Thursday, June 24, 2004

I just had the most amazing experience at Popeye's.

I took the kids there for lunch to get them out of Kyle's way and the restaurant was pretty much empty at 10:45 except for this woman who was ordering in an incredibly loud smoker's voice and discussing each item on the menu at length.

It was clear that this woman loved the whole Popeye's experience.

She was pacing back and forth in front of the counter and waving her arms like a grandstanding magician- or like Harold Hill telling the citizens of River City that they have TROUBLE- just insert words like "leg and a thigh" "hot and spicy" "side of beans and rice" , and "4.95??? No way!" into the libretto and you'd have it.

At last she informed the cashier, Israel, that he had a beautiful name, took and bow and stepped to the left.

I was so floored by her performance that I could hardly speak to Israel, who was waiting patiently for my order. I mean, how do you follow something like that? I actually thought she might be a method actress, and that the whole thing was research for a role she was playing.

This was ruled out a moment later when she revealed that she was actually just crazy.

First, she told me she loves little boys, which sounded a little creepy coming from her. Then she tried to give them her $2 in change (which I was confused by because she was so concerned about the price of everything that I had figured she didn't have enough cash). When I refused, she dug out two quarters and kept trying to force Stewart to take one. "Here!" she insisted, holding it under his nose.

I didn't know how to explain to her that A) the boys have no concept of what money is, and B) what the hell is an 8 month old going to do with a quarter other than put it in his mouth and choke on it?

So I just said thank you and slipped it away from Stew as soon as possible. I was terrified that she was going to sit in the restaurant near us and I'd have to make small talk with her that would eventually culminate in her making a horrifying offer to babysit, but luckily she left.

She got into a pretty nice car, but of course it wasn't parked in the lot. She had just pulled it up directly in front of Popeye's, blocking traffic to the rest of the shopping center even though there were plenty of empty spaces. In addition, the car was half up on the curb, skewing crazily like a ship lured into the rocks by the siren song of popcorn chicken.

In other news, Popeye's is now advertising their "naked" chicken as "low CARB." I never thought I'd see the day when people would be stupid enough to believe that fried chicken is health food.

Dave, avoid Popeye's unless you want to rage.

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