Friday, June 5, 2015


"Hello, Low IQers!" (as Mr. Know-It-All used to say),
and welcome to my ____  ...(What's the word I'm looking for here? Anybody? "Yes, you in the, uh, vest, is it?")... of today's Bonehead Blog Hop. More Boneheads can be found HERE.
"Why don't you forget the moose... for a moment?!"

Yes, forget the moose (forget 'Mr. Know-It-All', too), because what we are talking about here today is forgetfulness, but it has nuttin' to do with mooses. What it has to do with is... is... uhm... well, boy-howdy, I forget what it has to do with. (You know, he really MUST have hated that moose, don'tcha think?)

...Dogs! Well, not dogs, but DOGGY BAGS! That's the forgetful thing we're remembering to yak about here today. (Now I remember!)

Is there any one thing that you can do better'n anyone else can? Most people would answer no to that question, but I can answer yes.

Nobody ever lived who could forget their doggy bags better'n I could. If every doggy bag I ever asked for in a restaurant and then left sitting on the table when I walked out could magically appear before me right this second, I could eat for about a year. (Of course, some of those leftovers may be a bit stale at this point.)

Seriously, I have no idea how many doggy bags I've requested and then forgotten to take home with me, but it's a prodigious number, whatever it is. Some of my "doggy-bag-forgetfulness" may have had something to do with alcohol ("I can't decide"), but I've proven many times over that I can also forget a doggy bag while stone-cold sober. (Ooh! Don't say that word! Don't use that kind of language around me.) 

The forgotten doggy bags that I have most kicked myself about were the many I left in La Barbera's Italian restaurant in the early 1980s. They had the BEST pizza EVER!... ANYWHERE! (Just ask anyone who had it.) 

"FOOD  TO  TAKE  OUT"  -  yeah,  good  luck  with  that!

La Barbera's pizza was so monstrous that I could never finish it, but it was way too damned good to leave there. So I'd always ask for my leftovers in a doggy bag. I figured that pizza was gonna taste so good for lunch tomorrow when I was hungover. Never happened. Well, truthfully, it DID happen... once. The reason I remember that is because it was such an extraordinary event: I'd asked for my leftover La Barbera's pizza to be put in a doggy bag, and when I woke up the next morning, THERE IT WAS! ...on top of the TV set.

Makes me cry to think of it, because La Barbera's is long gone. The family eventually sold the property so some high-rise office building or strip mall could be put up on the spot where their legendary restaurant had stood for many years.

But, of course, I didn't just forget my doggy bags at La Barbera's. I forgot 'em at Pinocchio's, too. And at Paco's. And at The Broken Drum, and at Zucky's and every other restaurant where I couldn't finish my meal. *Sniffle-Sniffle* I really miss my Shannons doggy bags.

In recent years, I seem to have gotten a bit better about remembering to take my doggy bags with me. It seems the more I age, the better my doggy-bag-memory gets. Go figure...

Now if I can just find where I left my car keys. They're probably hanging out somewhere with my eyeglasses. Hmmm... I haven't looked for them in the refrigerator where my doggy bag is. Anyone wanna place a bet on this?

[Be aware that the voting window for my most recent 'Battle Of The Bands' installment (Traffic Vs. Kracker) is still open for this one last day. If you haven't voted and want to, click HERE]


~ Stephen T. McCarthy


  1. My BOTB voting has closed and the surprising announcement is in my post today along with some other interesting tidbits. You might find my next BOTB rather interesting as I know it relates to something you like. I don't think you'll guess by my clues.

    Doggy bags---we/I never had dogs other than the strays that used to hang out at my parents' house when we lived in Tennessee. Rarely did we bring home leftovers that I can recall. Even now I try to avoid it most of the time unless it is pizza and I never forget my pizza.

    I have forgotten leftovers a few times, but that was probably done purposely on some subconscious level.. I tend to clean my plate most of the time which is probably bad for my waistline, but I hate carrying food out of the restaurant.

    My wife and stepdaughter used to have a habit of bringing food home with them. It usually ended up in the refrigerator for a month or so until I dumped it and they never noticed.

    I really dislike having leftovers as they can be kind of disgusting later on. Then again some are kind of better--it depends.

    Today my wife is going out to dinner with friends so I got my lunch and dinner plans already made. Pizza! No good restaurant pizza for me though. I've got a frozen disc that I got on sale at Ralph's the other day. I'll slap some anchovies on that baby and be set for two meals. I'd rather have one of those pizzas like you used to get, but there are a lot of things that I'd rather have than what I often end up getting.

