Another Helping of…Food Fight?!

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Usually, dinner time with seniors is a relatively placid affair as food gets doled out and seniors eat and chat. Even when they head out for lunch or dinner, the results are usually predictable: a laidback meal, talk of bocce or lawn bowling, comparing aches and pains, and then the bill is paid. But for a pair of seniors in North Carolina the other week, quite the opposite took place. Read on to find out what happened.

This is how we like to imagine the food fight looked.

This is how we like to imagine the food fight looked.

After Dinner Comes Dessert

At a Golden Corral in Wilkesboro, North Carolina in March, two seniors who had never met each other stood in line to pay for their meals. For the uninitiated, the Golden Corral is a combination buffet-breakfast/lunch/dinner restaurant, and is heavily centered in North Carolina (52 restaurants), Florida (57), Georgia (29), and Texas (63). It’s almost as ubiquitous as McDonald’s or Dunkin’ Donuts, but serves a wider range of food. The Golden Corral also doesn’t charge a terribly high amount for each meal, with the dinner buffet pricetopping out at $9.99 for adults ($8.99 for seniors). As such, the lower prices invite a more casual atmosphere where patrons don’t feel pressure to dress up and put on “snooty” manners the way they would at, say, a fine French restaurant. But there’s definitely a solid and well-defined line between a casual all-you-can-eat cheapie meal and cannibalistically behaving as though there’s a massive food shortage and engaging in a food fight in person. It seems as though 64-year-old Polly Richards didn’t get that memo, and created a bit of a ruckus at the Wilkesboro Golden Corral on March 18, 2014.

The Lowdown and Smack Around

Most of us don’t enjoy standing in lines, as we just want to get our business over and done with so we can move onto the next part of our day. But most of us also don’t take it beyond inner frustration and loud sighing, although Richards is an exception to that. Richards saw 69-year-old Linwood Moore cut in front of her at the paying line, took umbrage…and way overreacted by grabbing his shirt and shoving him against a wall. Not content to stop there, Richards also cursed at him and slapped him in the face. An innocent bystander, 62-year-old Fay Cardwell, got caught in the melee when Richards threw a plate that caught Cardwell in leg, leading to shin and knee swelling. The police arrested Richards, with her shouting, “Just take me to the [expletive] jail then.”

Two Sides to Every Coin

Producer Robert Evans once said, “There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth”, and we suspect that may be partly the case here. It’s quite possible that a single person can be mentally unhinged and become provoked by something as simple as line cutting, but that’s not an everyday situation. Usually, the other party plays some sort of instigating role, either deliberately or not by pushing the other person into a reaction. It takes a lot of patience to just walk away and avoid a situation, and the natural inclination is to release pent-up frustration. Until the facts come out, there are still three sides to this story.