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Saturday, November 6, 2010

I Still Got It

Willie and I did some grocery shopping last night at the Rainbow in Columbia Heights.

This is Willie's store. He knows this store; it’s the one he hits between work and home. He knows its aisles, understands its parking lot, feels at home in its dairy section. Never mind that there are stores closer to our home, this is his store, dagnabit.

Willie is a creature of habit, and we’ll just leave it at that.

Have you been to the grocery store in Columbia Heights?

Not getting your fill of people grocery shopping in bedroom slippers? Wonder if there are people eating whole roasted chickens in the aisles?

Anyway, when you’re done shopping and it’s 7:00 and you no longer feel like cooking, and what you really want to do is go home and lay on the couch and watch TV, where do you go?

Well, there’s Wendy’s.

Fast food, my friends: The United States’ pants-swelling, artery-clogging contribution to Epicurea.

Picture the inside of this Wendy’s. There are five people at three different tables: two heavy-set couples at each end of the place and a disheveled elderly man in the center, staring out the window, a number of garbage bags at his feet.

“Sir, sir. Sir.”

A heavy-bellied man in a dirty oversized ski jacket and a pair of stained sweatpants with a hole in the crotch was whispering to us as we approached the counter.

“Hey.” The man gave off the very air of lechery. He was grinning at Willie. “That your wife?”

Ah. This is why I avoid Columbia Heights: First the man at the deli with the fuzzy slippers, then the couple irritably arguing over Hamburger Helper (hamburger with noodles vs. hamburger with potatoes). Now this.

I turn to Willie, smiling. “Double stack, medium fries. I’ll find a table.”

I abandon him to the line and his new friend. Willie is a private man, and he dislikes encounters like this. He winces silently at me.

The cashier continues to wander around in the back for no discernible reason.

Stains stands next to Willie, who appears, from my vantage point at the table nearest the exit, to grow more and more uncomfortable.

“Huh! Huh! Huh!”

Stains is laughing; and I watch him lean into Willie, his new best friend. “Huh! Huh! Huh!”

Moments later, Willie sets the tray on the table, hands me a hamburger.

“He wants to know if we want to go to a party.”


“Him and his wife there,” Willie unwraps his burger and shoots an eyebrow to the table where Stains and his wife – we’ll call her “Dumpling” – are drinking pop. “He wants to know if we want to go to a party. It’s okay with his wife.” Willie takes a bite out of his hamburger. “He thinks you’re hot.”

Willie grinned. “I’m turning in early tonight, but I can drop you off.”

Funny man.

We declined the party by finishing our burgers and leaving promptly.

Let them say what they will, but I’m big in Columbia Heights.


ellen abbott said...

How could you turn down an offer like that?

Georgina Dollface said...

Did Stains ask you and Willie to "Swing" on by the party? Because then I'd be really nervous. - G

lgsquirrel said...


Saimi said...

Haha you party pooper!!

Camille said...

Ewwwwwwwww. Wait - maybe I'm being too judgemental...On second thought, no I'm not - Ewwwwwww!

Eva Gallant said...

Aww, where's your sense of adventure? lol

Vintage Christine said...

Encounters like that are why I will only use the drive-thru when I decide to dine "haute cholesterol." That way you only have to contend with not understanding the ordertaker and finding out you're missing your fries/straw/cheese (pick one or all) after you've driven off.

Gigi said...

Awww Pearl! Why didn't you go? Think of all the blog fodder you could have obtained!

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

makes ya wonder what the lab analysis on those stains would uncover

dontcha' wanna swing with special sauce?

Jon in France said...

Ah. One of the few things I miss about civilisation: stained maniacs importuning me in fast food emporia.

I think you were wise to decline his invitation. I suspect he may have been planning to make an indecent - and possibly unhygienic - suggestion when he got you through the door.

Plus people like that NEVER think to provide nibbles at their parties, let alone beer glasses.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Geez, I thought our Rainbow was bad. As for fast-food places, it never occurs to me to go in and sit down. Why do ya think God made drive-through windows?

Simply Suthern said...

Stains has good taste in his desired party mates whilst many of his other life choices seem to fall a bit short.

Greenfingers said...

Well more fool you Pearl...Oh yeah! Sort of!!
I happened to walk into the same Wendys just minutes later and was also invited to the 'party'!

Apparently I had lovely English teeth (Dumpling liked the way that like her, I didn't have a full set!)

The party was great actually. Lots of root bear, fried chicken, spin the gun, and the soundtrack to Deliverance played at full volume.

However, as I was saying my goodbyes, a sack was put over my head and I have being in their basement ever since.

While I have grown quite fond of Stains and his love of Judas Priest, Saxon and early Aha, Dumpling has turned me into a strange slave. My duties involving fried chicken grease and the smearing of goose fat.

I am allowed internet access for two minutes per week and even that is monitored. Its made more difficult by the fact that my fingers keep slipping...

Gotta go, I hear footsteps.

Symdaddy said...

Belly? You never said I was 'fat' before!!!

And what have you got against my outfit? You've never complained about the 'easy access' hole in my sweatpants before! And that ski-jacket was new ... once!

As for the party ... don't worry! We found someone else to 'swap' with.

Y'know what I mean?

Hilary said...

I suspect you went home an had a hot, cleansing shower after that. Stains might have opted for a cold shower.

Kal said...

That sounds like the story of the beautiful Princess taken into the pig barn. You might be cleaning up but you get a newer shovel. Didn't you tell me once that you don't have rubber boots?

A man called Valance said...

Stains and Dumpling, huh? Yeuk!

a Broad said...

Listen, there will come a day when you will look back and remember fondly that some stranger thought you were hot.

I fear those days, I really do ..

dogimo said...

The problem with our modern, permissive attitudes towards swinging - not that I'm saying there's a problem! - but the problem is, ugly people think it means them too.

GET OUT OF HERE UGLY PEOPLE! Go find a fetishist!

We beautiful sorts only want to swing with the lovelies.

a Broad said...

I think I love dogimo .... (in a purely platonic way )

Sue said...

I must be leading a sheltered life, nothing like that's ever happened to me. Or maybe it has, because if someone would tell my husband I'm hot, he wouldn't tell me. He wouldn't want it to go to my head.

I like your blog. How did you find mine?

Lisa said...

Hilarious. I'll never eat another Frosty without thinking about Lumpy's thwarted Swap Meet.

KaLynn ("MiMi") said...

you didn't eat in the car? that just gave me the creeps! poor you! =0(

Bossy Betty said...

Well, gee, if it's OK with his wife..... shivers!

alwaysinthebackrow said...

My, what a find you have in Willie! He was willing to forego all of the fun of that party, but was willing to take you there and drop you off so that you could enjoy it. What a guy. He obviously is not the jealous type. He is a keeper. Stains, on the other hand, maybe not so much.
Oh, and let that be a lesson to all those people who are looking for a good time on a Friday night-hit a Wendy's and sit inside. Drive thru won't do.

Cheeseboy said...

We could learn so much about society by simply having social scientists watch the back of a Wendys.

I love the double stack too. But use of my dollar ever.

Martin H. said...

I think a close relative of 'stains' sat next to me on a near-empty bus to Edinburgh, once. I don't recall being invited to a party though.

Roses said...

How could you pass up an opportunity like that? You're so judgmental. Just because he was obese and less than hygenic...

You might have had a chance to try out the swing in his living room.

Barbara Blundell said...

A party ?? Hosted by Stains and Dumpling ??? Not to be missed . How could you , Pearl ??