    Do they even have "doggy bags" anymore? Now it's more like doggy styrofoam containers.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Road trippin' with A to Z
    Tossing It Out

    1. BOIDMAN ~
      When it comes to food, I am not a finicky eater at all. I can think of only a few things I really dislike the taste (or consistency) of, so leftovers never turned me off. It was just a matter of trying to remember to bring 'em home.

      Back in my real drinking days, I was a fan of pizza, but as I got older I found it appealed to me less. I still like it every once in awhile, and if La Barbera's was here in Reno, there's no question I would visit regularly because that was beyond just "pizza".

      I'm not sure I've ever even had a frozen pizza. I've been tempted a couple times to try a frozen 'California Pizza Kitchen' pizza because I've had the real thing and liked it.

      And you're right, most "doggy bags" are now white styrofoam doggy boxes.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

  2. Oh the dreaded doggy bag. I just forgot one last month! The food was excellent also and I remembered the bag after I came home. Funny I thought you were talking about actual doggy bags to pick up the poop which i have also done and then did not know how to pick it up when my dog did his business. This is something I don't want to bring home for sure but have to so it can go into the recycling.

    1. Howdy, BIRGIT ~
      Yeah, definitely a different sort of "doggy bag".

      I don't have a dog now, so what I carry in a doggy bag is strictly "my business". ;-)

      I still forget to bring 'em home though, but my success rate is probably now about 70%, whereas it used to be about 1%. I'm not getting older, I'm getting b--- Oh, never mind. I sure as hell AM getting older.

      ~ Stephen

  3. Boy, I've done that, too - but most of the time, I'm quick to retrieve it because it means I have a meal that I don't have to cook.

    I am in a "love to cook" mood or "I'd rather stick a butter knife in my eye than cook" mood. There's no in between for me. The prospect of having something delicious (not frozen - ugh!) that just needs to be microwaved always appeals to me. So...I'm motivated.

    Leftover pizza is almost better than the original dish. Apply the same rule to leftover just gets better.

    Dang I'm hungry.

    Thanks for participating, my friend!

    1. CHERDO ~
      To me, "cooking" is synonymous with "microwaving". Anything that requires more work than that (even just boiling a pot of water) is too much work for me.

      I like eating in restaurants - especially Mexican restaurants - and actually I also eat in a lot of fast food places too (mostly Mexican fast food). But when I'm at home, eating is just something that must be done, and usually quickly, while watching a DVD or sitting at the computer.

      At home, it's mostly $1.00 microwaveable pasta dishes for me. (Do I sound like an old, lazy bachelor? If so... BINGO!)

      If I'd ever remembered the left behind doggy bag before getting out of a restaurant's parking lot, I'd go back for it. Most of the time though it never dawned on me that I'd forgotten it (AGAIN!) until I'd gotten home.

      >>... Leftover pizza is almost better than the original dish. Apply the same rule to leftover just gets better.

      That is a "True Fact"! Over a little time, those spices get a chance to really "seep 'n' steep". I'm not a fan of cold, leftover pizza. But reheated leftover pizza is almost always better than it was when served fresh to the table.

      My brother disagrees with that, but he's wrong on this particular point.

      ~ Stephen

  4. Doggy bags are a US thing. They're trying to get us to take up the custom to save restaurant wastage, but I don't think it will ever work. The embarrassment of asking for such a thing is too deeply ingrained.

    To go to a restaurant pay for food, not eat it, bring it home and still not eat it is something I just can't wrap my head round.

    1. ANNE O' ~
      Yeah, I guess it depends upon the customs one was raised with. Here (and maybe because the portions are often bigger than in other countries) there is no real stigma about taking home a doggy bag if one can't finish it all.

      Plus, I guess people prefer not to waste (i.e., leave behind for the dumpster) what they've paid for. Then there are probably folks who really DO take the doggy bag home to their doggies.

      When I was young, sometimes my family would take home bones from a meal for our dogs. Oooh! They loved that.

      For me, when I am fortunate enough to actually remember to take home with me the doggy bag I've asked for, I always do eat it later. If it actually makes it all the way home with me, it WILL be consumed later that night or the next day. It's just that it rarely makes it home with me.

