November 21, 2004

Ode to the Greasy Spoon

I love greasy spoons, road side restaurants, barbeque shacks, cafes, diners, and all manner of holes in the wall. My wife parts company with me on this but, as in so many things, is still willing to indulge me from time to time. She's nice like that.

I like being able to see my breakfast being cooked before me, the bottomless cup of coffee, the home made (sometimes) pies, the french fries with gravy, and the milk shakes often made with great care, or at least, carefully enough that no cigarette ash falls in. Good enough for me, certainly. I like that you can get breakfast anytime you want and that you can almost always find meatloaf and lumpy mashed potatoes. I like the way these places smell, generally but not always. I like that they are usually owner operated and often with more than a little pride. I do not, however, feel the need to go out and start one of my own, though.

However, were I rich, I mean filthy hedge fund rich, I would go here and buy one to have moved to my country property (I don't have one of those either, of course, but that is a mere detail in this little fantasy) to join the other buildings (there will be other buildings, certainly). Then, like Marie Antoinette, I could play at having a diner. I think that would be great fun.

Or, if I were Google IPO rich, I could buy a totally new one for $150,000. Comes fully equiped. That could be nice.

I also like diner slang. Here, from the same place where you can go buy your very own diner, is a lexicon of diner slang so you can talk the talk. I extract some of my favorites:

whiskey down: Rye toast, the 'down' part probably comes from the action of pushing down the handle on the toaster Shingle with a shimmy and a shake: Buttered toast with jam or jelly, hence the reference to 'shake'. Wreck ‘em: Scrambled eggs

Fry two, let the sun shine: 2 fried eggs with unbroken yolks

Flop two: Two fried eggs over easy

Customer will take a chance: Hash

Sweep the kitchen or
Sweepings, or
Clean up the kitchen
: A plate of hash

Mystery in the alley: A side order of hash

Chewed with Fine Breath: Hamburger with onions

Two cows, make them cry: Two hamburgers with onions

Burn one; take it through the garden and pin a rose on it: Hamburger with lettuce, tomato and onion

When I strike it rich one day (don't hold your breath, ok?), you are all invited over to my little Trianon fake-diner for ice cream sodas and "GAC"s (grilled cheese sandwiches)!

Posted by Random Penseur at November 21, 2004 10:09 AM
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