Okay, so last time, I had gotten us to the Miss Lorraine’s diner in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. We had been waiting for what seemed like ever for someone to actually take our order. And, then, by almost literally chasing her down (we dispatched the “runner” to get her), we finally...finally!...got the waitress.
And she looked...uh...a little shell shocked, actually. I don’t know how else to describe it. I’m sure that I could find more appealing less disturbing descriptors...stressed, or tense, or “just this side of the Sheer Screaming Meemies with a side-order of psychotic breakdown...”
But, charming as those might be, I think we need to go with the old classic simplicity of Shell. Shocked.
Anyway, we quickly gave our order. Martha got two eggs with bacon. I forget what Patty got...maybe also eggs. And me? Well, I was feeling daring, and hungry after our extended wait, so I went whole hog. Well, hoggish, anyway. I ordered the corned beef hash, eggs, and English Muffins. But, pssst. Don’t tell my cardiologist. He might come all the way to Georgetown, Texas, just to whack me. Probably with a stethoscope. Leaves a real welt, believe me.
She took the order into the back. We were sort of mystified. What was going on? Why the delay? What was stressing the waitress? We had no idea.
From a short while later. This is Patty and Martha at the Old Slater Mill, about which I will write more in future.
But, by then, we had other concerns. We all needed to use the bathroom, for one thing. We’d been waiting for a looong time, after all. We asked the runner, who was conveniently near-by, where the restrooms were. He told us to go to the other end of the Diner, through the door there, then into “the other room”....(there was another room?)...then to the end of *that* room, then through the doors “into the bar.”
Huh? Well, okay. Martha and Patty went first. I checked my phone. Nothing interesting had happened in the last few minutes. Then...Martha and Patty stumbled back. They looked a bit pale.
“What’s the matter?” I asked, concerned.
“You’ll see,” Martha said, with a certain grim humor.
I followed their route. At the end of the Diner there was, indeed, another door. It opened up into a separate space, much bigger than the front part of the diner we were in. Oh, right. This _was_ an old factory building, I remembered. And, I realized, the original diner...the antique part of the place, was just attached to the front of the building. But, there was an additional section...almost another whole restaurant, actually...in the main building.
And it was...bedlam. I don’t know why we didn’t hear it before. Maybe the sound-proofing had been installed by an expert with a one track mind. But, whatever, the rear room was full...FULL!...of youth sports teams. There must have been four of them. The players ranged in age from preteen to high school, and they all were in uniform...Little League, football, soccer...boys and girls...all with their coaches...and all ordering TONS of breakfast. They were all eating in the way that only adolescents can. I watched while our own waitress staggered past with a platter of eggs that could have fed a load of locusts on an up day.
So...that was why there’d been the delay! This must be the day when all the local teams played their morning games, and then came here for their breakfasts. The diner seemed to capable of handling them, but it still put stress on the system. There were only two waitresses on duty that day, plus the runner, and they’d been put through the proverbial ringer trying to deal with all these teams. Wow. Just...wow.
I completed my business and returned to the table. “See what I mean?” Martha asked. “I do,” I said. “I most certainly do.”
Actually, after that, our meals came fairly quickly. I suspect that many of the teams finished up and left about then. (I checked before we headed out. The room which had been so full was, by that time, almost empty.) And so the cook actually had time for us.
The Miss Lorraine take on corned beef hash. Excellent!
The food was actually really good, btw. My hash was terrific. I’ll post a picture of it, along with the English Muffins. Yes, that’s real butter on them. Ah, sigh. Increasingly, it is all forbidden fruit to me. I used to order corned beef hash fairly frequently. Ditto Biscuits and Gravy. And real butter, well, I usually went with margarine because in the old days it was cheaper, but if I wanted a bit of real cow on my toast, well, I’d go for it.
Now...now...if I tried to eat like that, I’d be sick for a week. Maybe two weeks. Plus a little time on for bad behavior.
You know, I don’t particularly mind getting older. But this not being able to devour what I used-ta-could...that’s a real pain in the, uh, descending colon. That’s it. Descending. And colon. (Look it up. It’s on wikipedia.)
Anyway, that was our breakfast. We paid, and headed out. From there, we were going to do a bit of touring, and a bit of shopping.
We didn’t know that, coming up, not right away, but soon, there would also be...
Some serious drama.
More to come.
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