By Feaster from NW
found some rather disturbingly flavored
gas emanating from each of mydigestive orifices
Well, you have to
eat breakfast right? What better place to do that than at the
venerable Waffle House, an empire of breakfast restaurants spread
throughout the East Coast and South, but whose corporate headquarters
has somehow effectively shunned the West Coast market. Having
lived within 100 miles of the Pacific Ocean my whole life, I fell
in love with the Waffle House rather late in life, while traveling
for work through the South and East Coast. Having discovered my
own personal breakfast paradise, I would take every available
opportunity to sit at their counter and stare hungrily at the
sizzling grill before me, short order cook slaving to keep up
with the volumes of orders, waiting my turn to be breast fed my
own warm share of the Waffle House Nectar. What could beat a southern-style
diner environment with scrambled eggs, soft bacon, and a waffle,
prepared right in front of your eyes? No sooner does the food
leave the grill than it touches your drooling lips. Mmmmmm. A
form of perfection.
Believe me, I look forward to a Waffle House breakfast at every
opportunity, even after the wicked story of fate that follows.
Even so, this experience has permanently altered my breakfast
eating habits, and I think you'll see why:
Well, so then, I sat down one lovely warm Georgia morning to another
breakfast at the House. I couldn't wait. I remember some small
talk with the short order cook, a thirty year old man or so. His
demeanor and cooking skills raised no suspicions. However, when
the meal arrived, I noted that the scrambled eggs looked a bit
undercooked. I don't really prefer my eggs in that manner, half
of the reason being concerns about health risks, but when they
arrived that way, I always managed to rationalize in my memories
the many times I've seen my friends order their eggs 'over easy,'
which is essentially raw embryo. They never got sick, so why bother
sending eggs like this back? Paranoia, right? I was about to find
out otherwise. Yes, I ate all the eggs, and everything else on
the plate, and after that, I wouldn't be surprised if I got kicked
out of the restaurant that morning for licking the enamel off
So I have a long drive ahead of me that day, like ten hours worth.
At about 2:00 pm, I felt that something was wrong, I didn't know
what, but I knew something bad was happening. Shortly thereafter,
I found somerather disturbingly flavored gas emanating from each
of my digestive orifices (top and bottom), and both brands of
gas I had never experienced before, each declaring a differing
(thankfully) but decidedly pungent sulfuric tinge. Oh. My. Gosh.
What is happening? By 7:00 pm, I knew something was horribly,
horribly wrong. Adding to stomach discomfort and the horrible
sulfuric gaseous emissions, I had a headache, and my legs were
killing me. They were completely sore in a numb sort of way and
it was getting worse. All I could do was find a place to crash
out, and I hit the sack very early. I called my boss and told
him I was really sick, and told him I wasn't going to make my
appointment, and that he'd have to find someone else. Luckily,
a substitute was available, so I was left to suffer, at the very
least, without the added guilt of screwing up a job. I laid down
at probably around 8:00 pm, and tried to sleep. My legs were so
sickeningly numb, that the only remedy I could find to distract
myself from that was to repeatedly kick my legs. All I could do
was try to sleep, kicking my legs, waking up only to drink water,
pee, and kick my legs some more. This went on for 36 hours. I
slept that night, all through the next day, and all the next night
until around 9:00 am, and to say it again; waking only to pee,
drink voluminous amounts of water, and kick my legs like a freak
until I could go back to sleep. Oh, it was horrible.
You knew it was coming. Needless to say, the final morning, I
had to go to the bathroom. Yes, it was our old pal, the exalted
Number Two, and the result was none other than an output of epic
volume and proportionate salmonella-infested-colon horror. I know
that I know... that I know that the substance could easily have
been bottled up and injected into chemical warfare artillery aerosol
warheads, and wiped out legions of unsuspecting Enemies of America.
The rest of the day I was mostly functional, but still in a sort
of a state of shock from having to endure all that.
If I h ad it to do over again, I would still have eaten the Waffle
House that morning, salmonella and all; that's how tasty their
breakfasts are. Rather, I would have just checked myself into
a hospital at the onset of symptoms to ride out the experience
in a medically induced coma.
Imaginations aside, the way it went down, the whole experience
was awful. I mean world-class awful.
Morals of the story:
- Always eat at Waffle
- Never eat an under-cooked
Wedding Party in Maine
By Terry Masen, Hoboken,
Our nightmare was
about to begin --- the owner had rented the quarry house
for a wedding reception
I was working on Wall Street and desperately needed
a break. My wife had read about a former quarry house in Camden,
Maine, that had been refurbished into an 'intimate' bed and breakfast.
It sounded like it was just what the doctor had ordered. With
a three-day weekend around the corner, we managed to make a reservation.
