Candy Rant

"I killed a rat with a stick once."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What Makes Colleen So Snooty?

One of my long time habits is going to eat, alone, at Denny's-type restaurants and eavesdropping on the conversations. I know, it's rude and possibly unethical and mostly it just sounds pitiful that anybody is lame enough to go do this. But I still do it.

Tonight I went right after work to a locally owned place. They have superb deep-fried cauliflower that I was craving after a long day of being surrounded by edgy swarms of college students. I got a booth in the back, where the noise is less intrusive and the lighting is better. In case a person would want to take notes about something.

People, all of us, as you may already know, are generally as dull as hand cream. Their everyday conversations in restaurants are about bills and weather and celebrities and what they're eating at the moment and what they ate yesterday. But not always.

At a table about 8 feet from my booth sat a big, burly, overalled, white-bearded Santa looking guy, probably in his late sixties, and his dining companion, a bad-dye-job red-haired 50-ish woman in a lavender sleeveless top and big hoop earrings the circumference of small grapefruits. At first they weren't talking, but the 2 old guys at the booth across the room were. I could only pick up tiny bits of that dialogue. This is all I got:



"Which eye?"

[Here I would like to mention that these kinds of restaurants often produce conversations about eye problems. I used to go to Steak 'n Shake each year during the Super Bowl, because it was wall to wall old people and very peaceful and a good place to think on the things of life. (I tape the game so I can watch the commercials later.) I sat nursing my limp cheese fries and heard the sentence "He just ain't been the same since he lost that eye...ask anybody."]

The conversation between Santa and the hoops woman started.

"Everybody likes you, John. Do you know that, John?"


"Everybody but me."

(slight break for eating)

"John, you picked a good night to buy, because my dinner only comes to $3.25."

"Why do you want me to buy?"

"Because it's your turn," she said.

"I thought you bought me things out of the goodness of your heart," he said.

"Then I want to change my answer. I want you to buy my dinner out of the goodness of your heart."

(more eating)

She says "I only ordered this cheesecake and some coffee, so you're getting off cheap."

John is silent. More eating.

"John, tell me what Kenneth said about me. You owe me some secrets since you betrayed me."

"I don't remember..."

"I know you were at Perkins. When you called me to get a ride, the caller I.D. said 'Perkins.'"

"Yeah, we were at Perkins," he said.

"What in the world brought it up anyway? What topic were you on?"

"Oh, just an ongoing conversation about friendship."

"Did he look out the window?"

(long silence)

"John, were you in sexuality class when Colleen said that she would not date a man who had a mental illness?"


"I think that's very snooty of Colleen. Bill, when he hears voices, he goes to that good support group. You don't hear voices do you, John?"

"Well, I do, yes."

"Oh," she said. "SEE ya! Ha ha ha."


"John, do you believe in karma?"


"Do you? Tell me, John."

"If a dog kills a cat, then no. But what comes around goes around with everybody else."


  • At 9:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I need to start going to the same restaurants that you go to!!!

    Colleen....what a b*tch.

  • At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I need to go read some existentialism. Being and Nothingness comes to mind. Maybe then I'll understand this conversation in all of its philosophical glory.

  • At 12:00 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    It was dang hard to make sense of in spots. But I do know that Colleen is too picky.

    I like that dogs have less ethical pressure than we do.

  • At 8:46 PM, Blogger prairie biker said…

    "superb deep-fried cauliflower"

    Honestly. There is no such thing.

  • At 9:12 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    There is TOO. Yesiree. And it is scrumptious. You ain't got class enough to know gourmet.

  • At 9:30 PM, Blogger prairie biker said…

    I do so know gourmet! I had him wearing an old military poncho cookin' chickens in the rain on my driveway.

  • At 10:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Those were good times, PB, good times...

  • At 10:58 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Dear Diary,
    There is some bizarro people what visits my blog. I grow more ascared of 'em every day.
    Me and Colleen is takin' off fer the woods.


  • At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Brings to mind that great short story by Graham Greene entitled "The Invisible Japanese Businessmen"--proof that eavesdropping at restaurants is perfectly normal for any writer.

    Your post was scary-good. You don't listen to Tom Waits too, do you?

  • At 4:49 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Melissa...Nope, I don't know much of Tom Waits. Do you have a recommendation?
    His voice kinda makes my throat hurt.

  • At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There's a song or spoken-word piece in Rain Dogs called "9th & Hennepin":

    "...They all started out with bad directions
    And the girl behind the counter has a tattooed tear
    "One for every year he's away", she said
    Such a crumbling beauty, ah
    There's nothing wrong with her that a hundred dollars won't fix
    She has that razor sadness that only gets worse
    With the clang and the thunder of the Southern Pacific going by
    And the clock ticks out like a dripping faucet
    'til you're full of rag water and bitters and blue ruin
    And you spill out over the side to anyone who will listen..."

    Anyhow, he's mahvelous for that kind of thing, though I completely realize he's not to everyone's taste. The husband, for instance...


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