I’ve taken so many trips to Utah for work now, they know me by name in the hotel when I walk through the door. I wish I could say I hated it, but I actually love the recognition in a place where I spend about as much time as I do in my own apartment in Seattle.
It also helped me to hone my reputation as everyone’s favorite Utah 9 (which is an entry that I highly recommend as a precursor to the following story). After all, in Seattle I don’t get acknowledged anywhere as everyone goes about their own business. In Utah, they greet me at the hotel entrance, they upgrade my stay, they let me have a late checkout. I now have to maintain my title when I go there.
There’s a town in Utah that I visit frequently that has a small burger stand that features the “Exotic Meat of the Month.” Last time I was there it was ostrich. Imagine my dismay when I drove up there on Sunday ready to murder an ostrich burger only to find that it was closed that day and my dreams were crushed.
This past trip I made eating the exotic meat of the month my priority. I did a drive by and saw the sign advertising this month’s meat, goat, and decided while it was less exciting than eating an ostrich, I couldn’t really pass it up either.
Once I got to the front of the line, I asked if I ordered the goat would it come in burger or steak form. He said all exotic meats were made into burgers. I proudly ordered it, thinking all the gluten free, dairy free, vegan Seattle-ites would not support my choice and I could not care less.
That was until he shouted “GOOOAAAATTTT!” as loud as he could into the back.
I didn’t hear the other patrons’ burger orders being shouted loudly, so I wondered if he was calling me a goat, if they do that for everyone who orders the exotic meat, or if he was just doing it to publicly shame me for ordering a goat burger. I figured a true Utah 9 wouldn’t give a shit and would wait for her goat burger like a lady. So I proceeded to wait off to the side for my order.
An older gentleman and his wife walked up to the stand, and asked a lot of questions about the menu. I wondered if it was about the goat burger as well, but then I didn’t hear the cashier scream “goat” at the top of his lungs so I assumed they couldn’t decide which normal burger to get and were problem customers.
As soon as I came to this assessment, they proceeded to walk right up to me and wait in the place right next to me, even though there was plenty of space for them to wait elsewhere and not invade my personal space bubble.
I looked up and saw that the woman was carrying a chihuahua in her arms that was wearing a pink knit sweater with “CUTIE” embroidered across the back.
I couldn’t tear my eyes away, and wondered what would possess her to put a dog in a sweater when it was 80 degrees outside. I blatantly stared at the dog while she carefully scratched its ears with her fingernails that were painted like candy corn.
There was too much happening. I knew I should look away because I was being rude, but I couldn’t do it, and before I knew it, the man said, “we had to bring her with us because she is about to explode any minute.”
I blinked a few times, realizing he was talking to me because I was being rude and staring, and then wondered what he meant by “exploding.” Was the dog having a case of IBS? Did it have an overactive bladder? I didn’t understand why he would bring an exploding dog to a food place in any situation, so I took the bait.
“Explode?” I asked.
“She is pregnant,” replied the woman, patting the dogs belly. “That’s why she doesn’t fit into her sweater.”
“It’s a cute sweater,” I lied, knowing that I didn’t have anything positive to say about the situation and my face was going to give away my thoughts sooner rather than later if I didn’t jump on board the train of compliments quickly.
Why would they bring a dog that is about to give birth to a burger stand? I certainly didn’t want to watch a dog have puppies while I enjoyed my goat burger.
Not to mention the fact that she was fat shaming her chihuahua for being pregnant and not being able to fit in a sweater.
The dog looked at me with huge eyes, as if screaming, “Get me outta here!” but there was nothing I could do.
They called my number and I collected what seemed like the world’s largest goat burger and decided to eat it in my rental car rather than outside with everyone else because I didn’t know how much longer I could be a part of this conversation.
I sat in my car and devoured the burger (which tasted very similar to a cheeseburger) thinking, at least I can knock eating a goat burger off of my bucket list.