Even though Monday was a national holiday, I had to work. I didn't mind working--I love my job at the local public library--but I was perplexed that we were even open. All other city offices were closed that day, but we noble suppliers of free books and internet service remained open. Being at work didn't bother me--I only worked half a day, anyway--so much as the fact that my coworker and I were the only ones there. Our library was deader than R. Pattz's facial expressions.
I had an inkling the library would be slow Monday when I participated in a little pre-work ritual of mine. Before or after work--depending on when I go to work--I like to indulge myself by walking to a delightful little roadside diner that is about a block from where I work. I love this place so much that I can forgive the fact that their sign features the conspicuous absence of a badly needed possessive apostrophe. Those of you who know me well know that is saying something. I have been accused of grammar nazism in the past, but delicious burgers, sumptuous chocolate milkshakes, and the best homemade fries I have ever eaten assuage my anguish when I look at that sign, so it all evens out. I had to run an errand before work, so I decided that I'd walk around the town square--which is right next to the library--and treat myself to a milkshake before work. (Do not judge me.)
As I walked along the square, I realized that everything was closed. Not just government buildings like the post office--insurance offices, barber shops, my favorite used bookstore. All were closed and nobody was on the square. It was an eerie feeling. I felt like I was walking through a ghost town, and as a paranoid, neurotic, angsty Jewish nebbish, this was a little more than my poor nerves could handle. I kept expecting an ax murderer or a face-eating alien or a mugger wielding a pogo stick to jump out of the alleys. As you can imagine, when I got to my diner of choice, they were closed too. So I hoofed it back to the library parking lot, which was deserted, and started to head across the street to the local courthouse, which is the residence of a vending machine that provides me with Oreo cookies on a regular basis. Alas! The courthouse was closed because, you know, it was a national holiday. Duh, Zella.
So I went to work with a heavy heart . . . and an empty stomach. But I am not so easily dissuaded from a tasty meal! Tuesday I had to work, so I decided that on my lunch break I was going to march over to my favorite diner and order myself the works. I deserved a tasty meal after being deprived the day before. Even better, this time I had time to kill. The reason I like this diner, besides the great food, is that it is a roadside diner with outdoor tables. You can sit outside, munching your victuals, and watch the proceedings of my small town. Masterpiece Theater it is not, but for a nerd who likes to people watch, it is perfect. It is even more perfect if you want to idly read while waiting for your food. I like to carry books with me--you never know when you'll have the chance to read!--and there's something about outdoor tables that is just bliss for reading. On the day in question, I had myself a collection of classic noir novellas. I love me some good noir, and the only thing better than noir is several good noir tales bundled into one package. Yeehaw! Noir is also just so fitting for perusing while at an outdoor diner. I am not sure why; it just is. Maybe it is because so many James M. Cain stories are set in places where you can get a bite to eat. Hmm . . .
Anyway, as I happily walked up to the diner, I planned my meal. I know which seat I wanted to sit at, I knew what I was going to order, and I knew which novella I was going to dig into first. Then, I got there and noticed the huge sign that I only glanced at the day before. The one that said they'd be closed for the whole week because they were on vacation. Um, yeah, I didn't read that when I was there the day before. D'oh!
But all was not lost! The courthouse was open, so I decided that if I couldn't get a yummy burger, I could at least get some tasty Oreos. Lady Luck was smiling on me. Not only did I get my Oreos, but for the first time ever, I was able to walk through the courthouse without slipping and falling. I kid you not. I think the local county is trying to assassinate me. Every time I walk into that place to get cookies, they are mopping. I assume they have an insider source who has revealed my clumsiness and predisposition to wearing tacky rubber shoes. Well, I fooled them this time! With my highly developed ninja skills--cultivated through watching way too many Chuck Norris and Jackie Chan movies as a child--I was able to maneuver my way through the slippery gauntlet without ending up on my back. Victory is mine! As are the Oreos. ^^
How was your holiday weekend? Do you like Oreos? Does your local government want to kill you?