My father-in-law in very involved in the Marine Corp League. He was commandant of the detachment in New Jersey at the time that we moved from the Philadelphia area to Baton Rouge. I remember this because he drove down here with me and we jokingly called my van “Bulldog One” when we’d call home.

His wife and my daughter weren’t as amused as we were.

Anyway, they moved down here about two years ago and the first thing he did, even before they actually moved, was to find the local Marine Corp League detachment.

After they moved, we started getting invited to the MCL parties. He would buy us tickets and include us at his table. We’ve been to two Christmas parties, and as Noah is usually the youngest person there, he always helps Santa pass out gifts. We’ve won door prizes at the Christmas party. It’s actually pretty cool.

Well, a week or so ago, my mother-in-law told us that there was a dinner for the installation of the new officers and my father-in-law has been selected as commandant here. I understand how this stuff works; he the newest guy and no one else wanted it, so he got it. (That’s how I ended up a President of HeartLA for two years!)

She told us it would probably be boring for us, but it’s a big deal to him so we said we’d go.

Turned out that was the day our son threw up in school and consequently, my husband stayed home from the dinner and just Juliette and I went.

As usual, this dinner was held at a local beer bottling plant. The owner is a big support of the League and his conference room/meeting space is very nice. The Christmas parties are held here, too. The bar is always free, but it only offers the brands of beer made there. Wine and water is available, too, but the beer is always SUPER cold and yummy.

Anyway, when Juliette and I got there, everything was set up the way it usually is, including a long buffet table to one side of the room. It took up about half the wall and was covered with a black cloth. At one end were two small steam trays, covered, and the plates and utensils.

I figured we were late, but since the food hadn’t been set out, I figured we were okay.

There was some socializing and my mother-in-law talked to Juliette about school and such for about 15 or 20 minutes. Then the guy who was the commandant stood up and had the chaplain lead us in prayer and then he said we’d start the buffet with the head table. And he pointed at Dick.

My father-in-law stood up and glanced at the still nearly empty buffet table and said, “Shouldn’t we wait until the food comes out?”

Well, the woman who, I presume, was the caterer, came out and uncovered the two small steam trays. There was roast beef in one and mashed potatoes in the other.

That’s it.

That was the dinner.

No salad.

No green vegetables>

No rolls.

Not even cookies for dessert.

Roast beef and mashed potatoes. The was the whole “buffet.”

As we were the head table, we finished our dinner long before the last table had even gotten theirs. When the line finished, Juliette went to the table again and said there was only potatoes left.

We decided that she and I aren’t Marines and we wouldn’t be missed if we went out and got ice cream for our table! We didn’t, of course, because we didn’t want to miss Dick’s installation.

But on the way home, when we stopped to get some ginger ale for my poor sick son, we did get muffins at Target and ate one each as our dessert.

So, what was the worst catered meal you’ve ever had? Or maybe not even catered. What’s your worst “horror” story about dinner out?