Sunday, March 09, 2008
Robert Plant 'Dreamland'
So I spent Friday night in an unfamiliar town… The hustling and bustling town of Siler City.
The only time I had spent there before was the amount of time that it took me to pass through Siler City on Highway 421. I’ve never even stopped there to see the sights or to even ask for directions. Siler City was the town that Andy Griffith mentioned from time to time when he was referring to a “hopping” and “swinging” town that was so much different from Mayberry.
First of all, I was itching to hit a Chinese Buffet restaurant on Friday night… But the closest place was in Pittsboro. I didn’t know where Pittsboro was in relation to Siler City, but I imagined it to be a lot like it sounded… The Pitts. So I followed the advice from the receptionist at Dick Broadcasting (home of Rock 92 and 1075KZL), Nicole, and decided upon a steak joint called Haley Bales Steak House.
When I got there… The parking lot was filled with cars. A very good sign! I had to circle the lot to find a suitable place for Roxy (my truck). I couldn’t help but notice that the old folks were filing out of the place like a slow moving avalanche of gray hair and glasses. I mean, after all… It was getting to be late… It was almost 7:30pm.
I figured that all those folks were coming out of the cafeteria… But I couldn’t see the steakhouse. There was an old blue bus parked out front. It belonged to a gospel group and had their website emblazoned on the back.
I couldn’t tell where the steakhouse was so I asked a woman who was standing out front of the PTA Thrift Shop… The cafeteria and steakhouse were all housed in the same space. I did find that a little odd.
Once I got settled down in a booth, ready for some good food, and some pre-steak beer… I noticed something. No one was drinking beer. Everyone had soft drinks or iced tea. I had a light anxiety attack and started skimming over the menu with the ferocity of an man scratching an all-day rash.
There was NO mention of beer! The place was as dryer than Liberty University!
I found myself in a weird and unusual predicament… I didn’t know what to do. I was clawing at my beer-hole like a heroin junkie. I couldn’t believe that Nicole would send me to a non-alcoholic hellhole like this… I just kept saying to myself… “Just order a steak… Eat it… Drink some Pepsi… It’ll be all right… Then get yourself the Hot Fudge Cake… Nicole’s gotta be right about that… She’s just gotta!”
And damn if she wasn’t! That Hot Fudge Cake made it all worth it! One bite of that joker and I totally forgot about the gospel group I could overhear singing “Power In The Blood” in the cafeteria.
--For your information… Here’s a copy of the receipts from Greensboro Urban Ministry:
I must say that it really made me feel good to part with that money. I may have to make Free Food February a yearly event!