If you’re a frequent breakfast diner in the Batesville area, you may have seen them. They haunt three or four restaurants throughout the week, usually sometime in the 7 a.m. hour.
There’s Yeti, the only man in Independence County who could legitimately pass for a refined and civilized Abominable Snowman. Then there’s Sasquatch, a burly giant, with his full beard and long ponytail, who has somewhat of a lazy gait that gullible people might mistake as cool. And finally, there’s Lex Luthor, Jr., the squat former Marine who tragically missed his true calling as a drill sergeant.
Sasquatch is usually the first to arrive, and God help the other two if they aren’t at the table at the appointed time.
“Where you been?” Sasquatch usually demands in a booming voice.
“Well, I -- ” Yeti will begin.
“DON’T YOU LIE TO ME!” Sasquatch interrupts.
If Lex missed his calling as a Marine drill sergeant, Sasquatch missed his calling as a somewhat crazed, yet passionate C.I.A. interrogator.
After Sasquatch is satisfied with the others’ excuses for tardiness, the three will then study the menu and discuss what will be ordered.
“I should get the pancakes,” Yeti says. “Too fattening, though.”
“You on a diet?” Sasquatch demands.
“I know what I want,” Lex says as he slaps down the menu.
“Yeah, me too, bro,” Sasquatch says as he slaps down his menu. “Me too!”
“Right on,” Lex says.
“Oh, I don’t know,” Yeti says with a heavy sigh. He puts down the menu and covers his face with his hands. Yeti is the most problematic of the trio in terms of sheer emotional terror. In fact, he refers to this almost constant state as “emotional turmoil.” Every decision he makes in his life, large or small, is both predicated and then pondered by needless and anguished internal debates that will likely cause him to drop dead of a heart attack in, oh, maybe three years.
Yeti runs his fingers through his stress-induced, prematurely snow white hair and finally rests his head in his hands.
“I should get the pancakes,” he says.
The waitress arrives.
Sasquatch begins without the slightest bit of hesitation.
“I want the special, but I want three eggs, instead of two, over easy. Uh, patty sausage. Hash browns with, uh, lots of onions and cheese. And white buttered toast.”
The waitress looks to Lex.
“I’ll take a fried egg sandwich, cheese and bacon on wheat, please. Thank you.”
And now, Yeti:
“Ohhhhh,” he says. “I don’t know…”
Lex and Sasquatch sigh.
Five minutes later, Yeti orders raisin bran with bananas and skim milk.
Breakfast arrives, and Yeti looks at everyone else’s plate. He sees the plump, white eggs and crispy hash browns scattered and smothered on the plate of Sasquatch, and his heart sinks.
“I should have ordered that,” he says.
Then, across the restaurant, he eyes another waitress bringing a customer a plate of thick pancakes.
“No. Crap. I should have ordered the pancakes.”
“Oh lord,” Lex says. “Give it a rest.”
Yet, when Yeti looks down to his cereal and bananas, he admits it looks delicious.
He takes out his iPhone.
“Here we go,” Lex says.
The other two are used to Yeti’s practice of taking a picture of his meal. He doesn’t do it for every meal, but only for the tasty looking ones. Sometimes, he likes to re-live the memories of a delicious plate of food by scrolling through the hundreds of similar pictures he’s downloaded to his laptop. Sasquatch appreciates this somewhat quirky habit because Sasquatch loves food – period. If eating were a professional sport, Sasquatch would be its Muhammad Ali. Lex, however, simply thinks Yeti is nuts.
“Oooh,” Sasquatch says. “Let’s get one of the milk being poured onto your raisin bran!”
“Great idea!” Yeti says. He places the camera just so for the right shot, and then nods to Sasquatch. Sasquatch gently tips the milk into the bowl. Snap. The moment is now preserved.
And it’s not odd at this time to see some diners in the restaurant stop what they are doing and look to the sight of the pony-tailed giant pouring milk into his breakfast partner’s cereal while the latter takes a picture.
There are diners who simply look at this sight with a combination of confusion, amazement and perhaps a little disgust. The other diners, the regulars, are used to it.
The three men then begin eagerly consuming their food. The conversation veers from business to gossip to Yeti’s consistent emotional turmoil. We won’t detail that point of the conversation at this time. Suffice to say, Sasquatch and Lex each give Yeti conflicting advice which makes things even much worse for Yeti’s mental stability.
However, it is guaranteed that the conversation and the breakfast will end with Yeti stating after a long and pained sigh: “I should have ordered the pancakes.”