Diner Diaries

Life and Times of a Patron of the King's Chef diner

Thursday, October 24, 2002

It’s a cold day, overcast and gray, the streets are still wet from drizzle overnight and I forgot my coat. Woke up late, forgot my coat and here I am with the start of an amazing head cold. So, instead of hiking the 4 blocks over to Detz’s Restaurant (a real greasy spoon) with a friend from the office, I dash on over the block and a half to the diner.

It’s nearly 1:30 by the time I arrive, so the place is pretty empty when I sit down to order. Stalker3 is there, and it amuses me to watch Gary around her. He’s grinning at her like a damn fool, good-naturedly arguing with her about a book he thinks she should write. She’s hesitant and asks for help. “I gave it to you right here.” He shoves a ticket with the basic outline of her book. “If I have to write it for you, I’m gonna be the one making the money off it.”

One thing leads to another and I get to talking with her. Damn. I like her.

Things loosen up a bit when the three guys start cleaning up. (Gary, Dave and Dreadless are here today.) Laughing and joking when Mark2 drops by. He sits at the counter and is kind of serious. His new girl is coming to town. Well, she’s a new girl who was an old girl before he was engaged to the girl who just broke it off. Following me? Anyway, Gary is ragging on him, some inside joke, which quickly turns into gay jokes and then Gary is mentioning the Painted Lady. Don’t ask.

“Man, you need to go to a titty bar.” Gary tells him. But Mark’s not interested. “You’ve probably never even been in one.” Well Mark has, and tells the story of this topless bar in Louisiana.

"We go to this bar, and I’m not kidding you it’s in this mobile building. There’s a makeshift stage and this guy is waving these flashlights around for the lights. On stage there is this African-American woman and I’m telling you, she must have been about 12 months pregnant. Her stomach was huge and her breasts were all swollen from lactation. Her belly button had turned so far out it looked like a penis. It was really horrifying."

And thanks Mark for THAT mental picture.

That’s all for today folks. Diner closed.

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