you give me hard eggs in the morning,
Cheese omelet you go.
You just hot buttered grits [grit] your teeth and bear it girl,
I doughnut [do not] love you no more.
(Now don’t get that glazed look on your face!)
Ham bacon [I’m beggin’] you to leave me,
I never sausage [saw such] misery.
Ham bacon you to leave me, darlin’,
I never sausage misery.
Well, you treated me so ungrapefruitly [ungratefully],
You gave me a raisin [reason] to be free.
Well, what do you Eggs Benedict [expect] me to do now?
I’ve got muffin [nothin’] else to say.
Yeah, what do you Eggs Benedict me to do now?
I’ve got muffin else to say.
Yeah, you left such a waffle [awful] toast [taste] in my mouth,
You biscuit [best get] out of town today.
(You know I ain’t gonna keep those home fries [fires] burning for you.)
You give me hard eggs in the morning,
Cheese omelet you go.
You give me hard eggs in the morning,
Cheese omelet you go.
You just hot buttered grits your teeth and bear it girl,
I ain’t gonna quiche [kiss] you any more
(Jelly roll [shall I roll] it again?)

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2 thoughts on “Assumptions and Their Consequences

  1. pamkirst2014 says:

    Love the “breakfast Blues’–this is my first encounter with ‘Trout Fishing in America’–I’m going to look them up! And your husband’s moniker–the Crankee Yankee–is pretty darned clever…(I have to tell you, though, that spell-check wants me to replace ‘Crankee’ with ‘carnage’–eek!)

  2. lulujbf7 says:

    Thanks! When I lived in Austin, TFIA was one of the local groups I enjoyed; brilliant writing (lyrics and music), great stage presence and terrific audience interaction. Funny about spell-check; the Crankee Yankee has been renovating our circa 1953 house for 7 years now with no end in sight–‘carnage’ indeed! 🙂

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