Tag Archives: restaurant

The Air Vent

29 Jul

(This is fiction.)

I was 6, my brother was 10, and we had the whole house to ourselves. Grandma and Mom were at the restaurant getting it ready for the morning crowd. The crowd wasn’t very large, maybe 10 to 15 people at the most, but it was enough to keep the business alive. Those who came, came for the biscuits and gravy.  Grandma was known for her famous biscuits and gravy in at least a three county radius.

We would have about 4 hours in between being checked on through the day to fill with whatever adventures I would device for us to do. The restaurant was just a stone’s throw away from the house so we could not get to crazy.  My brother being the oldest was in charge of me, and I being of little attention span was in charge of figuring out what we were going to do that day. Luckily my brother was game for whatever I could come up with, even if that meant being Barbie’s best friend for an hour.

The house was old, with creaky wooden floors and yellowing wallpaper peeling at the corners. Grandma was frugal with the air conditioning, so the house would heat up slowly throughout the day. She seemed to have it down to a science when to pop the air conditioner on the give just enough relief to the dwellers as to not turn them into melted pools of human laziness. In the older houses the air vents were in the floors as oppose to the ceilings of modern structures. The air would kick on with a ticking noise, and then a grunt from the house as if it was so inconvenienced by the thought of cooling off it’s occupants.  Then with a strong whoosh the floor would blow sweet cooling relief strong enough (in a 6 year old’s mind) to float on to the heavens.

We would grab one of Grandma’s good top sheets from the bed whenever we hear the telltale ticking and run to the nearest vent. My brother and I would duck ourselves under the sheet, holding all four corners down between us as the air would start it’s travel from unknown origins of the inner house workings and into our sheet. The sheet would fill with air encasing us in some sort of air igloo. Our skin would goose bump with the cool air and I would watch the sheet rise as it filled. We had about 10 minutes to cool down and exchange stories in our air tent. My brother’s would always be about pirates or dragons or cars, typical boy stuff. Mine would be about princesses, my future jobs, and how to care and raise unicorns. We would listen to each other’s stories with faked interest if we had too. That was the number one rule of the air tent. No fighting. We couldn’t waste the time with fighting.

I loved the days of staying at my Grandma’s. It felt like we had a freedom there not afforded to most kids our age. I was allowed to let my imagination take over and fill our days with adventures and games.

When we got older, Grandma sold the restaurant when her old bones wouldn’t let her stir the batter to make those famous tri-county  biscuits anymore. My brother and I stopped playing in the air vents eventually. Now when we would visit Grandma we would sit at the dinning room table with the adults and listen to adult topics like changing car batteries, the weather, and stories of the restaurant regulars.

However, whenever the air would kick on in the house, I would look at my brother, and he at me, and we would smile.

Reblog Thursday Pt 25

28 Feb

Just another Reblog Thursday…ohhh…oooo (sung to Manic Monday or You Give Love A Bad Name…you choose) The title of this piece could be about medieval chastity devices or one evil cashier at a Steak N Shake…you choose.


Today we ate at Steak N Shake.

Upon checking out, my card was swiped and I was told I was all set. There was no option to fill out my receipt and add a tip – simply a closed out order. I asked the cashier, Jackie where I should write in the tip, she replied that this was impossible because she had already closed out the transaction. I told her to fix it then, because who was she to block Anastasia from her tips? And how long was this going on? How many servers in this crappy litter diner are being screwed out of their pay because Jackie doesn’t feel like adding tips onto their open checks?! Jackie replies, “Well you didn’t ask me if you could leave a tip.” I pointed out that this was a restaurant and typically people leave tips. In a situation where you have to…

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A Big Barrel Of Crackers

20 Jul

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Where do you suppose Cracker Barrel got it’s name? Did crackers come in barrels way back in waggoner times?

Thank god the box was invented, because I do not want to lug a big barrel of crackers home from the Target store. Can you imagine the size of the shopping cart needed?

What if I needed a barrel of crackers, a barrel of pickles, a barrel of fish (to shoot), and a barrel of fun (to roll out) and of course, a barrel of monkeys all in one shopping trip?


