Meatballs, Mocha, And Mr. Dillon
THIS MORNING DOWN AT ST. ARBUCKS the Usual Suspects were deep in conversation. The Heavily Caffeinated Philosophers were arguing about which fast-food chain had the most stores. One said it was McDonalds, another suggested KFC. At least they weren’t discussing something trivial.
The correct answer to the Question of the Day turned out to be Subway, with 44,789 shops. McDonalds came in with roughly 36,000.
The conversation then began to focus on Subway and some truly important details of that enterprise. How many Subway shops are there in Vietnam? (Six). What is their best selling sandwich? (The BMT) How many years in Stony Lonesome did Jared the “I like ‘em young” former spokesman for Subway get? (15years and 8 months). How many meatballs do they use worldwide? (That answer has eluded us – so far. We have formed a study group that will be going on a fact finding mission to the Subway down the block later today).
That’s what things are like at St. Arbucks most mornings. The topics may vary. One day it might be Subway meatballs and another, the best place to buy gasoline – in 1968. The Usual Suspects are an eclectic bunch if nothing else. Politics, local or Presidential, rarely comes up. I refuse to participate in any political talk and more of the group is joining me in that stance for civility and lower blood pressure.
The one topic that seems to cause the most uproar and comes closest to getting us thrown out on our pensions is Old Television Shows. You wouldn’t think that a topic like that would be a flashpoint. It’s not that there is disagreement or conflict over something like, “Who was the voice of the car in the program, ‘My Mother the Car?” (FYI Ann Sothern). It is that some of the Suspects get too involved and feel the need to reenact scenes from their favorite shows.
One morning the topic du jour was “Gunsmoke,” starring James Arness as “Matt Dillon.” The characters and cast members were discussed. Did Matt and Miss Kitty ever get together and do “The Nasty-Nasty?” Was “Doc Adams” really a doctor or just a drunk who took care of Miss Kitty’s hookers?
The discussion, while lively, was not too loud until…until one Suspect gave into the urge to channel Matt’s deputy, the stiff-legged Chester Good.
“Mr. Dillon! Mr. Dillon! Get over to the Long Branch Saloon, there’s gonna be some shootin’!”
On the TV show Chester was a rather slight man – our Faux Chester was a former Big Ten University football player who stood about 6’5” and 260 lbs.
It was quite an impressive display of really bad acting.
The St. Arbucks Manager was not there, luckily, but the baristas and other customers were. The baristas applauded. The other customers just looked afraid and moved as far away from us as possible. I couldn’t blame them. Seeing that at about 8:30 AM without the full benefit of a second cup of coffee could be disconcerting to some people.
We were used to it. We still are.