Saturday, April 20, 2013
It almost came to fruition the other night. I thought I might grab grub at one particular fast food outlet, but the parking lot was crowded, the lobby looked crowded, and I wasn’t in the mood for a crowd, so I drove on, just riding down Route 12 into the sunset (aka, west), waiting for something to catch my eye. I’d been that way before, when I drove up to Madison taking that highway all the way up, but I hadn’t paid attention to what I was passing by early in the trip, so this territory was essentially new to me. I ended up turning at a whim into a place just because I liked their sign. Turned out to be grease heaven. A pizza slice that didn’t look too wet in the box it sat in turned out to be dripping wet when heated up. The “small fries” turns out to be a large under most people’s standard. The hot dog turned out to be the healthiest selection…ummm…selected, as well as an item that later became a 7th inning snack as I listened to the Detroit Tigers play a West Coast game hours later.
Even though the place was nearly empty, the person who came in after me sat at the table next to me. Not sure why that was the case, but it did provide grist for this particular mill so I won’t complain. At one point, I realized I hadn’t grabbed any extra napkins, which really would have come in handy for the greasy grub, so I stood up and went over to the napkin stand and remedied the issue. Coming back to the table, it seemed like I inspired a similar realization in my dining notcompanion, as he stood up and strode off in the same direction. Returning, his orbit came a bit too close to my table, where the edge of his jacket, which he hadn’t taken off, brushed again the edge of my table, and caught the corner of the wax paper holding my fries. The mind is a wonderful thing, and in moments like these, it can construct fantastic scenarios, outcomes for the pseudotragedy at hand, while at the same time acting to prevent these pseudotragedies from actually occurring. I remember an icy cold rainy day from Detroit 15 years ago where the mind failed to impel the body to act to open the umbrella I carried, resulting in a city bus splashing me with the contents of the giant slush puddle I’d happened to be walking past at that moment. This time, the mind won the battle, propelling my hand to the further edge of the wax paper, grabbing on to prevent a golden cascade onto the none too pristine floor of this establishment.
Dude never even noticed what had almost transpired. He just sat down and resumed the destruction of his burger, inhaling the remnants of it in just a couple of minutes. Honestly, I haven’t a clue why he needed the napkins, since I’m pretty sure (although we all know how unreliable corner of the eyewitness reportage can be) he never used the darn things before he stood up, tossed his trash in the appropriate container, and strode out the door.
Me, I just sat there, crunching away on those good greasy fries. Saved from a date with the floor, they met their end bravely, soldiering on past my ivory gates of doom and on down the tonsillated slide to the acid bath from hell. Let’s just not speak of their fate past that point, shall we?