Wow, I ate out twice today, and neither one involved a drive-through or an interstate highway. Tonight I went out for one beer and a steak with an old friend. By “old” I mean 25 years older than the old that I am, an ex-coworker buddy of mine who lost his wife to cancer 8 years ago this month. His dad always said that my buddy was “the only crop that he planted that year that came up, and he never did get his seed back.” (The Dust Bowl years) So we had our one steak, one tater, one salad and one beer each, and went home. Of course, we had a waiter, not a waitress, dangit. After he left our table, I said to my buddy, “Didja notice how he was talking mostly to me?” My buddy says, “I sure did; I didn’t know you were gay.” I replied “I didn’t know either, till just now.” We do like to have our fun.
This morning I ate at Perkins, and did get waited on by my favorite waitress, who knows what I want before I order it. I like to eat there because I like their omelets, sometimes their coffee is okay, and I can just sit and read the paper and stuff my big fat face. I won’t go sit down and eat alone, other than breakfast, unless I’m on the road somewhere. People will ask me: “Have you eaten at such and such a place in Sioux Falls,” and I really enjoy telling them, “Oh, yeah, I’m gonna drive an hour to wait in line to eat alone somewhere.” Mornings, I don’t mind; it’s not (usually) when people go out for a date. One time I did make the mistake of going there a little too late on a Saturday morning; the parking lot didn’t look too full, but there was one group of 5 or 6 college students ahead of me waiting there. I was already there and didn’t think it would be a long wait, so I gave the hostess my first name and sat down. Now, the waiting area in the front of this Perkins, in my little eastern South Dakota town, is pretty small, and it’s one little area, no nooks or crannies to it like some hoity-toity places. The whole waiting area is the size of, if you peeled the roof open and dropped a pickup in with a crane, you could maybe walk around it. And even if the hostess couldn’t see me past the college students standing there, she would have to know that it would be easy for me to hear her. I know that, up till now, I have never done anything to offend her. And I know that, being’s that she herself is no Julia Roberts, she would be sympathetic towards someone eating alone. So, when it came time to call my name, she called out (I’ll try to approximate the volume “in print” if I can) “KEVVVVVVIIIIINNNNN–PARTY OF OOOOONNNNEEE,” and everyone in the place watched me walk, to my table, with all my friends. Do you know what the Metrodome is? It’s the domed stadium in Minneapolis, that they built on the cheap, so that the soft roof has caved in more than once. It’s a 3 to 4 hour drive from here to there. Well, anyway, if, for some reason, the Vikings had been playing a Saturday morning home game, and Adrian Peterson had made a touchdown right at that moment, even over the roar of the home crowd, half the fans in the Metrodome would have known that there was a guy named Kevin somewhere who couldn’t find anyone to eat breakfast with him. So, if someone wants to wait with me, I’ll wait there, but otherwise, it’s immediate seating, or I’ll drag out my own frying pan.
Like I said, I like to read the paper while I’m there, and I got a big kick out of the Minneapolis paper today (Minneapolis/St. Paul Star Tribune). There’s a guy on their staff named named Colin Covert who reviews movies. The headline for his reviews of “Limitless” (Bradley Cooper as a guy who pops some pills to boost his brainpower) and “The Lincoln Lawyer” (Matthew McConaughey being deep) was “Clash of the Himbos.” I’d never heard that term “himbos” before. But, what made me chuckle was his line about the Matthew movie, where he said “It’s the most unrewarding two hours you could spend in a theater, short of a total power outage.” Tell us how you really feel, Colin.