OK, we left Dallas [where we had business, not live, Thank the Gawds] about 3 pm on the 3rd of July. We had left HOME about Noon. By the time we roll into Wichita about 9:30 that night. We check into a nice, secure lookin' Chain motel off the Toll Road. Dearly Beloved inquires about a non-fast food place to eat that will be open at that time of night. He's directed to a place about 5 minutes away that's open all night. Good Enough.
We take our bags to our room, have I mentioned electronic locks HATE me? Then we head for some food.
We find the recommended establishment on a main drag. It looks, from the outside, like a Waffle House on Steroids. I'm serious, y'all. The building looks like it started out like one of those garden room waffle house type structures, and then someone added a regular type dining room to the middle, because the counter with the stools that is next to the kitchen is still there. There were booths [complete with duct tape patches on the seats] along the front and back walls and loooong tables in the middle. I saw NO 4-tops. Every table was a smoking table! Any Dallas or Austin Nicotine-Nazi would have had a Stroke on the spot.
The first waitress who came to our table brought us water complete with napkin coasters, but no menus. She said our Real Waitress would bring us a menu in a minute. There was, however, a cardboard menu on the wall. Someone had hand printed NEW ITEMS on it. They need grammar lessons, though. Included among the new items were: "Peach's" and "Pear's" both available with cottage for an extra charge. I noticed the first waitresses bad skin under her heavy make-up when she brought our water. I didn't notice her bad teeth, until she was vacuuming by our table later. Then she smiled as she apologized for the noise. Missing teeth. Bad Skin. I'm thinkin' Meth.
When our REAL Waitress showed up with our REAL menus, my suspicion that this was some kind of a Super Waffle House was reinforced. The menus even looked like WH menus: laminated, 4-page, breakfast and sammies. Dearly Beloved and I pondered. He decided to go with the BLT. Wise Man I married. Really, how can you mess up a BLT? Especially if you order it with CRISP bacon.
I, on the other hand, ordered a Patty melt. That was easy to mess up, as I found to my sorrow. The fry cook evidently thought leaving the onions on the grill for about 30 seconds counted as "grilled". I had to take them off. The rye bread was buttered and warmed, not toasted. Kinda took some of the charm away. BUT, the curly Q fries were hot and crispy!
While we waited for our food, I counted 4 games of chance on which a customer could spend their money. Video poker, Keno, Bingo, and Lotto Scratch-Offs. Some folks just came in to buy the scratch-offs.
And this place was a people watchin' GOLD MINE! There was the couple that we weren't sure was gay or straight b/c we could determine the gender of 1/2 of the couple. Then there was the fellow who brought either his Mom or his wife in for a late dinner. Then there was the male fashion victim. A word to the wise, Guys: If you are 5'7"; weigh 300#; have chest hair on your back and arms, PLEASE, I'm beggin' you... Do NOT cut the neck and arms out of a Tee, the legs off a pair of sweat pants, put on a pair of flip flops, and go out in public ! You may think the Ladies swoon at the sight of your fishbelly white gut peekin' out from under that Tee and hangin' over the waistband of the sweatpants, or that we groove on all that hair on your arms, or the hair pokin' out of the neck that's on your BACK, but trust me...not all of us do. In fact some of us are sorely tempted to let loose with an Estelle Parsons screech of "MY EYES! MY EYES!" And a hygiene tip for you folks who have hair, like mine, that is loosing, or has lost, it's pigment. Purple shampoo will get rid of that YUCKY yellow cast that sweat and dirt and grime puts in your white and silver locks. You, too, can have shiny gorgeous hair that gets admiring looks. All it takes is a little effort, maybe an extra 3 minutes to wash your hair. PLEASE! leave the yeller for the other feller.
I won't even try to describe the other modes of strange dress and hygiene lapses we witnessed in this particular circle of Hell that Dante forgot to include. Lest just say that after being on the road for almost 11 hours and having pick up grime and wrinkles and fatigue lines and a smudge here and there, the Dearly Beloved and I were STILL the best dressed and groomed individuals in the establishment.
As we walked out to the car, I turned to him and deadpanned, "You take me to the NICEST places."