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Old 03-05-2010, 03:48 PM   #1
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Default The Pilgrimage - Part 3

(From "The Incredibly Normal Adventures of RoosterBoots")

Part 3 – Food

There were no huge crowds waiting to get in to the “Ice and Fire”. Apparently, 11:30 is a little early for lunch. Inside, the place had the atmosphere of a homeless shelter, except the waitress was cute. Drinks were cheap and the usual Southern style “bottomless cup” rule applied.

“Whuchoofokesgawnahave?” the waitress asked. Before we could answer, she added “Izzitallt’gether or sep’rit?”

“Sep’rit,” I said, picking up the dialect quickly. “’Ceptins I hasta pay fer th’ lady heah o’ she won’t go home w’me.” The waitress winked and nodded, knowingly.

She looked right at Miz Roo. “Whuttlitbe, hunny?” the waitress asked. I could tell what Miz Roo was thinking. Your liver on a plate of linguini. She didn’t say it, though. Instead, she turned to me and asked, “What are YOU having?”

“I’m not playing the ‘What’re you having’ game,” I told her.

“Then I’ll just have what everybody else is having,” she announced. That meant that she’d end up eating nothing, getting a headache, and being a pain in the ass the rest of the afternoon.

“Like hell,” I said. I looked at the waitress and asked her. “What’s the least disreputable dish you guys have?”


Cuz’n Mark looked up from his menu. “What’s ‘disreputable’ mean?” he asked.

“Wow, Mark! Lookit that!” I said, motioning to the street. He jerked around so fast I could hear his neck pop.

I tried the waitress one more time. “If you and I were out on a date and I brought you here to eat, what would I have to buy you to make sure that you were favorably impressed?”

“Oh, Jeez!” said Miz Roo, burying her head in her arms.

“Oh, stuffed mushrooms!” said the waitress.

Miz Roo perked up. “You got stuffed mushrooms?”

So the meal went well. Two drinks, one stuffed mushroom appetizer, and a cheeseburger with fries for $20. Plus, we got to sit down. Had we arrived five minutes later, the place woulda been packed.

We ate and we drank and we toasted to Cheating Death. Although Miz Roo is an old hand at dirt biking, modesty prevented her from assuming credit for good reflexes during her harrowing fishtail. She credited The Hand Of God Almighty for reaching down and saving her life.

I patted her shoulder reassuringly and told her that she reeked of fear.

“Fire and Ice” got crowded and we were done, so we walked outside to stroll around Sturgis some more. Twenty Mississippi Highway Patrol bikes were parked at the post office…in formation! I needed to snap a picture so I turned to my favorite model.

“Hey! Mizzie! Take off some clothes and jump on the nearest bike…I got the camera ready!”

She gave me quick “thumbs up”, except she didn’t use her thumb.

Still hungry, we looked around at the vendor area to see what other foods were being served. There was chicken on a stick. There was catfish on a stick. There were hot dogs on a stick. There was alligator on a stick.

They had fried jalapenos, fried potatoes, potato sticks, potato logs, and potato babies. That last food group is SO much more appealing that “tater tots”. Don’t get me started on strange foods down South. If it’s slimy and drips out of a rock, we’ll deep fat fry it and call it by a cute name. Much better that way.

Everywhere, there were funnel cakes. For people who don’t know what funnel cakes are, imagine a pancake in the shape of a giant tapeworm, deep fat fried, and then buried under a pound of powdered sugar. You get two napkins with each funnel cake. You need ten.

“Funnel Cake” is a quantum expression. You can only buy A Funnel Cake. You can’t eat A Funnel Cake…in fact, you’re lucky if you can eat a fourth of one. The powdered sugar becomes part of the quantum expression, and no amount of brushing, blowing, or shaking can make the darn stuff come off.

Cuz’n Mark found an inventive way to dispose of the excess sugar. He pulled off a chunk of funnel cake about four inches long and jabbed it into his mouth before I could warn him that it was too hot to eat.

At that PRECISE INSTANT, the sightseeing helicopter lifted into the air about a hundred yards away, causing a young mother to look over her left shoulder as she walked hand in hand with her young daughter, directly toward Cuz’n Mark. The little girl was no older than four, her eyes full of wonder at all the people and shiny motorcycles.

Not realizing that her mother wasn’t looking, she assumed that they were walking directly toward Cuz’n Mark because mommy knew him.

Cuz’n Mark didn’t see any of this. The hot oil trapped inside the crispy tapeworm had already denuded the top of his mouth and his eyes had flooded with tears. He held one hand in front of his face and gagged once, expelling air forcefully into his hand.

Along with the air came a copious amount of saliva and sugar, which combined to form a steaming milky goo. The little girl smiled up at Mark, then watched in horror as he spewed a white stream of hot emesis into a puddle in front of her.

Mark walked around her as she stood there, crying. “Hey, look!” he said. “That guy’s got leather saddlebags!”
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