      ~ Stephen

  5. When I was younger I was more inclined to leave my Doggy Bag on the table. Now, I'm much better about it. I think I got pretty good during the bad migraine years. Yeah, I'd still drag myself out to eat (sometimes) with my mom and stepdad, but my mom says I ate like a bird. Go figure. She was right, though. Feeling nauseated all the time doesn't induce much eating. So, I'd often have most of my meal to bring back home. I could stretch some of those into four-six future meals. Now, I tend to eat more and am lucky if I get two meals out of what's left. Usually it's just ONE.

    Sorry about all of that uneaten pizza. That is a sin.

    1. GIRL WONDER ~
      My problem in the past was probably a combination of drinking (so my mind wasn't sharply focused on mundane things like doggy bags) and the fact that I was usually out with friends.

      We'd always have these great discussions - usually hysterically funny stuffs was being said - and I could be so caught up in the jocularity that my mouth 'n' mind were still laughing as we were all exiting the restaurant. The last thought in my noggin' would have been: "Don't forget your doggy bag, Bonehead!"

      Yeah, that uneaten pizza really was a sin. Especially when it was La Barbera's pizza. We had a few really good pizza places in the Los Angeles area, but in my mind, La Barbera's was the best, and I know many people shared that opinion with me.

      In fact, I fully, Fully, FULLY expect that at some point more than one stranger is going to find their way to THIS blog bit by simply doing a Google search of "La Barbera's pizza", just as a matter of reminiscing the "good old days".

      Wait and see! Someone (or a few someones) I have never met before will wind up commenting here on La Barbera's pizza and restaurant. It's a fond memory for many L.A. folks.

      I remember this gal pal I took to La Barbera's on a date once. I was raving about the pizza. She went to college in Ohio and said there was a pizza place near the university that was the best she'd ever had, and she was sure La Barbera's wouldn't top it.

      I don't think she'd taken more than two or three bites of her pizza before she admitted that La Barbera's really WAS better than the pizza she'd regularly eaten near her college.

      ~ Stephen

  6. I might challenge the "best pizza amywhere" judgement, but so much of pizza taste is regional (even being a Philly kid, I preferred NY style pizza to the Philly style).

    It would be a fun (if expensive due to the airfares) taste test to embark on....

    is La Barbera's still around? I will in be LA later this summer and might try to check them out (hey-I said I don't know if I'd call it the best ever-that doesn't mean it won't be good!)

    I am glad there is so little pizza in AZ that I love...makes it easy to avoid (it still appeals to me, but not to my belt size)

    I always find the term "doggy bag" funny, as I never knew anyone who did remember their to feed it to their dog.

    I usually do not ask for the food to be wrapped to go because it seems like the next day the food is not very good when they package it in styrofoam. Plus it always seems like I am out to dinner before going somewhere else (movie, concert), which means the food will sit in a car for a few hours.

    1. LC ~
      True that different folks like different types of pizza, so there's no way of objectively saying "this one or that one is the best".

      But I will say for La Barbera's that MANY people thought it was the best around, and there was certainly no shortage of quality pizza places in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area.

      La Barbera's was thick pizza though, so if you prefer the thin N.Y. style, maybe La Barbera's wouldn't have been your favorite.

      You inspired me to do a Google search of "La Barbera's Pizza" and here are some of the first results that came up...

      (Link:->) Thoughts about 'LA BARBERA'S PIZZA':

      "Fear and loathing in LA that my favorite pizza place of all time has been gone for so many years. I frequented the place with my friends in a haze from 1978 while attending UCLA ... I transported several double cheese pizzas on my late-night runs to Fresno, where my family and friends held vigil until it arrived, cold but still lending the taste that all admired and dreamt of."

      "My family use to travel 50 miles a couple times a year from Orange County to dine here."

      "The Rolls Royce of pizza."

      (Link:->) Who Makes The Best Pizza?:
      "If there was ever a question that has no answer that’s the one. Other than agreeing that it’s not Dominos there is absolutely no consensus. ...

      "I’m particularly particular. My all-time favorite pizza no longer exists. There was a restaurant in Westwood called La Barbera’s. Hard to describe but their pizza was super molto bene – a thick and unique blend of cheese, dynamite sauce, and a crust that was thin but almost spongy. I’ve never tasted anything like it. La Barbera’s went to that big pie in the sky years ago and I’ve been trying to find a comparable pizza since."

      (Link:->) Who Remembers La Barbera's Pizza In West L.A.?:

      DISCDUDE, I'm definitely not alone with my fond memories of that pizza. Damn! And I left doggy bags of it behind me many times.

