So there we were fresh from watching an inordinate amount of TV, a rarity, and having $20 burning a hole in The Big Man’s jeans.. we figured we swing on into town to the new IHOP for some of those gingerbread-eggnog-holiday delights they’d been talking about.
Of course we never just GO into town without doing all the errands, and since we usually only leave the property just after doing morning chores well, we looked a little “farm-y.” But they don’t make no never mind what we look like at the TSC… so off we went in our ratty truck and our barn clothes. Whoot!! IHOP here we come! I was getting cavities just thinking about it…and ahhh… someone ELSE who makes me a meal!! What more could I ask for?
So we got seated among an odd mix, being as it was a Tuesday. A family with a couple of younger school aged kids to the side of us, Marge and her bridge club over yonder, and some truckers behind me. Our server, Misty, poured up the coffee and brought us the menus….and there they were in all their pancake-y goodness! Gingerbread pancakes with whipped cream AND holiday sprinkles!
Not needing anytime to decide I happily exclaimed “I’ll have THAT!” and jabbed my finger at the sugary delight on the menu.
Misty, for her part, smiled at my enthusiasm and asked how I liked my eggs.
Who the heck eats eggs OUT? They didn’t have farm eggs at IHOP. They only have some kind of reconstituted, sad, cloned version of our fresh and delicious eggs. All I wanted was pancakes, why on earth was she asking me about eggs? Besides, all I wanted was pancakes. PANCAKES!! WHOOT!!!
I must have looked bewildered because she launched into the different kinds of eggs, scrambled, over easy….
The Big Man and I, together for so long and able to communicate telepathically, looked at each other started snickering about why on earth would we order EGGS and that poor Misty, at IHOP, was giving us a primer on egg preparation.
This was funny for a lot of reasons, including but not limited to that I make a pretty good skillet of eggs…and I’ve cooked my way thru a number of chef’s manuals, not to mention that I’ve eaten eggs of all sorts on most of this world’s continents…as well as the Bob Evan’s across the street. So Misty giving me the egg lecture was kinda funny in a twisted way.
But we were snickering and having a tender heart for food service folks, I didn’t want to hurt her feelings so I apologized and said that we farm and we normally don’t eat eggs out… could we just have pancakes? (PANCAKES!!! WHOOT!!! PAN-CAKE-E-OS!!!!)
“Ohhhhhh…” she said cheerfully, “well you know my grandma and grandpa have a farm too. And because of that I just WILL NOT eat eggs! Why they used to give me their fresh eggs – one time they gave me eggs and the chick had started to develop and it was the GROSSEST thing and it was all VEINY and I almost puked and …..”
So she launched into this whole tale about the somewhat-developed-eggs and of course I pitched in with my own war stories and we were just being friendly and all….
And then there was this kicking at me feet under the table. I wondered who let some little dog in the IHOP and just moved my feet. And then I proceeded to tell her in great detail how we pipped and hatched two of our turkey poults right out of their shells and she was interested and asked questions so I just kept on going…
And again with the kicking under the table, “Huh? What…”
I turned my attention to The Big Man staring angrily across the table at me and then he said, almost under his breath “Maybe we should. Just. Order.” Now I know what that look means. And that tone of voice. So I looked around and that entire section of the IHOP was dead silent.
And not eating.
Marge and most of her bridge club had turned and were staring at me slack-jawed and buggy eyed. I felt, rather than heard, the truckers push back from their plate of eggs and pancakes. And then I heard one of the kids, in a Tiny Tim voice, ask “Mommy is there a chicken in my eggs?” The mother was giving me a razor sharp look and saying in her best calming, mommy-voice, “No honey. Its ok.” But I could tell that his little lip was starting to quiver.
Misty and I looked at each other. She was totally unaware at what was happening, or the irony that the waitress at IHOP won’t eat eggs. The Big Man was still staring at me angrily.
“Um. I’ll have what he’s having.” And pointed across the table at The Big Man who ordered as fast as he could in a low voice. I gave him a shrugging look and I knew he was thinking that he couldn’t take me anywhere. When I tried to protest and pointed out, quite correctly that SHE started it, I was informed that I don’t always have to ride that horse until its dead. Shhesh! And here I thought I was providing a informative and valuable lesson in farming!
We ate fast, watched the mom drag the crying child out of the restaurant, and left Misty a huge tip. As we stood in line to pay the manager wished everyone a good day and asked them to come back. As we left he just stonily glared at me and flatly told me to have a good day. No invite to come back was offered.
Luckily tho, we both developed a sense of humor about it and decided that some farm things were just too much for the general public. But we haven’t been back to the IHOP since.