Songs of The Stomach Bard: Nostalgic Regrets

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MaggiesBefore I moved to my current city I had a house-sitting gig here for a couple of months. Every time I would be coming back to the place I would pass this cute little building on a corner that looked like it should be a firehouse or even a small filling station but it said, Maggie’s over the front door so it had to be a cafe.

After I moved I forgot about it. Then I drove past it a week ago and had an, “Oh yeah, that place!” moment and decided to look it up. Turns out it’s been around for years and is a breakfast and burger spot so I decided I would get there early enough one day to check it out.

The parking lot was fairly desolate when I went in, I parked next to an old sedan that I’m betting belonged to an employee. As I got out an old truck pulled up and the owner whom I could tell from a distance had few teeth left rolled the window down for his dog and gave me a long stare. For a moment I thought, maybe this is close enough, but then I shrugged that off and entered.

maggies jukeboxThe place was seriously retro-divey! Old school vending machines, a jukebox and a red and possibly once white, checkered floor. The walls were covered with old movie memorabilia. Two booths sat empty under one window and there were a few tables littered about.

maggies codgersMost of the seating was on stools that were slightly too low following a long L shaped counter. Seated to my left with their backs to me, a gaggle of old fogies.

I took a seat at the other end of the L.

It was obvious this place was going to put the grease in greasy spoon! A smiling sunny waitress named Arlene obliged me with a cup of coffee that looked dubiously old but tasted fresh. The owner, Ed was at the grill filling the place with the smell of sizzling murdered cow. I shouldn’t have, but I had to order a cheeseburger. Maybe it was the pressure of the clutter surrounding me, maybe it was the feeling of nostalgia. Maybe it was the caffeine kicking in. Maybe the bus boy mopping the floor while I scanned the menu just made me nervous. “Order the burger” demanded the voice in my head. So I did.

maggies grill

The fries were really good, sliced with the skins on them. I asked Arlene if she had any dressing I could dip them into and she beamed, “We have ranch dressing! Home made!” “Perfect! I’ll try it!” I’m partial to dipping french fries in blue cheese dressing rather than ketchup. It’s something my brother got me hooked on when we were kids! The ranch worked fine. And when I told her how good it was it seemed to make her day! “Thank you! I make it myself from scratch!”

Maggies burgerThe burger by the standards of burgers you get at restaurants these days was not great but it was strangely satisfying. I had ordered it medium well and the cook had actually managed that state. It was greasy yet slightly dry and had some tough spots. All the toppings were just kind of perfect. It was a burger of small town childhood memory, a time machine. But sometimes you can’t go back, or at the very least you shouldn’t and my stomach was going to be the first to remind me of that.

maggies memorobeliaAs I sat in the car feeling my first twinges, Arlene came running out the door with my sweater. It had been warm that day but I had taken it in just in case the place had air conditioning. (It didn’t.) Please angry stomach. Let me make it home before you make me pay, I pleaded!

My stomach said, ok, just this once but first I’m gong to sing to you and you have to write this down word for word! Deal?

I whimpered and complied. Thus The Stomach Bard was born!

“You may think you had a nostalgic lunch
And that greasy meat was fun to munch
But you are so very wrong
And so I wrote you this song…..

You are going to live to regret this
You are going to be sorry you et it
When you spend an unwanted hour in the looooooo
While I rain intestinal distress down upon you

Boop boopie do

Boy oh boy I hope it was worth it
Remember that when you drop that nuclear sh**
Will you never learn
As the stomach turns

You are going to live to regret this
You are going to be sorry you et it
This is why the vegetarian lifestyle was so much better for you
Maybe next time you’ll choose “garden” instead of “moo”

Boop boopie doobie gurgle doo wah wah”

-LM’s tum tum 2015

maggies superman

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