Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What Planet Are We On?

Since our trip to Arizona was over a month ago, I guess I will tell the story of the last leg and then move on to other issues, like the commercialization of Valentine's Day or something.

After the scary guy on Highway 54, our drive was uneventful, and we cruised into Tucumcari just after dark. Tucumcari is a fairly small town on I-40/Route 66. We found a hotel just off the freeway, checked in, and went to find some supper.

We drove down a long street that used to be Route 66 and still has lots of kitschy stuff, like a Mexican restaurant with a huge neon sombrero, pink flamingos, etc. We stopped at a sixties style eatery called Dean's Diner. Looked homey and like it would have good family style food. We walked in and something weird happened. There were probably 15 people at various tables and booths. Men of all ages, mostly dressed in coveralls, and, I must say, eating dinner with their hats on, stopped talking and stared at us. Stared as if we had just stumbled into a place where we had no business being. I felt like I was in "Rosemary's Baby." Or "Deliverance."

We stood there for a few minutes, not knowing if we should seat ourselves or wait for the waitress. After awhile, we decided to sit, and found a booth. All talking had stopped when we came in and, after we sat down, it resumed slowly. We sat for maybe ten minutes, no one greeted us, brought us menus, or acknowledged our presence in any way. Finally, I took a note pad out of my purse, wrote "maybe they ignore people who aren't from here until they go away," and passed it to hubby, who nodded. We decided to leave. On our way out, the waitress, who had been pouring coffee, turned around and almost crashed into me. She laughed a little and said, "Oh, I almost got you!" Then she went on her merry way to pour coffee for someone else. Didn't say, "Oh, I'll be right over," or "I'll get you a menu." Clearly, nobody was sorry to see us go.

The next morning, we got gas, and then I had to take pictures of Dean's because obviously, it was going on the blog. Now, don't you think, if someone comes into your eating establishment and just stands there snapping pictures, you would sort of freak out? Especially if you were the pod people from the previous night. But no, Dean's was a totally different place in the light of day. I stepped in and started taking photos. My goal was to snap a few and then run away before they mobbed me.

Instead, I heard what sounded like nice, sane folks in the background, and they seemed to think it was pretty cool that I was in there with my camera. I heard one guy say to the waitress (not the one who had almost scalded me to death with hot coffee), "Hey, Marge, show her the mural in the back, that's what she oughta be taking pictures of!" So Marge obliged, led me to the back where, indeed, there was a cool mural. She asked if I wanted her to "put the spotlight on it," and I said no thanks. Because I didn't trust them and still wanted to get out of there. Part of me thought maybe they had taken me to the back so that they could make me disappear forever. So I took the picture and left. We drove home, wondering all the way what the hell was up in Tucumcari. We will probably never know.


Blogger KiddoKare1 said...

Well, all I have to say, is that was weird!!!!

12:08 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Yes, let me get you some great photos of the place you ALMOST got to eat at.

Classy place. I'll file it in my memory of places NOT to go I guess.

I think it's especially hilarious that you went back the next day to take photos. You're a dedicated blogger.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Mom Thumb said...

tracy - And creepy! I don't think we'll be stopping in Tucumcari again.

heather - I'm hard core. Although, if you look at the top picture, you can see the reflection of our van in the glass door. It was poised for a speedy getaway.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Di said...

LOL....I think I have been in that same "diner experience."...not in Tucumcarie, but I kept expecting Rod Serling to appear.By the way, I really enjoy your blogs so much, I feel as if I am right there with you .

4:34 PM  
Blogger Mom Thumb said...

di - Thanks! I'm glad you read them. I wouldn't wish that diner experience on anyone, it was very uncomfortable.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Reminds me of a Twin Peaks episode or something. But aren't you glad you got to have that experience anyway? Those are the things that make for great conversations.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Mom Thumb said...

jeff - I am glad for the experience. Now that I'm out of there.

6:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you ever get home?-Bill

5:40 PM  

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