Friday, September 19, 2008

Another Night at Waffle House

I can't begin to estimate how much money I've spent, late at night with nothing better to do, eating and hanging out at the Waffle House. If you aren't from the South, you probably don't know what the hell a Waffle House is, so I'll describe it. You know how you always want something meaty, greasy, unhealthy, but downright delicious after you've just spent the last few hours getting sweaty and drunk at a nightclub on Friday or Saturday night? Well, that's pretty much why Waffle House exists. It's one of those places that hasn't changed a bit in 20 or 30 years so you know exactly what to expect as soon as you pull your car into the parking lot.

Over the last 15 years, I've come to Waffle House an average of once a week, although in my early days I would come about 3 times a week. Back then, I would bring a small, thick notebook with me in which I would write a few pages of story material for a novel each night. For some reason, the drunks who would plop themselves at the bar next to me would always want to know what I was writing and if it involved the Waffle House or them. Of course, why the hell wouldn't I let this strange, inebriated, barely coherent person be the star of my novel? At the time, I just wanted to be left alone, so I would tell them no and ignore them while they continued to slosh through a one sided conversation about how you could tell alot of stories about the stuff that goes on at the Waffle House.

The thing is, the drunks were right. I think that's why I love the place. In my quest to get my life back on track I've discovered that one of the most important things about being a Lifer is to try and live your life with passion and commitment. There's plenty of passion at Waffle House on a daily basis. And there's plenty of people who should probably be committed (rimshot). Every night that you are there you see people enjoying themselves. They eat, they talk, they laugh, they hold hands, they act as though Waffle House, and the people that work there, are a part of their family. It doesn't matter who is working behind the counter, if you've been to Waffle House more than once, those people ARE a part of your family. You grew up there, you lived life there, and you learned important lessons. And if you eventually learned what a patty melt plate, smothered, covered, chunked, triple scramble on the side is, well that's an added bonus!

Have fun, and keep living life... or some approximation thereof!

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