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Hot Dogs and Waffles

March 4, 2013
We prepare to take our first bite.

We prepare to take our first bite.

On Saturday my family came to Atlanta to celebrate my father’s 66th Birthday. Naturally, I set up a hot dog buffet in the kitchen. While Daddy would have been fine squeezing mustard and ketchup from their native plastic bottles, doling out chili from a can, and scraping minced onion off the chopping board, I insisted on placing said toppings in an antique condiment caddy to fancy things up.

In the past Daddy announced his excitement over opening gifts halfway through the family meal, but now he is more easygoing and even apathetic. On Saturday, once we clapped and scampered into the living room where Daddy’s gifts had been arranged, his spirits lifted like his old self. Most of Daddy’s presents comprised gift cards to his favorite places: the movie theater; Out of the Blue, a foodie shop in downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia; and the Cock-Eyed Spaniel*, a hole-in-the-wall run by, according to Daddy, “a good-lookin’ woman.” The person who purchased the gift certificate also brought Daddy a love note of sorts from the owner.

Daddy's note from the owner of The Cock-Eyed Spaniel

Daddy’s note from the owner of The Cock-Eyed Spaniel

We rushed to Little Five Points to catch the Horizon Theatre’s production of the Waffle Palace, a comedy based on real-life events in Waffle House restaurants across Atlanta. While the play focused most on the relationships established between the Waffle Palace staff, I appreciated the cast’s portrayal of a 4 a.m. drunken punk rocker scare, a brooding drag queen, and a hillbilly couple who claims to have discovered the corpse of Big Foot.

Those vignettes reminded me of my own bizarre experience at a now-closed Waffle House in Calhoun, Georgia. I stumbled in at 3 a.m. with my then-boyfriend and attempted to order an omelet. However, every time I began to articulate my order, the waitress pressed the button on a little fart machine, holding it near my butt so as to paint me as the gaseous culprit. She earned the comedic respect of her two-toothed regulars but not my return business.

Daddy refused to set foot in that putrid Waffle House, insisting on dining at the Adairsville location. One year he took Mother there for Valentine’s Day dinner.

“Do you want to know where your daddy took me to eat for my Valentine’s Day dinner?” Mother asked me when they arrived home.

“Appalachian Grill?”


“The Varsity?” I guessed, only half-joking.

Daddy stands with a couple cast members from The Waffle Palace.

Daddy stands with a couple cast members from The Waffle Palace.

“No. Your daddy took me to the WAFFLE HOUSE. How’s that for romantic?”

“An’ yer mother ate WELL at the Waffle House,” Daddy noted.

“It WAS pretty good…” Mother admitted.

Mother left spaghetti sauce simmering in the Crock Pot for dinner. Otherwise, we would have hit up the nearest Waffle House after the show.

“Gee, the Waffle House DOES sound good right now,” Mother sighed. “Oh well.”

I forced my parents and sister to leave without helping me clean up, particularly since Daddy had become anxious about going home. When I finally finished and started to throw myself onto our brand-new sofa, I noticed food smeared on one of the cushions.

“What’s THIS?!” I barked at Ryan.

“I don’t know!”

“Yes you do. Did you spill something on this couch?”


I bent down to smell the substance, realizing Ryan never sprawls on that side of the sofa, but that Daddy sat there while opening presents.

“Oh wait, it’s okay, sorry. Daddy was sitting there.”

I returned to the scene of the spill with a wet rag but gazed at the smudge for several seconds before wiping it away.

*Name has been changed to avoid awkwardness.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Timber permalink
    March 5, 2013 7:17 pm

    Ew, Bobbin. I like to smell things, too, but I’m not sure I would admit that so openly! As for The Waffle Palace, what about the scene with Charlee Castle? That was one of my favorites, especially when the minion/server was silenced and spastically backed away to get the devil’s drink. Hilarious!

  2. March 6, 2013 7:04 am

    Yeah, that whole vignette was pretty awesome. It provided a nice contrast to the cheesiness of the taser song.


  1. Sometimes it takes two days to get over a real good one. | Hot Dog Beehonkus

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