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Death ala Waffles or It Sounded Like A Big Explosion
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I almost had my ticket punched in the storeroom of a Waffle House. Really. Un huh. And not your regular big city Waffle House. Nooooo. The Waffle House in Shelby County, KY. After my writing group met in Shelbyville, a buddy asked me to go to Waffle House for some grub and gab. I love breakfast food at night as much as the next all-american male.

Just after we got our food, the wait staff starting getting jittery. I heard an assistant manager say, "Git the customers in the back. A tornado has just touched down in Henry County and it's headed this way." Me and my friend, two army dudes and the miscreant wait staff head to the storeroom. What do you think is in a storeroom? Supplies of various sorts? Well sure but what else? Okay I'll tell you. A small family. Well minus a husband. The assistant manager had her 12 year old daughter, 3 year old son and a baby just a few months old too. WTF!

Everyone squeezes into the storeroom, shoulder to shoulder, ass to ass. Of course the wait staff starts lighting up their cigarettes in this WELL ventilated cozy corner of the store. I said, "Hmmm, I think I'll take my chances with the tornado." "Oh no sir! We can't let you leave. We're responsible for you." The older of the two army dudes smiles at me. I grin back. We both must be thinking of these Deliverance rejects trying to restrain me. I'm a big boy.

I calm down but the little ones are crying because pineapple-headed Cletus is talking on his cellphone to his cousin in a (no lie) moblie home telling him the "turdnader" is heading right for us. It's fitting that I die there. Just a big F-ing exclamation point on my life. Then the lights go out, the women and kids shriek, and the lights come back up. The cellphones start ringing. The danger has passed onto the next county's Waffle House.

I felt like the punch line of an unfunny joke. A lapsed Catholic, a Jew and a dog walk into a Waffle House...Thank you and good night. I'll be here all week.

Muzak: Paste CD-Norah Jones,Patty Griffin

Lit:"Ghost of a Flea" by James Sallis

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