Delicate negotiations

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Grace and I were both getting hungry by the time we reached Route 87, so we decided to just take an exit and find a diner. The first attempt was as time-consuming, frustrating and fruitless as those searches often are. We took a right after the exit, following the blue knife-and-fork signs. They didn’t lead us to an eatery, at least not one that was still in business. Instead we got a poignant blast from my past like some perverse anti-consolation prize: the decrepit remnant of Frontiertown!

Soon after we got back on the Northway, Grace googled and found a diner in Glenns Falls with very good reviews. But we were getting hungry, and something unpleasantly familiar was happening in my brain.

When we went to Bar Harbor in July, I became crotchety and sullen because of the conflicting imperatives crowding out every other thought: must follow diet; must enjoy vacation by eating local food. I was obsessed, and there was no solution. When we got back, I decided that it wasn’t worth it: on those occasions when following my diet is going to tear me apart and make me hard to be around, I’m just going to cut myself some slack and pick up the pieces later.

As we drove south along Route 87 I realized that the same thing was happening again: I desperately wanted to follow my diet; but dammit, I’d just climbed a high peak and I deserved a real breakfast! Once I recognized the sound of gears jamming in my head, I cut the power before they started to smoke: I told myself that I’d get whatever breakfast I needed to not make myself crazy.

Once I’d decided to cut myself a little slack, I had to figure out just how much slack myself would be satisfied with. I thought that I could live with the compromise of eating a substantial cheese omelet but making like Nancy Reagan with the bacon and home fries.

But there was a problem. If we stopped at that diner in Glenns Falls with the good reviews, myself would do its level best to convince me that I had to have the bacon and home fries: “I’m never in Glenns Falls at breakfast time! This may be the only opportunity I’ll ever have to experience the bacon and home fries at this little hidden gem of a diner, certainly unique in all the world!”

So I expressed all this to Grace and, bless her heart, she was fine with avoiding the highly-rated diner. Anyway, we were both getting very hungry and she desperately needed coffee. So we got off at the next exit, which turned out to be Pottersville.

We followed the signs with the knife and fork symbol, hoping that these weren’t lying like the ones in dinerless North Hudson. Maybe I should have asked the sign what its counterpart up the road would say if I asked it whether there was a diner nearby.

Just around the corner from Stone Bridge Coffee Shop, which turned out to be closed, we found Hometown Deli & Pizza. We got a table and then I remembered that the plan was to get our food to go. This would not only save time; it would also minimize the time spent inside the establishment, that perilous window of opportunity for me to order bacon and home fries.

So we went back to the counter and I ordered a three-egg omelet with Provolone and a hot chocolate. And that’s all I ordered, which turned out to be more of a trick than I’d anticipated. Just look what was waiting for me on the pastry shelves a few feet to the right of the cash register.

Come on. Chocolate muffins with cream cheese filling? Give me a damned break here!

Well, we gave the waitress our order. And I stared at the muffins and turnovers. And I waited for our order. And I took a picture of the muffins and turnovers. And I paid for our order. And I walked outside.

Without a muffin or a turnover.



2 Responses to “Delicate negotiations”

  1. Joe Check Says:

    Pottersville: in Jimmy Stewart’s dream/hallucination, it is the town without him and run by the evil banker. touche

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