I have never actually been to Paris but I would like to go there someday. Reason: I am a big fan of the food. I love French fries, French dressing and French bread. But now that I think of it, I am not a big fan of French toast so maybe I will have to have something a little more American for breakfast. Maybe a crepe or a pancake. I have however dinned in a little Italian Café on the shores of the Mediterranean, enjoyed a lamb dinner in a castle in Scotland and cracked lobster in Nova Scotia. But as everyone knows if you want great meatloaf there is only one place to go; Cracker Bucket! (name changed slightly to protect the guilty)
As luck would have it, on Wednesday, while we returned from our training session, there was a Cracker Bucket just off the highway. We all quickly agreed that it was what we wanted. The parking lot was full as usual because everyone loves Cracker Bucket. Or at least everyone in Orangeburg SC does. That is where this restaurant happened to be. And as is usually the case, there were a number of people rocking in the chairs on the front porch. I don’t quite know what the fascination with rocking outdoors when the heat index is 110 but to each his own.
We entered the restaurant through the trinket store. If you have been to Cracker Bucket, you know what I am talking about. If you haven’t, just imagine an indoor flea market but the junk is all new. After pushing our way through the maze of useless stuff we arrived at the counter with the “Please wait to be seated” sign. (all the fine restaurants have those signs) While we were waiting, I quickly sized up all the waitresses and came to the conclusion that we would end up with Miss Happy: Aka Alice without a smile. Remember that show Alice? If you do, hold on to that memory because another character will reappear in this story.
So the mate-ter-D (another French word I know) takes us to our table after asking the obvious question; “How many are in your party?” and; “would you like smoking or non smoking?” And a lovely table it was. It was right next to the smoking section but lucky for us the two sections are separated by a lattice panel which everyone knows can block smoke. As I looked around the room the first thing I noticed was a young man perhaps around 8 with a long Mohawk haircut. It was kind of like a mullet without the tail if you can picture that. He had that thin inbred look like one gets when their family tree has no branches. But I am sure that wasn’t his fault and on the bright side he could get an acting role as an extra if they every do a remake of the movie Deliverance. Oh and he could also be a poster child for Ritalin but again that wasn’t his fault.
So this fine young man comes up to the table next to us and dares the kid there to “Pick him up by the cheeks” Obviously they were friends because the second kid does it. That’s what friends are for. He literally grabbed this little Deliverance boy by the cheeks and lifted him off the ground. I kid you not. And not once but twice. At this point I am thinking the boy could also get a job with Circus Olay. I was totally amazed but it was short lived because our waitress “Happy Alice” showed up to take our orders. After a hearty greeting of; Haaaw Yu ta-day? She took our orders.
Now I know I said I was going to have the meatloaf but that was Tuesday’s special and this was Wednesday and all I could think about was that it might be left from the previous day so I ordered the cheeseburger. But right after I ordered it, I noticed a warning on the menu saying uncooked meat may kill you so I asked for it very well done. And trust me it was VERY well done when it arrived.
Let me back up a bit. Right after we ordered, this couple came in and sat across from me. She appeared to be about 50 to 60 and was with a man around 60 to 70. She had big hair that reminded me of Flo in the television show Alice. (see how this story is falling into place) Anywhoo she had on clothes similar to what Flo used to wear. She was proud of what she had and obviously wanted to show the “girls” off because he blouse was open almost down to her naval. The sad part is the “girls” weren’t trying to get out they were trying to head south if you know what I mean.
Now get this picture: We are trying to eat our meal. There is a maniac child running loose in the restaurant who has red cheeks where he was picked up. I have Flo sitting across from me (I think she was giving me the eye but it may have been an eye twitch) and the guy on the other side of the lattice panel has a smokers cough. So for some reason I zero in on the coughing sound and realize that there must be 30 people in this restaurant who are coughing. I start thinking about SAR’s and wondering when this town got infected and then Flo does something totally amazing. She takes a break from eating her salad to scratch her head. But since she obviously didn’t own a hair brush that left only one option; You guessed it, she scratched her head with her fork. And then, went back to her salad. I almost gagged. Ok I did gag but it was just a little one.
And that’s when it hit me. You don’t get entertainment like this at some fancy French restaurant. Well at least without paying for it. They need a sign outside that says “Free entertainment while you eat” at Cracker Bucket that is. I'm just saying.
Have a great day,