Lambert's Cafe is the official name of the popular Sikeston, Mo. haunt, but locals know 'em better as "The Home Of Throwed Rolls." They've got a "signature practice." A "thing," if you will. Yeah, you guessed it—they throw rolls at their customers. An eager waiter or waitress posts up in the middle of the restaurant and exclaims, "hot rolls!" After locking eyes with the customer, they give the roll a little toss, the customer catches the roll, and the exchange of hot rolls is completed. It all looks very fun and charming and Midwestern.
Troy Tucker did not have a good time at the "Home Of Throwed Rolls." In fact, Fox Kansas City reports, Tucker claims a roll smacked her right in the face. The result? A "lacerated cornea with a vitreous detachment" and a "severely damaged…head, neck, eyes and vision," according to a suit filed by Tucker. She wants $25,000 to cover her medical bills and legal fees.
What's a vitreous detachment, you wonder. It's about as gross as you'd expect:
Most of the eye’s interior is filled with vitreous, a gel-like substance that helps the eye maintain a round shape. There are millions of fine fibers intertwined within the vitreous that are attached to the surface of the retina, the eye’s light-sensitive tissue. As we age, the vitreous slowly shrinks, and these fine fibers pull on the retinal surface. Usually the fibers break, allowing the vitreous to separate and shrink from the retina. This is a vitreous detachment.
If true, it sounds "The Home Of Throwed Rolls" violated some serious "Home Of Throwed Rolls" protocol. Watch that video above. Note the caution, the attentiveness to detail. These rolls aren't just being tossed, willy-nilly—there is some serious attention to the craft of roll-throwing. Yeah, he may look casual as he sometimes gives a little side toss, but watch the eyes. They're always scanning, always noting if a hand is raised.
Requests for clarification and elaboration on the incident from Lambert's Cafe were denied and referred to Chris Campbell of Cincinnati Insurance. Calls to Campbell went unanswered.
But it's unclear from the information currently available to us whether Tucker suffered these injuries as a product of a reckless roll-thrower. So much is unknown—did an errant roll strike Tucker as she traversed across the hallowed "Home Of Throwed Rolled" halls, tragically unaware? Or did Tucker simply mishandle a well-thrown roll?
In any case, it's looking like Tucker might not have much of a shot. When it comes to food-throwing lawsuits, Missouri might have a precedent. Back in June, the Riverfront Times points out, the Kansas City Royals baseball team was safe at home after Slugger the mascot tossed a hot dog at someone's eye and tore his retina.
Jerry Johnson, the general manager of "The Home Of Throwed Rolls," told CBS Kansas City that intentionally injuring customers isn't part of the restaurant's gameplan. Doesn't sound like they plan on rolling over.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.