Saturday, March 18, 2006


Buck and I were in a hurry to get somewhere last night, but we were both starving. We deliberated over bad fast food so long we ran out of time and the only choice left on our way was,

Waffle House.

It's been a few years since I've been to Waffle House. I think the last time I visited one was on Christmas day years ago when it was the only thing open on I-75 North between Knoxville and Cincinnati. That year my holiday lunch consisted of greasy scrambled eggs, toast, and tomato juice.

As we walked in the door last night, all the staff was staring at some commotion outside the glass windows to the parking lot which Buck and I must have casually sauntered right through on the way in without noticing. The cook, who only had one tooth in his head located in the corner of his bottom gums, hissed something to the waitresses in a southern drawl, "I wouldn'ta done it if they wouldn'ta been so hateful. They needed someone to teach them a lesson." I turned to see what they were looking at but I just saw a couple of old men in flannel shirts smoking by a car in the parking lot. Exactly what revenge had that cook imparted?

We ordered our food when Buck noticed the young woman next us was unable to match intelligible words to the question of the waitress standing just in front of her. Apparently the girl was too stoned or drunk and had significant trouble finding the door. When I looked to be sure she wasn't driving, she sloshed into a car with two less than gentlemanly looking men who'd pulled up the curb. I regretted instantly that I'd caught the creepy driver's eye when I looked out to view the girl's caretakers. Couldn't help but think what might awful things be in store for her that evening.

Buck reminded me of a horrible joke, "What has four teeth, eight legs, eight eyes, and eight arms? The staff at WH." Just about the time I pondered the possibility of dental insurance for employees. Doesn't this show my dark shallow heart?

Another blood red-faced man, looking like a major candidate for heart surgery, sat at the counter drinking coffee and smoking discussed the failure of his resume with his waitress and another customer. There was something on his resume which he shouldn't have listed or some skill set he lacked for viable job opportunities.

The cook and waitresses never stopped looking out the window, and Buck and I assessed the pass time at this particular Waffle House was to chase off O'Charley's customers from their lot in desperate need of a parking space. Apparently O'Charley's draws a significantly larger crowd than Waffle House and wayward O'patrons sneak over from time to time to snag a parking spot. I guess the cook stepped in now and then as security.

After Buck and I gulped down our food, I whispered, "Leave her a BIG tip. I'm fairly sure she was stiffed by the drunk girl." A big smile and a huge "Thank you!" came over her when Buck handed her a bill larger than a one.

I grimaced at a Motel 6 room card key on the ground outside my car door.

I'm reminded that I've taken entirely too much for granted in my abundant life lately by this 25 minute experience.


Kate said...

And you lived to write about your meal at Waffle House! So it's still safe to go there ;)
So true though, so much for be abundantely grateful for when we step out of our comfort zone for just a tad.

truevyne said...

Kate, do you also find in sheltering your own children, one can become out of touch? Sigh.