If you wish to study humanity or if you are a novelist looking for background, get in your vehicle and immediately locate a Hasty Tasty Pancake House. Devoted Spouse and I went to our own HTPC, also known as Bunny’s, for breakfast Saturday and I was so engaged in people watching I hardly had a chance to eat. We actually hit the HTPC about once a month for just that reason; the clientele. Okay, the french toast on homemade bread is pretty amazing also.
The Hasty Tasty is not a fancy place. By the looks of the tee-shirts sporting union slogans and affiliations, this is where the locals and the blue-collar workers go to get a reasonably-priced, good-tasting, large portion of old-fashioned home cooking. This is not an establishment which specializes in low-fat or sugar-free anything. Grease, lard, butter, sugar and cream are in abundance here. So are Blue Plate Specials and breakfast is served all day.
Saturday we were joined by some very large diners – and these booths aren’t that big. It was interesting to see people with an extra 100 or 150 pounds on them try and maneuver in and out of these booths. I don’t want to seem cruel here, but come on, we all people watch. You know you do it, too.
There were plenty of older folks there – it is a lower priced establishment after all and people on fixed incomes need to eat. Most of the customers were couples, like us, only in much more interesting attire. There were plenty of long, grey, somewhat greasy ponytails under ball caps. Yes, those were the men. Many of the ladies also had long hair and I wondered aloud to Devoted Spouse why so many of them looked like they hadn’t washed their hair lately. He nonchalantly reminded me it was Saturday and maybe Saturday night was hair-washing time. Ick.
A rather motley trio occupied the table two booths away from us. I think it was a family; mama and her two sons. Both men looked like a version of Curly from the Three Stooges only on steroids. Curly Number 1 was one of the largest men I have ever seen and he reminded me of something out of the World Wrestling Federation. He was wearing a stained tee-shirt and a pair of sweatpants and I’m telling you there is only so much we can expect elastic to hold back. Curly 1 was asking way too much of those pants. Like a badly-constructed dam, his sweatpants were in danger of exploding, unleashing a flood of flab only a killer whale mama could love. I couldn’t hear them; I only was able to watch what food was delivered. Curly 1 received a small dish of cottage cheese with pineapple on top which he then proceeded to liberally dose with pepper. I coughed in reaction. I thought, well at least he is trying to eat something healthy. Then the second course arrived and both Curly 1 and Curly 2 were staring down at platters of double cheeseburgers and home fries. Curly 2 received a large mug of hot chocolate topped off with whipped cream with his cheeseburger. I was so busy watching this, I spilled syrup all over the table. By this time, Devoted Spouse was ready to leave and I knew I wouldn’t have a chance to see what else these folks would shovel down their gullets.
As we were getting ready to go, a Yuppie family arrived and were scrambling to find a booth to hold mom, dad, baby, and grandpa. All I could think of was “This ain’t no place for striped polo shirts.” Other customers were actually staring at this family as if they were very out of place. We just smiled and walked away.
Makes me wish I had that novel started. What a great atmosphere.