MARK’S ARTICLE – January 7, 2009
“Virginia’s birthday trip”
Last week we took Virginia on her birthday trip. It came a month late, because of scheduling problems. If she hadn’t kept reminding us, I would’ve forgotten she had a birthday.
I can see we have some first-time readers out there, so I’d best explain the birthday trip. For reasons long since forgotten, the Plilers and the Hayters have a birthday tradition whereby we celebrate each special day with a day trip to a place designated by the birthday person. The birthdayed.
We eat breakfast out; drive to who knows where; eat lunch out; and try to make it home by suppertime. It’s an outing where you go around looking at stuff between meals. Does it get any better than that?
Of course, one of Virginia’s outings turned into an overnighter. We ended up passing right by the Tepee Motel near Wharton. Virginia decided she wanted to sleep in a wigwam in a town where there was nothing to do but look for a place to eat. So we did. We did it all for Sleeps in Wigwam Woman. She was so happy.
That was a couple of years back. On this year’s trip, Virginia started off bad by choosing the wrong breakfast place. Sleeps in Wigwam made me drive right past the place where they leave the coffeepot on your table. Right past it. We ended up at the Magnolia Diner just east of Montgomery.
I like the Magnolia Diner. Good food, great atmosphere, and the best music on the planet. However, their meals don’t have interesting names. Instead of the “Hot ‘N Tooty, Fresh ‘N Fruity” breakfast, you get the “Two Eggs and Meat” breakfast. You can’t even sing that!
But the worst is that the waitress doesn’t leave the coffeepot. Doesn’t trust me. During my meal, she came by once to refill. The next time I had to wave at someone in the kitchen. They were as apologetic as all get out, but, hey, I had to wave.
Brad Meyer, the Montgomery County restaurant review guy, would think a coffeepot not much of an issue. He’s more concerned about the temperature of the bacon and the texture of the toast. Hey, I’ve eaten out with the guy. I wouldn’t have him over to my house for anything. We’d end up in a punchfest. But, at least I’d have a coffeepot close by to swing at him.
Virginia didn’t care about my coffee issues. She wanted country hash browns. In the country, people don’t shred their potatoes. They cut ‘em in chunks. That’s what Virginia wanted. Chunks. It’s always about Sleeps in Wigwam.
After our scrumptious breakfast, sans coffeepot, we left the diner and headed to I-knew-not where. That’s another thing about the birthday outing. The birthday person doesn’t hafta tell the rest of us where we’re going. I was driving, so I just turned where I was told
We ended up touring every little crossroad town south and west of Harris County. Virginia wanted to see some small towns. The big problem with that has to do with the fact that the birthday person gets $15 to spend on something non-edible, non-essential, and unthought of prior to the trip. Something you wouldn’t normally get yourself.
If you stop in places like Frydek, Orchard and Burleigh, you’re definitely gonna find stuff you hadn’t thought of, but you’re not gonna to fork over $15 for any of it. – “How ‘bout a rice pruner?”
Obviously, Virginia didn’t find anything she wanted to spend her birthday money on. The rules say that if you don’t spend the $15 on the trip, you forfeit it. Hey, it’s a rule. But, just tell that to Sleeps in Wigwam.
I eventually gave in and let her keep the money. The rules aren’t worth the grief. She’d have me driving around till after supper. And, let me tell you, a couple of times we got way too close to Wharton. I couldn’t risk accidentally driving past those tepees. Sits With Coffeepot no want stop at wigwams. Bad medson.
But we did kill off another birthday. The next trip will be of Freeman’s choosing. Fortunately, Married to Sleeps in Wigwam is sensible as all get out. I might be able to talk him into Hot ‘N Tooty with a coffeepot on the table. No waving.