After a late afternoon departure, we found the structure in the
dark, nestled at the end of a dirt road, just a stone's throw
from the ocean. It seemed to fit the bill. We were in such a good
mood that we didnt even mind when we found that there was
only one bathroom on the second floor. Nothing was going to ruin
our retreat. It was going to be three days of reading by the fire
in the B&Bs great room, idyllic walks on the beach and
hearty shore meals, as advertised in the brochure.
We took an early morning stroll along water's
edge, then opted to luxuriate with late morning naps. Suddenly,
we were awakened by the noisy sound of some sort of caravan. Peeking
out the window, we saw at least 20 vehicles, led by a limousine,
heading down the dirt road. Our nightmare was about to begin --
the owner had rented the quarry house for a wedding reception.
Looks like the reading by the fire would have to wait. We bolted
for our car to kill some time at nearby town, but couldnt
move due to the now seemingly endless line of reception vehicles
still arriving. Finally, after serving as a makeshift parking
attendant, I was able to get a few drivers to pull over into a
field, and we finally made it out.
We hung out in the town as long as we could, then
decided to see if the party was finally over. To our horror, it
was going in full swing. Music was blasting. The newlyweds were
in their early 20s, and entire groups were taking shots of tequila.
There was even a guy vomiting in the bushes. I desperately tried
to find the owners to complain, but they were nowhere to be found.
When I returned to the great room, I found some drunken frat boy
actually hitting on my wife. This is crazy, we both thought, lets
just bolt out of here. So what if we paid the next night in advance.
We grabbed our gear and headed to the car. The owners then appeared
and demanded to know why we were leaving. We explained the obvious.
What do you care, the woman asked, you werent even here.
When I stepped back into the building to retrieve our final piece
of luggage, the frat boy whom I had chastised for flirting with
my wife took a swing at me. His friends held him back. I couldnt
wait to get back to the relative tranquility and civility of the
pit on Wall Street.
Words of advice: the Internet is great, but always
try to interview your hosts before booking a room at a bed and
Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
could read and compose music, plus play the violin and piano, when he was
five years old. Born into a musical family in Salzburg, Austria (then the
Holy Roman Empire), he had a unique ability for imitating music, which first
became evident when he recited a musical piece by simply observing his father
conducting a lesson to his older sister. This led to a childhood on the
road, where the young prodigy performed before many of the royal courts
Three Musical Pilgrimages: Mozart, Grieg and Hendrix
Treasures of Ireland: The Irish Goodbye (Dispatch
The Palladian Traveler brings to a close his 20-part
series on the Emerald Isle from an upscale restaurant in downtown Dublin
where he files his final dispatch and then quietly slips away.
The Han Grotto and Culzean Castle. As the name
of my Traveling Boy feature is "Travel With a Difference," it's
important to me to always bring you offbeat and unusual tourist places around
the world you may not know about. These two fit that category to a T, and
they're absolutely worth a visit. One's in Scotland and one's in Belgium.
Culzean (pronounced CULLANE) Castle is located near Maybole, Carrick, on
the Ayrshire coast of Scotland.
Two "MUST SEE" Truly Spectacular Places
in Europe. Here's Why.
In the 1840s, the population of California was only
14,000, but by 1850 more than 100,000 settlers and adventurers had arrived
from all over the world and they came for one reason: gold. James
Marshall had discovered the first gold nugget at Sutters Mill in El
Dorado County, creating the largest gold rush in history.
Highway 49 Revisited: Exploring California's
The Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras in Lake Charles,
the second largest in Louisiana, does not need parents there to avert their
childrens eyes. This is family entertainment and children are very
much part of it. The main office of the Lake Charles CVB has costumes from
last years Mardi Gras but it also has figures to fascinate little
ones from country boys fishing for their dinner to alligators who have already
fed and are rubbing their stomachs.
Lake Charles Family-Size Low-Key Mardi Gras
So I heard that you could spend from dawn to dusk on
the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and never get bored and I thought,
"Okay, I'm up for that challenge." Well, maybe not the dawn part
I'm not a morning person so I had no problem leaving those
early hours to the joggers and those seeking an early start to catch their
red snapper for dinner.
Puerto Vallarta: Magic and Mayhem on the Malecon
Relaxing at The Inn at Laguna Beach
There is nothing like sleeping in an ocean-front room
and awakening to the sounds of waves crashing against the sand. It is
one of the finer things in life. And it is exactly what I experienced
recently on a memorable getaway to The Inn at Laguna Beach. The adventure
began when a friend I pulled off the 5 Freeway in Orange County and took
SR 133 south nine miles through winding lush hills and wilderness areas
to the ocean.
Tim Robbins On His Road To Stardom
Award-winning Tim Robbins began his career on episodic
television. Robbins' film work, however, is what catapulted him into becoming
a major movie star including "Bull Durham" and "Mystic
River" for which he won multiple awards. Equally at home behind the
camera, he directed the riveting "Dead Man Walking." He is Founder
and Artistic Director of The Actors' Gang, which he formed thirty-five
years ago and has directed multiple provocative productions.