Tuesday, September 13, 2011


One fine day, years and years ago, my mother and I set out to have lunch at the Olive Garden. Pure class, I know. But come on, their breadsticks. Delicious.

So I ordered my favorite meal, the Capellini Pomodoro. When it arrived, I took my fork in hand and gave the pasta a nice stir. Suddenly, a bolt appeared before me. I repeat. A BOLT. A fuck. ing. bolt.

The second I saw it, I stood up and backed away in surprise, nearly toppling my chair. I was stunned beyond belief. A bolt. I mean, of all the unsavory things you have heard of finding in food--hairs, bugs, bandaids--but a metal bolt?

I called the waiter over, explaining the situash, and he said he'd talk to the manager.  I expected the manager to rush over on bended knee (though that would be logistically difficult), pleading for my forgiveness, and basically offer me his firstborn. Instead, the manager strolled over to me and the first words out his mouth were, "I'm sorry, but we have no bolts like that of any kind anywhere in our kitchen."

...So, you see, effectively blaming ME for putting the bolt in my food. As if I had been attempting to score a free meal out of it all.

Now, again, let me say. If one wanted a free meal, what might one sneak into their Capellini Pomodoro? A beetle? A short, suspiciously wiry hair? A peanut, claiming deathly allergies? WAIT NO, HAI I KNOW, A FUCKING THREE-INCH-LONG METAL FUCKING BOLT. That's the ticket. That's what I'll slip into my meal. It's foolproof!! It's genius! I'm a fucking wizard!

So yeah, the manager was basically calling me a liar. I did get a free replacement bowl of Cap/Pom out of it, but God only knows what they secretly put in it the second time around. I said a prayer to the Patron Saint of Disgruntled Food Workers and ate my new & improved 100% bolt-free pasta.

But you better believe that I Wrote a Letter. Because I Write Letters. When I experience a great injustice, I write letters, and I GET RESPONSES. I am the queen of writing letters. (Por ejemplo, I got $1,100 out of Fred Meyer once for ruining a roll of film I took in to be developed. I am That Good.)

Anyway, after writing my letter, and receiving a personal call from the Head Honcho of the O.G. herself, I think I could have eaten free for a week there because of how many vouchers I got. She was astonished at my tale of being served Capellini al Bolt, and was covering her ass truly apologetic.

And since then, I have bravely dined at the Olive Garden other times. I've come to expect certain atrocities: chicken that tastes bafflingly like sausage; salad that is soggy 10 out of every 10 times; lipstick on the water glasses; etc. But at least I've found no more metal equipment or tools of any sort in my mediocre Italian cuisine.

Oh, and if you ever need a letter of complaint written for you, that will be ten (10) American U.S. dollars, please.


  1. I learned yet another little fact about myself after I read this. Here it goes:

    I honestly think I would rather find a bolt in my food than, say, a bandaid. I mean, think about it--sure that bolt is dirty, but where has that damn bandaid been? YUCK!

    For me personally, the most tragic thing about the bolt in the Cap would be me biting it by accident and breaking one of the teeth I recently spent a year's salary to have fixed.

    Even hairs gross me out, and my friends, if it was of the "short and wire-y" variety, I would probably have to kill myself.

  2. Do you have copies of any of the letters you've written? I really want to read something that got you $1100 at Fred Meyer. I AM IN AWE.

  3. I had a customer return an ice cream sundae because she found a a nut in it. Not a edible nut mind you, a metal goes on a bolt nut. No one has any idea where it came from because like Olive Garden told you, we didn't have anything that looked even close to what they found anywhere near the ice cream freezer. Only explanation is it came in with the ice cream. Crazy stuff.

  4. Janice: Oh don't get me wrong, I would totally prefer to find a bolt than anything...from the human body. Or alive. Or that was once alive. But it was just so strange. And they thought I planted it. Anyway, this was just a recounting of that experience. :)

    Chelsea, I was wrong, it wasn't $1,100, it was $1,050. lol. I'd have to look high and low for a copy of my Fred Meyer letter. Basically, what happened is, I had it OUT with the local store owner, tears and all, who offered me a paltry $50...yes, fifty....dollars for two rolls of destroyed film. My heart was broken over that film. I said $50 wasn't gonna cut it, for ruined film, ruined memories. We argued, he asked what I wanted, I panicked and finally said, "I want a THOUSAND DOLLARS." He said, "no can do." I said basically, "Take your $50 and shove it, I want no part of it," and I walked away with nothing. I wrote a letter to the head honcho, who CALLED ME PERSONALLY, and he said he would honor my request for the $1,000. Meanwhile, while that was pending, I was a little snake who went back to the local chapter and went to the manager and said, "I change my mind, give me the $50." He said OK. I got the $50. Then my check for $1,000 came. lol.

    Still, honestly, I think I'd rather have those two rolls of film. :/ On those rolls were some of the last pictures of a pet who died, and some pictures of my boyfriend who became my ex, etc.

    Samantha: They ultimately think it came from either a bag of pre-ordered, pre-chopped lettuce (??) or a pan used to sautee things. Huh. All I know is that it was in my Cap/Pom. So weird. And a nut in ice cream?? EVEN WEIRDER.

  5. Oh, I agree with the strageness--it made me laugh (as always.) I mean, where did it come from? More to the point, didn't they see it themselves when they arranged your plate? That dish is pretty basic--I know because that's usually what I get (it's vegan-friendly) and seems like when they were dishing it out it would have caught someone's eye! It cracks me up that they accused you of planting it, but I guess it doesn't surprise me.

    Like I said, your posts just usually make me think. Guess I was just sharing my random thoughts you inspired. The bolt still would have freaked me out, don't get me wrong.

    Ooooohhhh, I know! Maybe your cap was prepared by a CYBORG!

  6. Yeah, that's another thing that they "insinuated"--that my dish is pretty carefully "prepared" on the platter, that it's dished/spooned out and arranged, and that such a thing could never have happened without anyone noticing. Way to blame the customer. Well I'm here to tell them, it did happen, and it was bizarre!

  7. I write letters too!! And those survey thingies at the bottom of reciepts? LOVE those!

    With all my years of restaurant experience, i've never seen a bolt - I would think they would hear it banging around in the pan, but then again, place like The OG are chains and they are pretty much on auto-pilot because everything has to be the same everytime (minus the bolts).

    Also, the last time we went to Cracker Barrel, I took some pictures and I need to put them on my computer so I can make a little blog post on my site of them for you and maybe enlighten some new readers to your blog too :)

  8. Oooh, now I'm all curious. Can't wait to see the photos and hear the shout-out! ;)

    And yeah, you'd think they'd hear, see, and notice the bolt. The whole thing was impossible. But it happened. O_O

  9. ok, putting them on my computer now, the post will be up before I go to bed tonight!!

  10. it's up: http://www.sweetwatercloth.com/2011/09/if-you-have-ocd-cracker-barrel-is-not.html

  11. Oh my Lord MJ I love it. My reaction to come...