Special orders don't upset us --  11/10/05

Thanks for the expressions of concern but I am feeling better already (it's too early for avian flu!)... but I do want to say that I had picked up a package of Cold-Eeze lozenges (with zinc -- ionozed or something so that delivers like 90% of its zinc ions to the mucosal surface and such) well, whatever, but I grabbed a package while in a pharmacy the other day to get some aspirin and some cough medicine and I honestly think these lozenges actually helped to reduce the total time I felt sick with my cold. I dunno, maybe it is all mental, but it at least made me think I was getting better faster...

Free assosciations...

This week something... making toast or something like that... made me think of Jack Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces -- good lord, was that really thirty-five years ago? -- and the great scene in the diner where Nicholson orders toast as in chicken salad sandwitch on toast, hold the mayo, hold the lettuce, hold the chicken... and it turns out that Jill has never seen this movie (which make sense, seeing as how it is it was out a dozen years before she was born.

Ah, now I remember -- it was Fried Green Tomatoes that put brought Five Easy Pieces to mind...

You see, the other day I picked a pile of small green tomatoes from my garden -- they will never ripen before frost (we are way overdue) -- and I had been thinking about fried green tomatoes (the pile of tomatoes putting me in mind of the movie) and I went online and found some recipes (essentially it is just breaded sliced green tomatoes -- just the way you might dip sliced eggplant, for example, in eggs and then in breadcrumbs before frying -- except fried green tomato recipes seem to come in two types: those that fry the breaded tomato slices in melted butter and those that fry them in bacon grease).... and Nancy joked that Fried Green Tomatoes would be a really cool title for a movie... and I suggested that it should be a novel first... and she thought it should be a longer title, something like Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe... and I decided that we would have to write it under a pseudonymn, perhaps something like Buttocks Banner or maybe Posterior Pennant...

Which is how we got to Five Easy Pieces... because Fannie Flagg (author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe -- both novel and screenplay -- appeared as a lead actress in Five Easy Pieces. Which, of course, leads to the diner scene, the most famous scene in Five Easy Pieces.

My brother and I have both played our own real live versions of that scene.

When Adam was about three years old I used to take him and a friend of his to the central downtown branch of the Broome Country Public Library (Binghamton, NY) for Story Hour one day each week (somehow Wednesday comes to my mind) and after story hour I would take them to a McDonald's for lunch and then to nursery school at the Broome County Jewish Community Center. So Adam was a hamburger, coke, and fries guy and his buddy (whose grandfather, Dr. Israel Rosefsky was Adam's pediatrician -- he would years later be Gillian's and Jeremy's pediatrician as well -- and looking him up online just now I see that Dr. Rosefsky died just three weeks ago at age 95 -- an excellent doctor, a talented artist, and a wonderful human being, he will indeed be missed) -- I've totally lost track of my sentence structure here -- Adam's friend always got a milkshake with his burger. So this one day they were having some kind of special, order a large Pepsi and get it in a special plastic cup at no extra charge, covered with images of something-or-other that made it a very hot item for the three and four year old demographic.

Since milkshakes cost more than a Pepsi, even a large Pepsi, I asked the customer assistance associate behind the counter if I could please have an extra plastic-Pepsi-cup for the kid with the milkshake. No. Okay, may I please speak with the manager. Manager comes over, I ask, he says no because it is a special Pepsi promostion. I point out that we are regular customers and I am willing to pay extra for the Pepsi cup (even though the milkshake already costs much more than a Pepsi) but he still says no.

So I place our order -- which includes two large special cups of Pepsi and a milkshake.

Okay, now give me one of those Pepsis. Thank you. Now take the other one and pour out all of the Pepsi and take the milkshake and pour it into the special Pepsi cup. Thank you. Here's your money and don't look for us again because we will down the Vestal Parkway another couple of miles having lunch at a Burger King

My brother's version was quite similar and came just couple of years later. His son Chad (of the Chad & Dad Death Valley 105 mile bike ride and a wedding earlier this year) was also around nursery school age at the time. Chad was diagnosed as diabetic at a very young age -- he "celebrated" his second birthday in the hospital recovering from a diabetic coma -- and as a diabetic, it has always been very important for him to have meals in a timely fashion. As a little kid his favorite food was a grilled cheese sandwich... that was something Charlie & Donna could always get him to eat. So one day they noticed he was showing signs of needing food (and, when that is the case, it was usually needed quickly) so they stopped at one of the fast food burger places -- this one, I believe, was a Burger King ("have it your way") -- and Charlie attempted to order a "grilled cheese" sandwich.

No, we don't server those.

So the dialog went something like in Five Easy Pieces where Nicholson asks if they have a toaster, etc... you have cheese, you have hamburger rolls, you have a grill... (by this time he, too, has requested the store manager's involvement).

We don't have that on the menu.

So Charlie orders a cheeseburger and then adds "Hold the pickle, hold the lettuce, hold the tomato, hold the special sauce, and hold the damned hamburger!"

Some places just don't have a clue about how to please customers....

jimsjournal -- on the Web since September 26, 1996!

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