The other day, I had a craving for Waffle House. Waffle House is an institution around here, and for some reason they build them in 2’s. And, just like Baptist churches, you can find one about every 4 feet. There are 3 within a 3 mile radius of my house. Two of them are so close to one another that you can literally stand in the parking lot of one and look down the street and see the other one. God’s honest truth. But, I don’t want to talk about those two. I want to talk about Waffle House #3. You see, that was where I met Wendy.
I took this picture on the sly as she was zipping around, washing dishes and refilling drinks. I was texting a couple of people while I was there, just telling them about my Waffle House experience and I brought up my waitress. During the course of the meal, I decided she had to be introduced to the world.
I’ve been to this particular Waffle House several times and I’ve never seen the same waitress or cook working there twice. Either they’ve got a large staff that rotates a lot (you rarely ever see more than 3 people working at a Waffle House at the same time anyway), or they’ve got a high turnover rate. I guess that explains why this was my first introduction to Wendy. I never asked her her name, but it was on her name tag. She never asked me mine either, but the second I walked in the door, her first words to me were, “Hey Bo, how you doin’?” For those of you not familiar with life in the south, “Bo” is a term of endearment, and is kind of the redneck version of “buddy” or “dude”. I’ve never once called anyone “Bo”, but have been called “Bo” quite a few times. Wendy apparently likes the name because it was the only thing she called me the entire time I was there, and I heard it about 10 times…
“Hey Bo, you want some more Coke?”
“How you doin’, Bo? You need anything?”
“Dang, it’s hot out there today. Ain’t it, Bo?”
That was just one of the few things about Wendy that made Wendy…Wendy. Wendy looked like she’d not exactly had the easiest life so far. First of all, she only had about 2 teeth in her head. They were on the bottom, and spaced out evenly, one on each side, with a giant gap in the middle. It looked like a 7-10 split.
She was kind of skinny, had obviously spent a lot of time in the sun, and loved her some blue eye makeup. And check out that standard issue Waffle House visor. Well, not so much the visor, but the flair. Oh Sweet Jesus, the flair. Looking back, I wish I’d asked her about it.
When I first sidled up to the counter, she turned to the other lady working there and said, “Hey Mama, you wanna get this one or you want me to do it?” Mama replied, “Go ahead and take it, hon”. Why do I mention this? Well, the plot would soon thicken. A few minutes later, an older gentleman with a cane comes in and sits down. As soon as he walked in, Wendy exclaimed, “Hey Daddy!” Alright, so we’ve got Mama and Daddy on the scene. So far, so good. BUT…about 5 minutes later, another lady comes in and sits down next to Daddy. A patron at the next table looks up at Wendy and says, “Hey Wendy, you know these two rascals?” Wendy replies, “Yeah, you know that’s my mama and daddy”. What’s all this now? How many Mamas are we talking about here? Is this a “Bo” thing, where she just calls everybody “Mama”? I wish I had more answers for you, folks, but The Great Waffle House Mama Mystery will have to be solved another day.
So, that’s Wendy. Now that I think about it, she kind of reminded me of Lil from Squidbillies.
Wendy, you’re alright. Thanks for the hash browns.
And now, for no reason whatsoever, just to end this post, I give you all something else I captured on the sly. My favorite uncle, Uncle Paul, passed out in front of the evening news.