Tuesday, June 24, 2008

No Beans, No Potato Salad

When the Magellan Maestro 4250 suddenly went black and seemed not at all interested in being revived, we found ourselves without a safety net: NO US Atlas. Huh. AND no map of Kentucky, which was kind of bad because we were on the border of Tennessee and Kentucky. Outside Paducah, on hwy 24, going around a region called "The Land Between the Lakes." The lakes being Kentucky Lake and Barkley Lake. Got it?

So we decided what better thing to do than just eat lunch? And right down the road, on the way to a lock and dam, was a BBQ place.

Knoth's. That's what it was.

I opened the side door to the place and immediately said to Lis, "This smells like a good BBQ place." An older lady behind the counter greeted me and smiled and I said, "But is the tea sweet?"

"No. But I can sweeten some for you," she said.

And so we commenced to telling the other waitress at the counter about our plans for a picnic lunch by the Barkley Lock & Dam and she helped us figure out what we wanted. "Anything we have on the menu you can take away," she said. "But we don't have beans or potato salad." That was just fine with me.

While they put together our lunch, we wandered around and read the signs posted all over the walls. As I gathered up the sacks, I asked the waitress if she gets a lot of grief about not having beans and potato salad.

"Well, when he (she gestures across the restaurant) opened the place in 1964, there were no beans or potato salad. The menu is still exactly the same as it was. It's worked just fine."

I said, "I just asked because I see you have it printed on the back of your shirt."

Her friendly expression changed to mirth and she leaned in and patted my arm. "Oh! We have new shirts printed up each year and one year we put that on there just to be funny! It's my favorite one," she said.

Then she told me about one customer a while back that was kind of grieving her about beans and potato salad. "I told him we've never had it and that's that," she said. "Then I turned around and showed him the back of my shirt."

She said the customer seemed a bit puzzled, so she turned around again and pointed to her back.

"I don't understand what you are showing me," he said.

"So I turned around to her (points to the other waitress) and said, 'What does it say on my shirt?'" She told me.

"Catering," the other woman said.

And she gave a big laugh and leaned in and patted my arm again. What a great story!

So we went to the lock and watched some barges go through, ate a fantastic lunch and then got back in the car. Magellan was clearly considering retiring. Screen still black. As we drove back to the highway, I played with it and hit 'reset' a few times. Finally, just as we pulled in to a truck stop to buy an atlas, it came on.

I still bought the atlas. It's just dumb to fly without a net.

Tomorrow I'll tell you about the hitchhiking I did in Mt. Vernon, IL.