Last week, my employer, the owner of a very upscale garden center in North Metro Atlanta, gave me several flats of vegetable seedlings to take home.  The plants had been too long in their small containers and were pot bound and liable to produce inferior results.  Since they were mostly leafy greens and cool weather crops like Brussel sprouts and collards, our recent spate of high 80’s daytime temps made them obsolete before they even had a chance to touch the ground.  I would not waste my time and effort planting them in the garden but would not let them go untasted.  I have the Chicken Ladies Garden Club right in my own back yard and these are Ladies who live to Lunch.  They will slowly gather, chatting amiably about this subject or that, expressing ire with a burst of outrage when some especially pushy old dame decides to muscle her way to the head of the crowd.  Barney, the very officious new Maitre d, who dominates by sheer Presence alone, spent his time correcting and guiding the these Red Hat Girls closer to the new Salad Bar.  I say Red Hat Girls, of course none of these well-padded females with their matronly waddles really qualify age-wise for admission to this famous group, they are all light years too young, even though their well-modulated speaking voices and sedate conversations would have you believe they are well-seasoned veterans of the luncheon crowd.  They do, however, sport lovely red hats,  smilingly called “combs”,  tilted rakishly over the brow,  and the more elaborate the comb, why, the more admired is the possessor.   While they milled aimlessly around the Lobby area, casting the occasional eye on the Sun to catch the time, I quickly made my preparations and soon a delicious array of salads appeared just past the Pasta island.  Noting impatience in the diners and the rising tone from murmurs to moans and mumbles, I gave the salad bar a last flourish with a low-cal spritz of dressing from the water hose and waved the diners in.  Oh, where were the well-behaved ladies now!?!  Did they quietly form a line, serving to the left, did they motion their companion to proceed them to the baby spinach and mustards?  Did they stand aside to respectfully let the Oldest Member pass to the head of the line?  I am sorry to say that they behaved as socially deprived working gals do on Girls Night Out, and at Chippendales at that.  With the all the grace of  walrus seals, they heaved their over-weight selves to the top of the bar and tables in a shocking display of bad mannered greed.  Pushing, shoving, pecking and screeching they fought viciously to gain dominance on the Field of Greens, It was a hockey game going terribly right, every body got a piece of the action.  Positions were soon sorted and assigned and as they settled down to the mere voraciousness of 17-year locusts, I backed soundlessly away, afraid to disturb them at their feeding, lest they turn on me and bite the hand that fed them.  We can say that after a winter diet,  heavy in carbs and rough protiens that the new, lighter salad bar addition was a roaring success and we can expect repeat business through out the Spring season.  And of course, a good time was enjoyed by all.