47. Eat and get Absolutely Stinkin’ Fat.
This part of the nation is very Catholic. Catholic at least in the American sense of the word. Hence the ‘Friday Fish’ sign. The cafe was on the corner of ‘Co Road T’ and the ’45’ and ’47’ and was called the ‘Corner Cafe’. To start with that is a terribly American address and I have never experienced remotely similar addresses anywhere else in the world. This was the cafe with the huge eat sign in front of it and though we had had a few coffees in there previously, today, Friday was the day that Sharon thought we should obey the ‘Eat’ sign.
So in we waltzed, by this stage the waitress had become familiar with us and gave us a pleasant warm smile. The waitress herself was an American oxymoron. She was a little older than most, maybe about twenty, she did not have pimples, she was thin and she never assaulted us with American-service-industry-happiness. Not only that, she humoured me; humouring me is a trait that is not to be taken lightly, ask my long suffering wife and see what answer you get.
The cafe seemed as if it was taken straight from the set of the eighties and nineties sitcom ‘Roseanne(137)’. It was so so American, I totally loved the joint. Behind the counter was one of those really cool only-in-America-coffee-drip-thingamajigs, I had never seen one in real life before. The coffee was a lifeless brown. The machine could only drip one pot of coffee at a time, but it could keep two pots snug and warm on top. We had been drinking excitedly this cheap weak tar all week, but today was different, because I had my camera with me. I plucked up the courage and asked our lovely-clear-faced waitress if I could take a photo of her holding the coffee pot. She obliged and allowed me to click three very quick photos of her walking away from the coffee-thingamajig with the coffee pot in her hand. I was so excited, but in the poor light and the ecstasy of the moment I screwed up the photos.
We ordered our Friday-fish. Sharon with fries and me with hash-browns, it just seemed the American thang to do. Then we sat back and surveyed the hapless environs whilst staining our teeth on our atmospheric bottomless cups of coffee. I don’t mean that the cups had no bottoms, that would be a little impractical, I mean you could refill them for free.
I was just sitting there minding my own business admiring the shiny green bar stools, two of which were buried haplessly under two rather large pairs of buttocks when suddenly and slowly I noticed a rather large rusty classic sports car pull up. This thing was so low to the ground that its exhaust pipe was almost sparking off the bitumen. I watched with fascination as the rust bucket slumbered to an excruciatingly painful halt. Then slowly and surely, one at a time, its doors opened. The bag of nuts and bolts started frantically rolling from side to side. Just when I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, these people are having sex in the car-park on a Friday morning’, a leg lumbered out. This was no ordinary leg, this leg made the ‘Michelin Man(138)’ look positively anorexic. And to add insult to injury it was wrapped in a white sport shoe and green track pants. Why do the horrifically obese wear sports clothes? Are they fantasizing about thinner days or is it just some kind of weird blubbering sense of humour?
Anyhow by this stage the sports car was resembling a fair-ground attraction as it shook violently from side to side. Slowly but surely another horrifically oversized track-panted leg emerged and two chubby balls of flesh appeared on the door-jams, I presumed these were hands. Then something that could best be described as a red medicine-ball popped out, and it was smiling. This experience was clearly normal. I watched the fat in the fingers on the door jams tense up and slowly but surely this wobbling bundle of fat starting rising up. But it was weird and a little confusing, the face seemed to get further away from the ground, but not further away from the car. With stark horror it dawned upon me that they were not exiting a ground-scraping sports car, but rather a highly raised-suspension pick-up truck. It seemed like it took this couple a full five minutes to stand up and with each minute the pick-up truck suspension picked-up another foot of clean air between the ground and the bottom of the vehicle. Then wham, the Chevy rust-bucket was free from its burden. And there Ma and Pa Blue stood quadriceps rubbing but feet wide apart. Though their sport shoes were still, the blubber on their legs and belly was still bouncing slightly as it recovered from all of the pick-up exiting exercise.
Next was the adventure of forward motion without the support of their now lighter than life Chevy Stepside. The first noticeable sign of forward motion was the tension building up in the right hand side of Ma Blue’s mouth. Then very purposefully the fat in her legs started vibrating until eventually a foot plunged forward. These people walked with all of the gaiety of a hippopotamus trying to find the ever elusive sweet spot on a beanbag. The walk to the door was definitely and defiantly a ground-breaking exercise. But Ma and Pa Blue were happy, incidentally so was the rusty old Stepside. They thundered in the door with larger than life smiles on their pudgy faces and were shortly joined by a whole pod of cloned, cheap purple fleece wearing versions of themselves.
It was just exhausting watching the horrendous experience and it left me rather shaken. And that is when our orders arrived. Two very large oval plates, mine creaking under the weight of a huge piece of battered fish, underneath a gigantic greasy hash-brown. There was fat flowing like the Mississippi around the edge of my plate, but it smelt so good. I took a swig of coffee, shook the previous hefty memory from my noggin’ and dug in. It was so so good and so so cheap and I ate everything on my plate with a large greasy suety smile, whilst I politely shut out the agonising screams of my arteries.
Later I glanced over at Ma and Pa Blue’s table with their pod of clones to see how they were doing. They had finished their mains and now were literally digging into massive whipped-cream desserts. Oh yeah, they were enjoying themselves. Ironically enough they were sitting under a sign that read ‘Body Recall’. It appeared that the United Church of Christ was recalling bodies. I can just imagine what God said to the local minister. ‘Reverend Randy, this is God. Look I am sick and tired of all these fat people abusing the bodies I have given them. Clogged arteries, heart attacks and diabetes was not my plan. I want you to round up the obese masses, bring’em in and I am going to take back their bodies, recondition them and give them to someone who is going to look after them.’ According to the sign no registration was required and you could call the ‘Department of Aging’ for more information.
Which brings me to my finishing thought, do Americans actually decompose in the grave? I mean surely if you spend your whole life eating food crammed-packed full of preservatives, it must have some effect. And what if your soul only gets released to heaven upon the breaking down of your body? Heaven would be a very quiet place without any Americans or do Americans arrive in heaven ten years after everyone else? Ahh the mind boggling musings of a person who has had to much coffee and a Mississippi full of fatty fish.
Tune in next week and ‘don’t meet my penpal.
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You may have noticed some bracketed numbers in this chapter. These numbers correspond with explanations and definitions that are in an accompanying glossary. To read the glossary you will need to by the yet to be released book. Sorry!
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