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7:15 p.m. - 2012-08-12
Across the border...to Connecticut?

What the hell is wrong with waitresses in Connecticut? Granted I haven't eaten in Connecticut very often so maybe my sample is just ridiculously skewed, but Lord Almighty I've yet to dine in the Constitution State and get decent service. Today's was a doozy. Mick and I had gone to a VW show (more on that in a bit) and afterward wandered off in search of lunch. There was a dearth of diners so we took a chance on what appeared to be a charming luncheonette in a converted colonial-era public house. Up close the place wasn't quite as charming and the sign on the door said the joint was only open until 1:00pm. It was almost 1 o'clock already so we stepped inside to find out if we'd still be served. On the far side of the room was a gaggle of waitresses who refused to make eye contact and at the counter a couple of customers finishing up. Nobody acknowledged us except one extremely partied-out old hippy who looked at me with the most bloodshot eyes I'd ever seen and said, "They have good eggs here, man." Finally I marched over to the gaggle and asked if the place was still serving and I received a cryptic, "It's not 1 o'clock yet." Yes, and? It was 12:50 so should we sit down or take our hungry selves elsewhere? Again the cryptic, "It's not 1:00 yet." Taking this to mean we'd get food if we ordered it Mick and I took a table and we were given menus by a young woman who continued her conversation with someone else. She gave us a minute to look at the menu then came over to get our order. Well, she neared our table few times but would veer off to keep talking with an older woman, who she introduced around to her co-workers as her mother.

Mom and our waitress had a grand conversation for several minutes trying to set up some plans for later on but vagueness was the order of the day and neither of them, nor the Greek chorus from the other waitresses, could manage to reach any kind of consensus as to when and where they'd meet up. During this "Who's on first?" business our waitress feinted at us several times as though she might take our order now, but she never quite made it to the table. Eventually our order was taken and our drinks delivered by our vague, chatting over her shoulder the whole time server. Mick and I were reduced to snorts of amused disgust over getting hosed yet again by the weirdo waitress policy in Connecticut. Last time we'd had a meal in Connecticut (different venue) the waitress there kept up a shouted conversation with some other customers about her horse's eye infection and to go with our meal we had a lovely description of equine eyeball pus and how bad it smelled. This time our server just kept up her maddening convo with Mom. Praise Jesus we were spared the pus-laden horse eyeballs. Though we were downwind of the restroom which someone began to scour out with some horribly stinky cleanser while the rest of the staff stacked chairs on the tables around us and argued over who had to sweep. Such service! Such wonderful customer care! Sheesh. I hurried up and finished my eggs du Pine-Sol and we beat feet outta there.

Now about the VW show. Mick, as usual, came away bleak and forlorn over the slim pickings in the 1957 and earlier category. No amount of reasoning on my part ever consoles Mick or reconciles him to the truth that his grand VW loves are all over 50 years old. The few survivors still around are either complete wrecks or pampered trailer queens whose appearances in public are limited to venues much classier and cleaner than the Terryville Fairgrounds. He himself doesn't dare take his beloved '57 out for such an arduous jaunt across state lines so why would the other owners do it?

Chin dragging on the ground Mick went with me to the big jumble sale in one of the fairgrounds' buildings. It's a fundraiser for the local Lion's Club chapter. Most of the stuff is crap. The dregs of the lowliest of garage sales, but with patient sifting I scored some truly excellent goodies. A sturdy pair of chrome and glass diner pitchers- one large and one small. A patent leather evening purse with a big pearl clasp. A nifty cake slicer. A couple of good fileting knives. And my favorite by far- a sharpening steel with a Bakelite handle. I own a steel, it came with my knife block, but it's crap. I'd have better luck sharpening my knives on the concrete sidewalk out front than any edge I can coax from that hunk of junk. My new steel though...wowzers. I'm dithery with pleasure over the idea of bringing my dull as spoons knives back to a keen edge. Mick scored a nice goodie too, a cute double wall shelf just the perfect size to display a few of his favorite VW miniatures. The woman manning the cash box said our haul was $5.00. Mick gave her a $10 and told her to keep the change. Why not? It's for charity and to be honest the sharpening steel alone was worth triple the price.

With the car show and our weird-ass lunch behind us and the day open to adventure Mick and I rolled off into the unknown. Habitual sign reader that I am I saw something that looked kind of cool and told Mick to hang a right at the next light. Three blocks later we were at The American Clock and Watch Museum. What a lovely find! I am a total geek when it comes to little esoteric museums and collections like this. Factory tour taker. History buff. How it's made dork. Places like the Clock Museum make me supremely happy. They have a terrific collection too. The signage is informative and well-written. The exhibits are laid out well and the clocks are just glorious. The docent who took our admission fee was helpful and very sweet. She was obviously somewhere upwards of 80 years old, but her enthusiasm for her museum and its offerings hadn't diminished a whit. She did apologize when I said I was sorry their wee gift shop didn't have coffee mugs (my fave museum souvenir) and she then flapped her hand and muttered something about 'the board not being very up-to-date'. So I bought a couple of pencils and had a secret giggle over an octogenarian having a snit over her museum's board of directors not being hip and modern enough.

Taking random lefts and rights we eventually got back on I-84 and pointed toward home. I said I wanted to stop at Stew Leonard's on the way. Mick got a bit wiggy because he'd never gotten there from this direction, but his keen eye for detail and super-duper memory got us there just fine. Get down with your bad self, Mick!

With the kid gone until Friday Mick and I loaded up with crazy grown-up food like crab soup and lobster bisque. We also got some luxe baked goods and a nifty selection of organic dog treats for Princess. However else this week goes down we'll all be eating like royalty.

And boy howdy did we need a day like today! Things have gone smelly and fubar (*coff* the ex *coff*) and what seemed to be smooth sailing ahead has turned into rough seas indeed.

Nevermind that for now though. For today I am counting my blessings. I've heard from Wolf who sounded like he's having a great time. My hormones (after a right good thrashing) have quieted down. Mick and I had a fabulous day together wherein each got to indulge in our favorite kinds of geekiness. Our trip in Lorelei the Sea Green Focus was smooove. The fridge is crammed with goodies and (to credit myself a little) a smorgasbord of yummy leftovers. Mom is off-duty from the stove for the next few days. We're sans son until Friday. Might even get a dash down the shore in on Thursday.


Good things. Lots and lots of good things. ~LA

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