asking the question

We have a question about the menu: what is chow-chow? A table of four library professionals, we are practiced in knowing how to find an answer quickly. The woman who seated us walks by, so we ask her. She responds, “Your server will be right with you.” A different woman approaches the table and asks if we would like iced tap water or bottled water. We agree to the tap water, then ask the water-giver our question: what is chow-chow? She responds, “Your server will be right with you.” Our server arrives, and we jump to ask the question: what is chow-chow? She says it is like cole slaw, except for– and then mumbles something I cannot hear. The dish with the chow-chow was my second choice, so I avoid asking any follow-up questions in case someone else needs to be sent out to answer them, and I order something else.

I go home, look up chow-chow on the web, and desperately attempt not to turn this into a metaphor.

2 thoughts on “asking the question

  1. steph

    From what I know, chow-chow is a relish. Most folks in the south put it on black eyed peas and field peas, I think. I like it on a cracker because I am an oddball. It’s generally just made from whatever came out of the garden: summer squashes and onions and tomatoes and such, with sugar and vinegar and salt and mustard seed (so it always seems to have a yellow tinge).


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