Anyway, the wife and I decided to have lunch here before work today. Even though we have dined here many times, mostly because it’s right down the street, and quite honestly because it’s cheap, I just find lots of things funny about the restaurant.

The first thing I thought was odd was the fact that I got a coaster for my drink and my wife did not.

When I said to her, “Hey, that’s odd. I got a coaster for my drink, and you, my wife,  did not…”

She said, “Yes, they bring coasters with all the diet drinks. Keri* always gets a coaster too. She drinks diet as well.”

That makes sense, except my wife was drinking a sweet tea. (Or in the south pronounced as a sweeeeeeet teeeea.) I pointed this out, but my wife only shrugged. You see one is a light brown drink, and one is a black drink…and they look completely different.

So, Cracker Barrel…why the need?

“I don’t want to be labeled as a diet drinker. I think that’s what they are doing, ” I told her. “What if they are trying to segregate us in case some Regular Cola Commandos bust into the restaurant and are commanded to shoot all the people with coasters. What then, huh? I’m a dead man!”

I crumbled up my coaster and stuck it in my wife’s purse. I leaned over to the table next to us to warn them to do the same.

They just gave me a blank stare.

“Don’t you dare,” she hissed. “Besides, what if they were instructed to shoot all the people without coasters?”

Oh. I hadn’t thought of that.

The next thing that caught my attention was when my wife ordered some sort of summer special entree salad, and the waitress remarked (very excitedly),

“It’s really good. It has an Italian dressing, and this is the first time Cracker Barrel has ever put cucumbers on a salad.

No way…first time ever? Cucumbers on a salad? Somebody call Gordon Ramsey and tell him about this.

Look at the bountiful array of cucumbers! (Three I think.)

Cracker Barrel has a pretty distinctive look, unless of course you’re in an Applebees, Chilis, Longhorn, TGI Fridays, Fudruckers, or any of a thousand restaurants that have random objects covering the walls.

Cracker Barrel in particular, specializes in random objects from the 1920s. Things like old signs, old tools, old newspaper advertisements, and this random old black guy:

I’m thinking about starting a company that supplies random objects to restaurants to hang on their walls.

Where would I get my supplies? From Applebees, Chilis, Longhorn, TGI Fridays, and Fudruckers.


I got the beef brisket. It didn’t come with a sauce though. Shouldn’t brisket come with a sauce? It’s too dry otherwise.

I asked for a side of BBQ for dipping. I like to dip. Dippable** foods are way more fun than undippable foods.

It was good, but presentation needed a little work.

This could be:

  • Beef Brisket
  • Beef Jerky
  • Flatworms

Let’s not forget the Cracker Barrel Country Store:

Perfect for that secret 5 o’clock martini.

A little pink pistol for all the little…pink cowboys and pink…gangsters?

The grumpy George Washington trivia game?

A jar of glass dildos? For the kiddies?

This I was told was for scrubbing pots and pans. Let’s go with that because I already did a dildo joke.

So this where Grandma got those scary knick knacks that you swore were always looking at you…and you were pretty sure came to life on nights of the full moon.

And since this is Central Florida, by state law, you have to sell flamingos and Santa Claus climbing a palm tree. (in a jar…in July…at 25% off)

*Her friend is  named…Keri.

**Apparently dippable is not a word. Spell check is suggesting: disposable, which makes this sentence have a whole different meaning entirely. Disposable foods are way more fun than un-disposable foods. Un-disposable is not a word by the way.

Upset Stomach

12 Jul

Last night we went to eat out after work. I got some pork ribs, which I had gotten once before and had gotten sick from later.

So, you ask, why would you get them again?

Because, I answer, I thought it was a fluke thing the first time…and I have eaten many things from this restaurant with no problems in the past, and they are a local chain, one of the few that is always packed anymore, and it was the special. (Meaning it was a really good price!)

I don’t think it’s the restaurant’s fault though, I think pork and I are no longer friends. Which is sad because unless your religious beliefs dictate it so, bacon is so good. Bacon is modern day nectar from the gods.

I was even contemplating opening a bacon themed restaurant. Bacon sandwiches, bacon fries, bacon smoothies…

I guess I could still open the restaurant and never eat there myself…yeah, right.

Hopefully they make pork intolerant pills like they make lactose intolerant pills and I should be ok.