Saxon and I went on an excellent adventure. That’s my name for driving and not knowing where you’re going to end up. When I was a teenager I would go on excellent adventures by driving my car as far as I could until I ran out of gas and then seeing what happened next. What usually happened next was I walked to a house, borrowed a phone, and called a friend to bring gas. My excellent adventures are a bit more grown up now. This time Saxon and I ended up back in my little home town at the place I worked when I was fourteen-years-old.
The Ku Ku.
It’s a fast food restaurant shaped like a Cuckoo clock. It even has a birdie that pops in and out making the noise. Well, the birdie stopped popping out back in 1967. But it is still poking out of the top of the clock, frozen in time.
Waitressing at The Ku Ku was the second job I’d ever had in my life. I wore a brown checked uniform, complete with name tag, and paper hat. I served up hamburgers and French fries while Billy Joel sang on the radio about catholic girls. My friends were delighted with my new job. They would come by and ask me for free French fries.
I am ashamed to say I gave them free fries. A lot of free fries.
In my defense, I was only fourteen. I didn’t know how to say no to peer pressure.
The owner knew how to say it, though. He fired me.
My job at The Ku Ku lasted only two months.
So, this is where Saxon and I ended up on our big adventure. The place looked exactly the same on the outside. The inside had changed quite a bit. New brick façade. There was an added-on room. The kind that looked like a bay window but bigger.
The hamburgers and fries were still fantastic. And… I kid you not… Billy Joel was singing on the radio.
But you wanna know the most amazing part? The owner was still back behind the grill flipping burgers. The exact man! After thirty-five years! He looked remarkably the same. Same eyes, same frown, bigger belly.
I couldn’t help myself. I waited till he came out from behind the grill and I went up to the counter. “Hey,” I said. “Remember me?”
“I sure do,” he said, grinning. He pulled out a tray and plopped a large order of fries on it. He shoved it in my direction and said, “For you. Free fries.”
I guess that was his way of saying he forgave me.
This is why I like our excellent adventures. You just never know what’s gonna happen.
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