10.02.2005

Cappy Goes From Eating Junk Food to Garbage.The Novel.

I dunno. I bring the man up North to show him how nice it is. I also want him to taste some of the good foods that can be made by Yankees, but what do we feed him? And what does he ask for? Garbage.
We got to my brother and sister-in-law's house around 10 a.m., took the dawgs to a doggy-salon, where they had a reservation to visit for a couple of days. They were pampered and bathed and played with...the whole 'lah-lah'. Actually, my brother had reservations about da dawgs...that's why we took them to the doggy hotel. Would you believe not everybody would welcome the idea of rowdy Bichons jumping all over them and their furniture and terrorizing their cats?? Obviously their reputation had preceded them. And you know what? I appreciate my brother's honesty. I find it refreshing when people let us know right out how they feel about having these crazy-nutzee dawgs in their houses. It saved a whole lot of trouble all around and the dogs had a blast. The groomer did a great job.They came out looking like two beautiful white clouds bouncing all over the place.
Meanwhile, my brother and his wife took us to one of their regular corner restaurants for an early lunch. They ordered tuna melts, I had grilled chicken salad, and Cappy ordered a 'garbage' burger. It was so good seeing "Butch" and Doreen again. I hadn't seen them since I'd moved to South Louisiana 4 1/2 years ago. It was the first time Cappy had met either of them. Whenever I get together with my brother he has me in stitches most of the time. His stories and the way he looks at life is so funny, so cool, and off the wall. Kinda like The Far Side.
After lunch we wandered around their town, a suburb of Columbus. The town had open market day along the main street. We picked up a couple of huge cantalopes, some fried-egg shaped gummie candies,a few real green tomatoes,a Christmas ornament for my friend, Jean,in New York State and a few other things. The Christmas ornament was of some kind of light wood, ornately carved or cut out. Gorgeous. The man who was selling them had thousands of the most beautifully elaborate things for sale that he had made himself. I wondered how he had the time to make everything. I was astonished to learn later that the man has palsy; his hands shake uncontrollably. I hadn't even noticed. He had shown us the tiny saw blade he used to cut the wood. Each piece had intricate swirls and flowers and leaves cut along the edges. My brother said, "Can you imagine how smooth and straight those edges would be if he didn't have palsy?"
We spent the rest of the day laughing and catching up on family things. Finally I just had to take a nap. Lazy me. When I woke up, dinner was ready. They had made this large array of cut up fruit...YUM! Grilled (outside) chicken, wild rice, and steamed kale. My kinda meal! Cappy busted out the Abita Ambers for them to try and some Abita Turbo Dog. I think they preferred the Turbo Dog.
The next morning we all got up and went for a two mile walk. Because of a health scare, they have been involved in a "Commit to Be Fit" program there in Columbus. It was a nice hot day. I think there were about fifty people involved, and Doreen mentioned that the pretty lady whom Cappy and I had been talking with when we first got there,was a local television celeb. The trail wound through some pretty meadows, smooth terrain, rough terrain, with a few places to sit down and a few signs informing us about the vegetation and wildlife we might see along the walk. Although we might have been sorely tempted to sit down for a bit, Cappy and I were already bringing up the rear, having had old people and young children pass us up. I drank most of the water in my brother's water bottle. I think we embarrassed our hosts because one of the guides had to stand by on the trail to wait for us to catch up. I'm glad we did it. We had been sitting since we left home.
After we freshened up, we got a tour of Columbus, then a short stroll through the German district. Very, very pretty. Some of the courtyards we could see behind the red brick buildings looked like those found in New Orleans. We went to the original Max and Erma's Restaurant there for dinner.
Just as we got seated, our waiter came rushing up to our table, twirling the menus, flashing a huge "Dudley Doo-right" toothy grin, gliding the menus to a perfect touchdown in front of each of us,and quickly reciting "Hi, I'm TAH-ahd (Todd), your host this evening,hereareyourmenus,canIgetyouanything,ifnotI'llberightback". He was in mid-turn to go when Cappy stopped him. Cappy wanted to know all about the menu and what contained wheat and gluten products. Todd's huge smile froze, but one eyebrow got up, stood up straight and began to flutter. He had lost his place. After a discussion of sorts, we all got our orders placed and Todd was back to flitting around from table to table..."Hi, I'm TAH-ahd, I'll be your host..." Cappy picked out some good kinda salad for me, everybody else had some kind of deep-fried something or other as an appetizer. Cappy was trying the local brews, too, to be sure. Although Todd brought about four or five, out of them the only one that Cappy liked was some kind of Octoberfest. Gliding by one time, Todd slid a tiny paper cup in front of Cappy,the size of perhaps, three thimbles, containing a special soup and said, "This is a sample of the soup". Cappy looked at it and muttered, "I should hope so". But what he ordered was the Garbage burger. Again? He said it was one of the best burgers he can remember ever eating. "One of the top four, EVER." We eventually wore Todd down and he started having fun with us. Cappy left him a GOOD tip for all his trouble, and as we were walking out...customers have to enter and leave thru the bar area, Cappy noticed what appeared to be a ship's figurehead. He had to have a pic of that. The bartender was only too willing to sidle up to it again. You could tell he was practiced at posing with 'her'. I noticed the great set of legs on one of the stools so had to sit on it, just to say I did.
All in all, we had a very nice visit. We left them with a scented candle from one of the fav. candle makers here in Louisiana, a bottle of Louisiana sweet wine and a promise to get back to see them sooner next time.
We left the next morning, Monday Sept 14, to forge on to western New York to see family. In the back of my mind I was wondering what kind a surprise Nick Tahoe's Garbage Plate, in Rochester was going to be to Cappy. That had been the only 'garbage' I had planned on feeding him, but he had found some along the way on his own.
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