Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Thursday, September 22, 2016


CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith for the Years of Winter… ©

We ate last night with a bunch of retired people. We were there for the speaker, not the food, which was a good thing.

To the management there, food service is a necessary but undesirable backpack to their main business. So it is treated like an unwanted step-child. They change cooks and menus and modes and mottoes with some regularity, but not their attitude, so the result is always the same— mostly passable food with extremely slow service and ever higher prices, because, if you have a fancier slogan and prettier water pitchers, you can charge more.

One thing remains constant: French fries. Well, almost constant. They used to come with the cleverly named burgers. [1] Now we are strongly encouraged to order French fries, but they cost extra. That’s “progress.”

I was once in a group of young people who were talking about how so much of our food talk has French names. Soup du jour, éclair, soufflé, etc. “Don’t forget French fries,” Larry said.

That’s the motto of most restaurants: Don’t forget French fries.

Except that the Baptist Church in Monon, IN, when Helen was growing up there in the early 1940s, forgot.

They were having a supper in the church basement. They ran out of fries. The only place in town with a French fry machine was the tavern. Georgia Karr, Helen’s mother, admitted that she knew the tavern owner. She called and got permission to send someone down to use their machine. The only available person for that mission was Mable, head of the local WCTU, who would not even walk by a tavern, yet along go into one. But like a good Baptist woman, she went when she was sent. After all, it was the Lord’s work.

When the meal was over, and cleanup was underway, the women talked of all that happened. They thanked Mable for doing the unthinkable. “It was not too bad,” she said. “I just walked in the front door, went back to the kitchen and used the French fry machine, and walked out again. I didn’t even say a word to anybody.” As she described the escapade, however, the other women realized that she had gone to the wrong tavern!

Georgia was embarrassed. She called up the proprietor of the “wrong” tavern to apologize. “Oh, it was no problem,” he said. “Nobody had any idea who she was. The drunks all thought it was a vision. It will give us something to talk about for years.”


1] Clever names are our undoing. Helen and I ordered a Hoosier Hero to split, even though we did not need or want the bacon which was loudly advertised as part of it. That was a good thing, since the new cook forgot the bacon. We decided not to order French fries, since they are bad for old people, but they came on our tray anyway, in a little silver bucket. Yes, we ate them, and we paid for them.

The problem with writing a blog for old people, CHRIST IN WINTER, is an ever-diminishing population, of people who cannot remember to go to the blog site.

I tweet as yooper1721, because when I started, I thought you were supposed to have a “handle,” like CB radio, instead of a name. I was a Yooper, resident of MI’s UP [Upper Peninsula], and my phone ended in 1721, so…

Here I come to save the day! No, not Mighty Mouse. Yuri Strelnikov, the boy genius of Katie McFarland Kennedy’s delightful Learning to Swear in America. Buy it or borrow it, but read this book! [What do you mean, you’re not old enough to remember Mighty Mouse?”

No comments:

Post a Comment