go to Kuhl’s for a freakout breakfast

(from Sept 8 )
so i was up early this morning and in the neighborhood of Kuhl’s (O st between 10th and 11th) so I decided to stop in for their $4.50 steak/eggs/hash browns/toast breakfast special to read the last two days of the paper and get some cartoon ideas for today.

i hadn’t eaten breakfast there in a Long time, and not regularly since about 2000, but i had forgotten what a freak factory that joint is.

i was seated along the wall of booth next to an elderly woman who mumbled to herself and a man who instantly said something along the lines of “How about those Huskers? They sure played great on Saturday!”

He said this not with the tone of voice of a man who wanted to talk football, but with the tone of a crazy man who wanted to say things loudly that seem – on the surface – like conversation openers. I somehow mistook this for Tone #1, however, so I responded that they need to work on those special teams and the turnovers.

At this point it was apparent that he was not actually prepared to have a conversation, so he fell dead silent. I felt bad, so I said something like “Did you watch the game this Saturday?” and as I said it, I turned to look at him and realized that he had the faded wandering eyes of a blind man. So I felt bad for asking a potentially blind man if he watched anything.

Then he told me that he thought they were going to go all the way. I responded, banking on my previous experience in this conversation that he would have nothing to say after that, and then I could get back to my paper.

Flashback to 2000: there was this old man, 80 or so, who wore a giant sombrero. now this is a white man – looking to be of northern european descent. not the typical sombero-wearer. he would have a stuffed animal duct-taped onto the front of his sombrero with a child’s plastic bib hanging off the back like a cape. he would wear curly-toed elf shoes and occasionally go into the bathroom only to come out with cigarette papers stuck to his face.

Well that was 2000, and much to my delight, he still eats at Kuhl’s in 2004. he walked in (sadly without stuffed animal, bib or elf shoes) with his giant sombrero, walked up to me and introduced himself as “Robert Mitchum, circa 1956.”

I said hello, wondering if I would ever get to my paper. He went and sat down, the old lady and blind man both paid their bills, and I was left in peace. But good god, Kuhl’s is better than a zoo.

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