Monday, November 24, 2008

Garden of AIDS Toast

Colorado Springs, Colorado: After an 8-hour bus ride (Good God) I arrived in Colorado Springs, Colorado Saturday night (11-23-08). I walked alone downtown to stretch my legs and get some air, but due to the cold, I made it a quick one.

Sunday I woke up too early and missed the free hotel "breakfast." From what I heard, I didn't miss much. I got an invite to Pike's Peak for later in the afternoon. I said yes even though the trolley ride down the mountain cost $30.

I again walked downtown for a couple of hours online, this time with my lapotp, and sat at the Homeless Starbucks, which is in a very homeless part of Colorado Springs. Good Lord there are homeless folk everywhere. I can say this without judgment because I have raised money for them in the past. Not these exact ones, but their brethren in Orlando.
Here are the run-ins I had with them:

-Homeless man came into the Starbucks and asked employee for a free glass of water. When she refused, he walked to the exit, turned around and announced to her and everyone else within ear shot that she would, indeed, go to hell for not giving him a free water.

-Homeless man sat two tables away with another man and told him about (a) his dislike of his dependence on medications and (b) his new wire-fram eyeglasses.

-Walking to 'bucks on a narrow sidewalk, I paused before moving to the right side of sidewalk. If I hadn't I would have been hit by a homeless man on a bike. No joke. That front wheel would have rolled right up my cooch, the man with dreads and a green army coat would have been thrown forward on top of me and I would have screamed like a parrot.

-In a 7-11, a homeless man made stupid conversation with the employee to avoid going back outside. Example: "Is it always this busy in here?" There was no one in the 7-11 but me, the homeless man and the employee.
The invite changed to "Garden of the Gods" instead of "Pike's Peak" via a brief phone call. The benefit to "Gods" over "Pike's" was Gods was free while Pike's was $30. I said I'd do either, cuz more folks were involved. We ended up going to Gods.
I should mention Pike's Peak ended up being a 1.5 hour ride up the mountain and then the same ride back down. You are 14,000 feet in the air, and what you are promised is (a) a view of 4 states and (b) altitude sickness. Garden of the Gods is a smallish park in between some mountains. The park has large red Mars-like rocks jutting out of the earth. They're striking. Photos online in a year.
On the taxi ride, I made a leap of comedy faith with my fellow taxi rider by telling him "AIDS is funny until you get it." I went further to defend my point, saying that all AIDS jokes are funny. I think I thought I was in a movie. And I wonder why sometimes I don't make friends.

At least I'm not homeless.

Over $1,000 I raised for them.

Garden of the Gods is lovely. It was a nice walk in decent weather, but about an hour in, it got cold. I said I couldn't feel my fingers but that wasn't true. I could feel them and they felt frozen.

I was leery of the cab driver who asked which way we wanted to go back to the hotel AND who's meter I could not see from my back seat. But, he ended up being honest.

Once back at the hotel, I had a quiet dinner at Dennys with someone from the Gods trip. The toast was white, but with the butter, it was yellow. I asked for new toast. I couldn't believe how much butter the cook used. It was insane. I wanted to flip over the table, stand on top of the heap of broken dishes and shout Iranian curse words into a megaphone, but I smiled and ate my new dry toast, on which I slathered copious dollops of WHAT? Butter.

I walked back to my hotel room and dilly-dallied online, which is what rich people do. I am not rich. Why am I not spending every second of my life trying to make or get money? Question BTW. If I was a pimp, would you work for me as a prostitute? If yes, please leave a comment with your whore-name and shoe size. I might start a 'tute business, with half the proceeds going to the homeless. The Orlando homeless.

On Facebook I got a second invite to go to Dennys. 3 hours had passed since my yellow toast so I said yes. It was another quiet meal, pleasant. I ordered "Moons Over My Hammy." I won't beat around your bush: this is what fat people eat. It's a form of self-hate.

And here's where the drama begins.

I get the plate of obese, and send back the hash browns. You ever peed on a loaf of rye bread, then baked it for 10 minutes at 250 degrees? I sent them back and asked for toast, but this time with butter on the side. I learned.

Usually when you send a side dish back, they leave the plate with the side dish and the main course (of hate) on the table. No, Lula Belle Clodong took the whole plate with her. Some of these Dennys waitresses are not sane.

She returned with the "My-Hammy" on a new, smaller plate. The bread on the "My-Hammy" was yellow. I'd already sent back the hash browns. My manorexic gutt gurgled. I ate the first half and the hash browns arrived on a second small plate

I could not eat the second half of the "My Hammy," so I left it on the first small plate. The manager scooped up my plates. When she asked if she could take my plates, I said "Yes" like I'd just seen a turkey beheaded alive behind a talking Sarah Palin on tv. The manager did not respond.


.. a few minutes later the cook comes to our table and offers to make me a whole new meal. I was already done. I said yes. Half a damn hour later he comes out with this ridiculously-large to-go plastic pie carrier with the pathetic sammich and the probably-nasty hash browns inside. I am bowled over by their graciousness.

Then my friend sees the cook pay the waitress.

I pull the waitress aside and she confirms that he did pay her. The cook lingers within ear shot, so I am unable to question her about his motives. My friend bolts to the cook with a tip, I am confused and we both leave absolutely baffled at what just transpired.

Now sitting here in pitch black on a toilet at 3am, I know what he did. He paid her in front of us so we would feel guilty and give him a tip, which my friend did. Then, when we left, she gave him the money back and he walks away with extra cash. A lot of work but I bet it was for his entertainment as much as his wallet. I'm sure it gets boring cooking in the homeless Dennys.

And he probably has AIDS.


Anonymous said...

If you could perhaps enter into a public place which serves ANYTHING you have to pay for later, it might be advisable to bring a book to share with your fellow diner. The purpose would be to detract your attention from all the people who are around you.

Or bring one of those triangle things with plastic neon colored golf tees, so that you can use about two hours concentrating on only leaving one golf tee, preferably the hot pink one, direcly in the center of the triangle. Pretend you are in Cracker Barrel. Oh, and only order the vegetable plate with biscuits.

Summer said...

I don't understand the actions of the Denny's wait/cook staff, but I do question your decision to eat there TWICE in the same day. Stick with your Wal-Mart bag lunches and Ruby Tuesday salad bars.
My pros. name is The Foxy Gidget Foxridge and I bring in a sweet price since I'm pregnant and I can't get knocked up again. My shoe size is 9 but you don't wear shoes when you walkin' da streetz.

Mark Baratelli said...

Yeah that was dumb to eat at Dennys twice.

Summer said...

I didn't say Dumb, just since you had such a bad experience the last never dumb baby.