Electric Grandmother

Maggie Croft's Personal Journal young spirit, wire-wrapped
spark electric grandmother
arc against the night

-- Lon Prater
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hog heaven

After yesterday's entries, the day proceeded to improve significantly. I got some stuff done and just sort of decided to move on with life. I never really did get around to mainlining any chocolate, however.

This morning is a much better day. Avadore let me sleep in an extra hour, which was very thoughtful of him. We had banana pecan pancakes and strawberries for breakfast, which is a pretty good way to start the day.

Frankly, I'm much more of a waffle or a French toast person, but the waffle iron is being obnoxious ever since Winter tried to make waffles one morning and we had French toast a couple days ago. (Not that we can't have French toast again, but I thought it would be good to do something different.) So I tried a new pancake recipe, threw in some banana and topped them off with toasted pecans. They were quite good.

It's only been in the last few years that pancakes have become much of an option when I cook. When I was a kid I wasn't fond of them at all; usually they came from a place where the cook thought that they should be huge and heavy so they sit in your stomach all morning and make your little nine-year-old body feel like it's a lead weight. Even having pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse didn't help.

The summer before I started ninth grade, I had the worst pancake of my life at a restaurant called Hog Heaven.

My dad, at one time, took great pleasure in finding strange little eateries which he and his family and friends would frequent until either another place came along or something strange would happen at the establishment to make it seem like not such a good idea to eat there anymore.

For example, while in junior high, my father's place of choice was a place called Po' Boys, which tended to specialize in sandwiches. And they were good. Very New York deli type of sandwiches, though it was a sit-down restaurant. We ate there a lot. And then one day one of my dad's friends told him how he had been eating at Po' Boys with his family when he went in back to make a phone call and watched the cook, who had a cold, cough and sneeze into my dad's friend's dinner. None of us ever went back and they closed a short time later.

In any event, the summer of my fourteenth year, the place of choice was Hog Heaven. Once upon a time, the building had been a videodisc rental shop, which is another story, but now it was filled with pig paraphernalia. There were ceramic pigs and pig pictures and pig statues and stuffed pigs (out of fabric, not once upon a time living, breathing pigs) and toy pigs and, well, I'm sure you get the picture. The only place that was clear of pigs were the tables (mostly), the counter where you paid and the kitchen (presumably).

One summer day, after marching band was over, Dad took me to Hog Heaven and ordered pancakes. These two gigantic pancakes drenched in syrup came out on two paper plates with two plastic forks and two paper napkins. I don't know about my dad's, but my pancake was not only heavy and thick, but I'm sure the middle was made from glue. I tried not to complain, however, and ate it because kids were going to be starving in Rwanda and Somalia soon. It sat in my stomach for the rest of the day. For all I know, it's still there.

But, like all places, there came a day when Dad and his friends no longer went to Hog Heaven. (I never went back after the pancake.) One day my dad (who was in education), the county pathologist, the county coroner/mortician, and the local sheriff went to Hog Heaven for burgers. (Why Dad was hanging out with all these guys and not, say, English teachers and math teachers is another story.) The county pathologist ordered the special huge mushroom burger. At the time, he thought the mushrooms seemed a little funny somehow, but he ate his burger anyway.

Not long after finishing his burger, the pathologist began to hallucinate. Convinced it was the mushrooms from the mushroom burger (and potentially he should know), the pathologist never went back and neither did Dad or his friends. Hog Heaven closed a short time later. As far as I know, it's now an eyeglasses shop.

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