PROGRESS

The beat-up little building was (almost) always open. Inside, you were greeted by 20’ of worn but spotless breakfast/lunch/dinner bar (5 or 6 rarely-used booths existed behind you) staffed by 2 waitresses, excuse me, 3 servers who associated themselves with the female gender, and on burly cook who considered himself a male (as did each and every person who ever met him) presiding over a tiny kitchen at one end of the diminutive dive. The low-slung ceiling sported and even-lower (Duck the duct!) 16” round galvanized steel AC duct featuring 12” square cut-outs, fairly evenly spaced every coupla feet, that were unencumbered by any attempt at grillwork (if’n it ain’t there, ya don’t hafta clean it). Yes, the term “greasy spoon” comes to mind, except that, as you have been told, the place was spotless. (Pay attention.)

Before the waitress, excuse me, server finished writing down your order (say, ham & eggs over easy, grits, rye toast, OJ & coffee), you heard somethin’ hit the grill and sizzle. ‘Time she brung your OJ he was flippin’ them eggs. As you unfolded the newspaper, she sets a perfect Bruffa right in fronna you. “Uh, ‘scuse me, Miss, this must be someone else’s food. I just now ordered mine.” “S-yours”, says she, and looks at you as if you’re an ijit.

The footprint of the little building now provides an extra 6 (unneeded) parking spaces for the half an acre of (mostly-empty) tarmac in front of the new edifice that go built. Once inside, you are greeted by a greeter who is not even remotely interested in starting you up with a glass of OJ or a cuppa coffee, much less in taking your order. “Someone will be right with you”, she snarls. (NOTE: “Right with you” = “eventually” –or- “in this lifetime”.) The cook cannot help you: he (he identifies with the male gender) might as well be on Uranus*. Eventually, a waitress, excuse me server appears to tell you that your wait…server will be, you guessed it, “right with you”. After another eventually, another w…waa…server reveals herself but refuses to take your order until you have read the menu she just handed you, your silly suggestion that you already know what you want notwithstanding. One the third eventually, she (her chosen pronoun) takes your order, wonders why you are a bit testy, hikes towards the center of the hanger, and disappears. Just as you re preparing to leave you spy her trekking toward your table with OJ and coffee, only to see her deliver it to a nearby couple who nearby appear to have cobwebs on their elbows. You stay, if only to complete the experience just so, whatever else happens (drive into a ditch, forced to eat worms, etc.), the rest of your day will seem relatively pleasant. In this you are not disappointed. The just-OK food is barely tepid, doubtless due to Miss Thing’s lengthy stroll from wherever the Good Christ (excuse me, Angie) the stuff was prepared.

Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Owner. You have created yet another Denny’s.

OVERHEAD takes its toll. 9 month later the place was sold and sold and sold again to a succession of idiots who thought they could do the same thing and achieve different results. They couldn’t. (You know the progression: All U Kin Eat Buffet, Thai restaurant, religious schmaltz, adult bookstore, Jewish lightning.) Spare me the kvetching. Zax’s opened in a charming old house near nothing but Valdosta State, thinking that the college pukes would appreciate it. They didn’t. Zax’s lost their ass, and (Surprise!) the place burned to the ground. It was still smoldering as Zaxby’s opened their restaurant, sensibly located at a major intersection between 2 malls within sight of Interstate 75. Do-dah.

*Looked it up just to see how Noah (Webster) pronounced it. Disappointed.

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