      UHP! I'M AN IDIOT!

      ~ Stephen

    2. So I guess the above answers my question-they are not around anymore.

      Shame. Half the fun of the debate over who makes the best pizza is testing the evidence!

      I wish my mother was still around to make you one of her Sicilian pies...

    3. Yeah, me too! Nothing would please me more than to find a better pizza than La Barbera's made and which I could eat for free. (A price that's hard to beat!)

      ~ D-FensDogG

  7. Doggy bags are instruments designed to make one think they've achieved a state of early Alzheimer's onset. Works too... I was going to ask if you'd like the recipe for Miss Lily's cheddar and jalapeno hush puppies, but microwave? Nope, never mind, lol.
    I live in Indiana, or outer space, it depends on who you ask.

    1. J ~
      I've been to Indiana several times. (Mostly because I'm a big James Dean fan.)

      >>... I was going to ask if you'd like the recipe for Miss Lily's cheddar and jalapeno hush puppies

      Ahh, but I don't think you've considered the full scope of this picture: True, I'm Mr. Microwave. However, womens have been taught to believe that the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach (and there's some truth to that concept).

      And until they next see an optometrist and get their prescriptions updated, there are a few womens who will continue to believe I'm a handsome fella. And laboring under that delusion, they will continue to cook for me, so...

      Yes, I really am interested in that recipe. For sure, I will never attempt it myself, but maybe I could convince some woman with 20/200 vision to make it for me.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  8. I would most likely forget them, and have many times, BUT I'm usually with at least one other person, and they helpfully remind me! I HAVE been known to walk out with the plastic, credit card foldy thing, INSTEAD of my doggy bag!...and the person with me didn't even notice! I've also walked out with my drink glass (non-alcoholic), because I forgot to ask for a To-Go drink! How ARE you doing, Mr. STMC?! I miss ya!

    1. >>... I HAVE been known to walk out with the plastic, credit card foldy thing, INSTEAD of my doggy bag!

      Ha!-Ha!-Ha! Sheesh, BECKY-O, yer even worse than I am.

      ~ D-FensDogG

    2. Well, then I'm happy to be somewhat of the leader of your pack! Ha~

  9. I almost ALWAYS ask for a "box" - never a doggy bag - and I NEVER forget it. My wife forgets occasionally, but not me.

    Perhaps it is just the type of restaurants we frequent, but - as you pointed out to Anne O. - restaurants in the U.S. typically provide huge portions. And I actually order my meals with that in mind. If I order pizza, I always order a large even though we can only eat less than a medium. The cost for the size decreases proportionally to the size, and pizza is GREAT later on. We can get at least three meals out of a large pizza, so my $24 pie (2 people, 3 meals) equals $4 per meal. Not bad, when $4 won't get you a combo at McDonalds anymore.

    Same with Mexican food. Buy the LARGE combo every time and take it home. That's a two-meal meal for sure.

    If you are remembering to take the bags home more than before, then you aren't drinking enough!

      Yep, that's the way ya do it! Spoken like a man with a sharp mind for math.

      For me, it's really rare though that I ever need to take home Mexican food from a restaurant. I love Mexican food so much that I nearly always clean the plate, even if it is the big 3-item combo.

      Methinks yer right, Six! I'm not drinking enough.

      Well, I'm about to go downtown to see if American Pharaoh can win the Triple Crown, and there's a little brew pub place down there that I haven't tried. I believe TODAY'S THE DAY!

      ~ D-FensDogG

  10. Years ago, we went to a nice steakhouse for a special occasion, and I gave one of our boy's my Doggy Bag to take home. As we were walking out of the restaurant, a homeless man approached us, so he gave him the Doggy Bag. We were proud of him for doing the right thing, though he probably traded it for something else. Stephen, I'm sure I'd have loved your favorite pizza place too! I never get tired of pizza.


    1. GEM JULIE ~

      >>... though he probably traded it for something else.

      MMMmmmmm... "What's the word? / Thunderbird / How's it sold? / Good and cold / What's the jive? / Bird's alive / What's the price? / Thirty twice." (Sixty cents for Thunderbird? Sheesh! What a bargain.)

      Sounds like you raised your boys well.

      Julie, I have no doubt you'd have loved La Barbera's. Your favorite? We'll never know, but I can't imagine any pizza fan not digging it to some degree.

      ~ D-FensDogG


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