Despite the fact I’m a high school graduate and have been to seven colleges (eight, if you include Klown Kollege), it doesn’t look like the Mensa Society is going to be sending me a membership application any time soon.
I just got back from a trip to Virginia whereby I helped my son return from his first year at college. It was a great experience for us and the thousands who jammed the campus, all vying for the ten parking spots in front of the dorm. For some reason, it never occurred to me that people other than my son would also be moving home on the same day.
Surprisingly, this is not why I am an ignoramus. But, it is in third place.
So, since we had to jockey around what seemed like half the population of Eastern seaboard (and South Korea-it’s a technical college, after all), the closest parking was a quarter mile away. This doesn’t seem so bad, until you consider the ungodly number of trips to the car. With an ungodly amount of stuff. Without the handcart I had forgotten to bring.
I know what you’re thinking. Surely, this must be why my intelligence is in doubt. No, it only checks in at number two.
Finally, several hours after our scheduled departure, we joined the mad exodus leaving for the summer. After exchanging a vital organ for a tank of gasoline, we got on the highway and headed north to the land of Amish and scrapple. As we were in a beautiful spot in Virginia, the first several hours offered breathtaking panoramas of indescribable natural beauty (and the heady aroma of manure on the innumerable pig farms).
Eventually, we began to think about dinner. The effort of lugging several metric tons of college kid crap and preventing our testicles from dropping on the sidewalk left us famished. Fortunately, our nation’s highways offer a plethora (NOTE: Uppity word for “heapin’ helpful”) of dining choices.
I reminded my son about the trouble Aunt May experienced when she moved to Florida. Since I wanted to avoid a “Southern Roadkill Surprise” (NOTE: This can be found in Pressed Ham and Interstate Surprise. How’s that for a shameless crossover?), I decided we should eschew truck stops.
Neither did I want any of the countless fast food joints which littered the asphalt ribbon of commerce (Hey, I’m feeling lyrically poetic tonight. Sue me.). Two all beef patties, faux chicken nuggets, or feline double beef burritos wouldn’t do.
I wanted a sit-down establishment so we decided to stop at the very first Biscuit Tub we found (NOTE: This is not its real name. I just hesitate to give them free advertising. Oh, who am I kidding? I don’t want to get sued).
You probably know the type of joint I’m talking about. Found up and down the East Coast-never more than a mile from the interstate, it seems-Biscuit Tubs offer the hungry traveler a folksy environment which conveys a General Store feel, without colorful Hooterville characters.
I’ve seen them from Florida to Maine (if you’ve spotted them anywhere else, let me know) and they’re a family favorite. The menu is extensive and offers breakfast all day in addition to lunch and dinner fare, including southern specialties.
Although, I’ll bet grits isn’t real big in Maine. Who knows, though? Maybe it is. But I just can’t imagine a Mainer getting all jazzed about a bowl of flavorless Maypo. It’s like eating watery spackle. Yuk.
The store portion of the “Tub” is equally wide-ranging. That place has more bric-a-bracs, doodads, knickknacks
paddy whacks, give a dog a bone than you can imagine. Some of the candy, especially, I haven’t seen since I was a little kid in Connecticut. Of course, they also have the ubiquitous frogs-smoking-cigar figurine. But, really, what tourist trap worth its cheap trinkets doesn’t?
Anyway, after being greeted by a cheerful hostess who spoke with a lovely drawl (I’ll bet the hostesses in New Jersey speak the same way), we were shown to our table.
After ordering, I took in the array of local sports pictures, stuffed animal heads, guns, gas station signs, and rusty farm implements which smothered walls made to look like they were right off a barn. Eventually, I tired of my tour through 20th century rural America and glanced at the little ketchup-stained game on our table in front of the spittoon.
One of those little golf tee thingie peghole games which I like to call a “golf tee thingie peghole game,” I thought to give it a try.
It didn’t look complicated. All you had to do was leapfrog each tee, remove that tee, and then finish with, hopefully, one tee (NOTE: Probably a record for the most uses of the word “tee” in one sentence).
After all, I was an educated man. Surely, I could best any game a country bumpkin diner could throw at me.
Well, my first try went awry (NOTE: Hey, that rhymed! I told you I was poetic this evening). Instead of the Holy Grail of one, I was left with six tees. Damn! I tried again.
For my third try, I analyzed the tiny pegboard with the eye of master chessmaster (gee, that was redundant). Ignoring the engineering student across from me, I determined to visualize each possible move in advance. Surely, I could eliminate all tees save one.
Ten minutes later, I looked down in disbelief at four tees.
As the waitress set our meals down, I grimaced. There would be no time to give it another try. Kidding myself, I scoffed that four was actually pretty good. Any less than that required the Stephen Hawkings of little golf tee thingie games.
My son looked at the board. Barely visible were the scoring rules. He read them, “One left-Genius,” “Two-Wizard,” “Three-Wise Guy,” “Four-Ignoramus.”
That’s right. Ignoramus.
What’s more, I got grits.
They actually were pretty good.
Maybe I’m not such a dope, after all.