Now Playing: Won’t Get Fooled Again, by The Who. “Change it had to come; We knew it all along; We were liberated from the fall that’s all; But the world looks just the same; And history ain’t changed; ‘Cause the banners, they all flown in the last war.”
There are, of course, many things – high-def TVs, trucks and scotch, to name a few. (And we won’t even start on the things guys don’t get about women.) This is a simple one: Guys love The Waffle House. There simply is no better place to eat and watch the after-the-bars-close crowd than a Waffle House. Any Waffle House. They’re pretty much all the same. And we like it that way. Karen’s new colleague at work, Genevieve, (whose name I refuse to pronounce any other way than JON-vee-ev) likes to tweet about things Seen at Starbucks. Well, to really get a slice of life, she should check out the WH.
It’ll never happen, though. Women hate it. (I should add here that I’ve never met JON-vee-ev – for all I know, it’s her favorite hangout. But my oh-so-informal survey of the gender hasn’t turned up a lot of WH fans.)
I started going there in Jacksonville with my friends RD – and he’s the subject of a future blog – and his now wife, Steph, a rare distaff fan of the Waffle House – and some other friends (the names are being withheld to protect the guilty). We’d go after the bars closed in J-ville, which meant that one of the best sports while waiting for runny eggs, toast and hash browns, smothered and covered, of course, was figuring out which of the women there were dancers. (And if you’ve ever been to J-ville, you know the kind of dancers I mean. If you haven’t, I’m not talking about discos here.) Anyway, it really was a sport. Some of the dancers didn’t look the same in the cold hard fluorescent light.
Later, when I was covering the Carolina Panthers during their first year, when they were playing their games at Clemson, we’d almost always stop at a WH on the way back to Gastonia. Frankly, it was about the only place off I-85 open by the time we’d head back, other than Burger King. And even before BK adopted the creepy king as its spokesmascot, I didn’t like it very much.)
Interlude: Wild Night, by Van Morrison. “And everything looks so complete, When you’re walkin out on the street, And the wind catches your feet, And sends you flyin, cryin. Ooh-wee! The wild night is calling.”
Anyway, when nothing else is open, the Waffle House is a mighty fine place to eat. And watch people. And take a break when you’re headed back to Gastonia from Nowhere, S.C. (And frankly, pretty much every place in S.C. is nowhere outside of Charleston, Myrtle Beach – and I’m only lukewarm on it – and Spartanburg (home of The Marshall Tucker Band).
Tomorrow night, Karen’s hosting the Bunco group from the neighborhood (if you don’t know, Bunco is a dice game played with dead chickens and eyes of newt, etc. – I’m kidding about the chickens and newt, I think. It’s one of those games no man may watch and no woman may speak of). Which means the boys and I have to clear the house for a couple of hours. I thought we’d probably go to Best Buy – we can always kill time there looking at electronics – and then head to the WH for something to eat. I’m looking forward to introducing the boys to it (even though we’ll be going five or six hours too early to get the full effect).
Karen thinks we’re crazy, and she’s sure Garrett and I won’t make to his soccer match Saturday morning. She’s not as worried about Austin – he doesn’t eat, anyway. But for me, it’s an important right of passage. I say they’re gonna love it. And with any luck, there will be some interesting people there. But I do have one tough decision.
Should I get my smothered and covered hash browns peppered and capped, too?
“I deserve all the love you can spare me. And I want a lot more than I deserve.” – Dashiell Hammett