Down at the Corral

Down at the Corral

As Pharrell Williams sings, "Clap along, if you feel, like that's what you wanna do."

Dad, what’s a corral?
— Jackson Elmore, 7

First, for most boys ages 7-8 who reside in urban residential areas, a corral is not self-evident. Second, linguistically speaking, we have indeed drifted far away from many an original meaning, haven't we? Third, if Buzz Light-year wasn't proof enough, the cowboy iconography really is on cultural life-support.

Interestingly, my son's question had nothing to do with golden. In this case, perhaps he thinks he already knows what the definition of golden is (something akin to wonderful?). Or maybe, for him, golden functions like an honorific title; you know, don't ask too many questions about it. Either way, the point is: he does not know.

A visit to the Golden Corral is a rare occasion for the Elmore Five. Last year, in fact, thanks to my dad, both Jackson and Camden (12) were officially introduced to the corral. All they could talk about afterwards was how the popcorn shrimp flowed like a milk-chocolate or white-chocolate fountain. Meanwhile, for my dad's restaurant selection, my gratefulness flowed like a large vat of re-fried beans.

Recently, we made another visit to the corral—to celebrate the birthday of one of Camden's friends. So I thought it might be nice to capture my four-course meal in a photographic essay.


The Appetizer Course: "Deconstructed Popcorn Shrimp Taco." (Tasting notes: The crunch is like somewhere nowhere near California.)

The Cheese Plate: "Medley of Irony." (Alternately titled: "Ironic Medley.") Featuring: a few items cheese-infused, other items not so much, everything presented in, well, irony.

The Main Course: "Mt. Poultry." A large piece of fried chicken, grabbed from a very large bowl of fried chicken, provides a daunting climb for regulars and newcomers alike. On the backside, pinto-bean lava runs down a mashed-potato hillside.

The Dessert Course: "All Hail the Red Gummy Bear." Enthroned on a marshmallow, this bear's kingdom would be sinking were it not for the rock solid foundation of this particular Rice Krispies Treat.


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