Surprise Me

Posted: August 10, 2014 in creative writing
Tags: , ,

While away from home “on the road” meal time takes on a new meaning. If you’re working with others “Where do you want to eat tonight?” becomes the expected question starting at around 2:30 every afternoon. Evening meals are enjoyable when eaten with others. But after a certain amount of time the highlight of the day dulls and members of the dinner party start dropping out saying they are just going to grab a sandwich and watch some TV in their room. I among them.

I knew a fellow so tired of being away from home that he ate the same breakfast, the same lunch and same dinner at the same place, at the same time by the same waitresses for a solid week. He said he was just tired of having to make the decision of the mealtime ritual each day. It was more like home seeing the same faces, at the same place and eating at the same time. His manager wouldn’t approve his expense report for that week, not because of the amount but because he reported the exact same amounts for each day of the week. I had to vouch for the poor homesick dope that what he reported was correct. I still remember the amount, $27.32 including tips for meals per day. That was a few years ago.

I’ve been ”on the road” alone a lot the past few years. And nothing is worse than eating at a restaurant alone, seated in the middle of the room, your table facing away from the window or door and staring at a few other diners that wouldn’t crack a smile if you could paint one on your face with mustard. So years ago I solved this uncomfortable situation by making sure that I have with me at least one of these to read in this order of preference: a newspaper, a book or the local penny saver. If I forget to have any of these I now always have my Blackberry to fiddle with or a couple of business cards from my wallet to read and reread until my dinner arrives. Writing on a napkin works great too if you remember a pen or pencil. But don’t count on a napkin these days at a sit down restaurant, you may be reduced to writing on the back of your hand. But that attracts attention. And it’s hard to wash off.

The drive-thru window has really solved the problem though. Go through the drive-thru, take the meal home to the motel and eat your dinner in peace. A few better chains have drive-thru’s now. But that gets old too. One day a few weeks ago I went through Kentucky Fried Chicken, love their chicken. A 4 piece meal is almost close to home. The young girl voice asked “which — the grilled, crispy or original recipe?”. Tired of making such decisions I said “I don’t care, surprise me.”. During the short wait I guessed what she would give me. I guessed the new grilled, they were promoting it, and the two choices, mashed potatoes and coleslaw. When I got back to my room it was, yep – the grilled, yep – mashed potatoes and I guessed it – coleslaw. No surprise here. Now where’s the napkin and spork. SURPRISE! She didn’t give me any. I’ll bet she is still smiling about that. Two dishes impossible to eat with your fingers. I carry my own utensils now.

Such is the life of John

  1. Ha! Yes, she surprised you alright! 🙂 That’s funny! 😀

    Yes, if you do a lot of traveling, you must have your own spork to take with you! 😀
    Ha! I love saying the word “spork”! 😛

    When I was a pre-teen and young teenager I pretty much lived with my oldest sister and her husband…he traveled constantly for work, and she didn’t like being I was always there for her. He used to talk about how tired he was of motels, and restaurant food, and I didn’t understand it. It sounded like a fun life to a kid. But, after becoming an adult and doing some traveling, I finally understood how he felt. 🙂

    I love the Colonel’s food, but I can’t get any of my family or friends to eat there…so when I’m on my own I get a meal there. 🙂 Ha! I even know a bad story about KFC, but I still like their chicken! 🙂

    Ha! I’ve been known to write on my hand and it’s made for some interesting conversations. 🙂

    HUGS and Happy Moan-Day!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a great Moon – day! I probably have a bad story about most of the big food chains. The only way to look at it is, “it’s only a cheap meal.”. I only get disappointed when it is bad at an expensive ritzy place, but I don’t go to those that often. Eating alone is the worst. You always get the worst table or booth and the wait staff are always new and inexperienced or the bartender that’s pissed that he or she has to take dinner orders. A guy might as well fix a Lean Cuisine in the room microwave which I have yet to lower myself to. :\ 😀


  2. hahahahaha— nobody can accuse that KFC cashier of not having a sense of humor. 😀


  3. ~ Sadie ~ says:

    Pardon my french – that bitch!! 😉 (And that’s the clean version – I am the daughter of a sailor!!) DSS – Though I love to cook, I am big on take out & get sick of fast food, especially if we are traveling – so I get on my laptop & look at menus of places around me & call in my order to go. I have done this at some pretty nice places, too, when I am not in the mood to eat out but am craving something in particular 🙂


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