Sunday, December 25, 2005

Blog Stuff: A Waffle House Christmas.

Christmas Eve was very fun. What I remember of it, anyway. What's that mnemonic? "Wine after beer, oh dear"? Anyhow, I woke up to the soundtrack to Zulu pounding in my skull and the discovery that my tongue had been mysteriously replaced by a tongue-shaped piece of flannel. A quick stagger about the house confirmed that there wasn't an aspirin tablet to be had this side of the local convenience store.

I got dressed and decided to combine the aspirin run with a long-standing Christmas tradition beloved by misanthropic hermits across the South: A hearty holiday meal, alone with a book, in the quiet confines of the local Waffle House, while sipping eleventeen cups of coffee.

As I pulled into the parking lot, I could tell something was amiss. All the parking places were full, and every available nook and cranny that wasn't a parking space was also full. The chaotic result looked as though a demolition derby had been stopped in mid smashup, with all the drivers just parking where they were to hop out and get a cup of joe. What were all these people doing here? Didn't they have families? Upon opening the door, I found that the situation was worse than I thought: Not only did these people have families, they were families. The little row of chairs where one is supposed to patiently wait for a booth was a teeming, seething mass of aberrant humanity; half of it knee-high, and all of it loud. It was like the extras from a school play production of Deliverance had all suddenly gotten a craving for country ham. Not the best place to bring a hangover.

Muttering "Aren't y'all all supposed to be over the river and through the woods someplace?", I elbowed and kneed my way to an open spot at the counter and attempted to shout my order to the harried-looking waitron over the clash of plates being washed and the hissing roar of twelve pounds of hash browns being cooked simultaneously. A pleasant-looking gentleman took the stool next to mine, and asked "Hey, don't you work at Coal Creek Armory?"

I did not growl "Not today, I dont."

I did not shoot the place up in a hail of gunfire, resulting in a standoff with the local SWAT team.

I did not break down crying and beat my forehead against the countertop.

I smiled and said "Why, yes sir, I do." and finished the conversation with a promise to score some more cases of bulk 9mm for sale by this Thursday, so he'd be able to buy some for the shooting outings he takes with his son.

I stopped at the inconvenience store on the way home, drawing a knowing chuckle from the guy behind the register as I plopped my bottle of aspirin, bottle of V8, and bottle of Gatorade on the counter. "A very Merry Christmas, huh?" he asked.

"You don't know the half of it," I replied with feeling, "but you can read all about it when I get home."


ProfessorKeel said...

Your reading of the traditional Christmas story from Luke 2 was missed Christmas Eve. Did you read it on your own?

Zendo Deb said...

Congratulations you survived another Christmas (and yes, I realize that it isn't ALL over in retail... but the worst should be behind you.)

And you don't have to worry about the start of another Christmas season until at least August!

Anonymous said...

Heh. One good thing about your business, I don't imagine you have a lot of returns.


Anonymous said...

Aww, Tam, that's terrible.

Overindulgence is such a hassle...