Most of the ideas I have on a daily basis especially when involving food are bad. Before I was moving out of Massachusetts a couple of years ago I was running some errands around the area I grew up in, the North Shore. I took a little drive after and took some photos of the ocean and that kind of thing. I hadn’t eaten anything and as is the case anytime I am somewhere awake and it’s between 7:00 AM and 11:59 AM, and I’m hungry I could eat breakfast. I realized I was hungry and this was the point where I should have driven home. I had ten eggs in the fridge, English muffins, bacon, sausage, milk and plenty of magazines to read while I eat. Everything one needs to eat. Another idea I threw around in my head was to go to Red’s in downtown Salem. It’s a small little diner type place famous for being a place that people talk about. Food is as good as food at those kinds of places can be but there’s a good atmosphere and they have a great selection. I didn’t feel like dealing with downtown Salem and parking and the possibility to running into someone I know and having to explain to them I’m moving and what I’m doing and then listen to what they’re doing, etc. No thanks. At this point I pretty much had left Massachusetts, so.
So I don’t incriminate myself I will change the name of this restaurant I did decide to visit to…International House of Waffles, or IHOW. I went in this same exact restaurant a few months earlier when I was in the area for errands. I recognized a few of the waitresses and the similar clientele from the last time I was there. Lots of disgusting people presumably from nearby Lynn? Check. That lesbian woman that looks like Phillip Seymour Hoffman? Check.
I text my friend Aarne “Do you think I am going to regret this IHOW meal?” he replies “Not at all buddy!”
So I get the coffee that comes in that vessel allowing you to have three or so cups. I text Aarne again “Coffee tastes like it was brewed and burned three months ago” he replies “that’s part of the charm! No more boysenberry either!” I remember this. IHOW does not have Boysenberry syrup anymore. Syrup made from a berry nobody has ever heard of. People who have been studying berries for thousands of years, reading ancient texts about berries found by long lost generations and there has never been something called a boysenberry. Somehow spellcheck thinks boysenberries are real. I wonder how Google feels about this? I can’t be bothered really. As it turns out, they have Boysenberry in the little syrup holster.
The food comes. I ordered the eggs “over medium” which in reality means the yolk won’t be runny but not hard and dry either. The eggs are completely runny, like cooked less than over easy. I expect them to begin chirping at me. The hash browns are okay, sausage: ice cold. Then I eat some more potatoes and realize there is something in my mouth that isn’t potato. I pull out what looks like a pubic hair. Aarne and I have been texting back and forth and he wants me to steal the boysenberry syrup for him. I don’t have a jacket or bag with me and as much as I’d love to stick something down my pants and steal it from this shit hole an object filled with syrup is on the short list of things I will not stick down my pants. Plus, I have bigger plans in my head. He reminds me that the only time one should be eating at a place like this is between 1:00 AM and 4:00 AM. This is exactly true.
I decide I am going to leave three dollars on the table for the tip; when the hostess and the manager leave the front counter I will leave the restaurant with this bill for $13 in my pocket. My car is a dangerous 50 or so yards out and the walk will be a clear view of the front counter. I am 39 years old and have never done this in my life. There are also a couple of policemen on another side in view of the restaurant directing traffic. As soon as I see the hostess and manager woman in the seating area I rise and walk determined to the front. Get nervous for a second and consider just heading into the bathroom and coming out and paying when one of them returns but no I take a little glance behind me and see I am free. I get outside and start walking calmly towards my car, then start jogging towards it, fumbled with the keys like women in movies getting chased by bad guys and then hop in and poof, I’m gone. Fuck you. Good Lord what a rush of adrenaline. And the whole thing premeditated! I couldn’t have been more guilty of something than if I walked up to a group of cops and shot one of them point blank in the face wearing an “I hate cops and am about to kill one” t-shirt with a picture of my face on it.
I am now escaped and free, but am paying the price. I go to the shopping mall to check out some shit and “lay low” for a while which is what they do in movies after committing a crime. Then I remember you’re also not supposed to buy anything lavish like fur coats, expensive watches, etc. I also remember I didn’t rob a bank and am not in a mob movie. I walk by a mall cop and believe he is “on to me” so I break another direction and lose his ass in a women’s clothing store that I can’t find the name of. I leave the mall and a state police car speeds past me with its lights flashing. I AM IN THE FUCKING CLEAR!
Now a normal person probably would have just said something to the waitress or manager and sent the food back but really, if you believe sending your food back is your best option you are horribly wrong. There is no possible way something isn’t going to be done to your food especially at a low quality place like this where the combined salary of the whole workforce there is probably $100,000/yr. And besides, I hate complaining about shit. Well, aside from right here.