Sometimes life isn't a bowl of chili

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by primroselane, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. primroselane

    primroselane Well-Known Member

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    EZs is across from the old Austin State Hospital on Lamar. It is kind of a old-fashion, fast-food, eat-healthy, art-deco, brick-oven diner. (This modern hyphenation identification-description crap really sneaks up on you). It has a dsicriminating diversity. Or, I should say, had a discriminating diversity.

    Thursday, I walked up to the order counter, as I do at least every other week and said the same succinct, four words I always say, "Firehouse nachos and drink." That's $8.49 with tax. I often have exact change. I esteem my efficiency of ordering. It is to be deplored that children learn to order from mothers. Mothers ordering is an act of mental constipation. They insist that young children, with neither education, experience or inclination make choices. Kids have way too many choices. Certainly many bad choices turn out to be insignificant. But sometimes bad choices turn out to be tragic.

    Anyway, this time predictability was shattered. The cashier said, "We no longer have Firehouse Nachos." And he almost proudly went on, "We've taken chili off the menu." I was in shock, just dumbfounded. Kind of like when someone really special, that you want to spend the rest of your life with, dumps you for a guy who runs a used car lot and pays more for cigarettes than he does for child support.

    I can accept that I can no longer have a Nesbitt's Orange or a Delaware Punch. I know there is no fresh made fried pies and Kool-Aid for kids arriving home from school.
    I know kids will never get a fresh-cooked meal at school or ride bicycles down lazy streets to school, or swimming pools, or a five and dime. I know the chances of getting killed in a car wreck are much greater than the chance of getting scratch biscuits for breakfast. I know Austin no longer has downtown Christmas shopping and magic windows that left me in awe. I accept that drug store malts and short, thick coffee cups at the cafe are things of the past. I realize that horny toads, drive-in theatres, and the evening paper are all gone.

    But I always thought that you would be able to get a bowl of chili at a diner in Austin, Texas. Chili is more of a gastronomical challenge than a comfort cuisine. Kind of the difference between whitewater rafting and drifting down a lazy river in a innertube. Babies appear to like babyfood. Many years ago most Mexican food was milded off to please the new rulers. Best I can tell, people from up north and the left coast don't stay pleased long. Like so many other natives, we were friendly to strangers, and before we realized it, they had overrun us and outnumbered us. We were pushed away, yet we were willing enough to leave the loud and aggressive new world they created.

    I had gone to EZs as much to watch these new people as to experience the chili and my own past. Foreigners are always interesting. My mind doesn't know I am now the foreigner, anymore than it knows I am sixty years old. My mind sees like someone much younger doing things and experiencing events in a past that is both ever so close and gone forever. I watch everyone just as I did when my folks dressed up and took me to a cafe as a kid.

    The people around me today just don't feel quite real. Like cyborgs or clones, I don't sense their souls. Native Americans had the universe in their souls, great and small animals, swift rivers and placid lakes, powerful sunshine and vast arrays of stars and enless visions trees, or prairies, or mountains or oceans. The people in EZs live in boxes, work in boxes, move in boxes, shop in boxes and go to boxes for entertainment. These people become increasingly adept at ignoring each other as their world gets more crowded. I wonder if these box people have souls and if so, what they put in their souls.

    I look about me and I see the nakedness and bleakness of winter. Once beautiful trees, like bodies that have grown old, capture my attention because of their grotesqueness. The grass and weeds are mostly dead but too proud or stubborn to lay down. The sky is heavy with gray clouds. The dove and deer and rabbits blend in with the world around them. Yet green bluebonnets and wild verbeanas are underfoot. They are harbingers of pools of color. The pines are sentinels of the green that is to be. The sky has a few flashes and rumbles like the bowels of a hungry giant. The days are getting grudgingly longer. The cold winter ground suggests tilled rows with emerging plants to my mind. Some ewes are getting heavy. Re-creation is afoot. For good or ill, I look forward to the coming year.

    I think about children to be born. As the native Americans once saw endless nature, they will see endless construction. I wonder if their lives will have even more change than my own. I wonder if they will loose more freedoms than I have lost. I wonder if their lives will be more crowded and more isolated than their parents. I wonder what virtual worlds they will seek to find happiness in. I wonder if they will experience the creation, and the joy and the beauty of spring. And if they do not experience springtime, would they have souls, and if they do, would it be a soul I might comprehend?

    Muslims worry me because I do not perceive them as experiencing the transfiguration of springtime. Just as I have the same worry for future generations. People who have experienced spring, look forward to the coming year. People who do not know springtime, may be more apt to just look for a next life
     
  2. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    I feel your pain.

    Just try to find a restaurant that serves Iceberg lettuce in their salads. Just try, I dare you. Oh, Iceberg isn't trendy now. Oh no. Now you must have Mesculin, or Leaf Lettuce or, if you can find a place that is really scraping the bottom of the barrel Romaine, but never, never, never Iceberg. Even two-bit diners with greasy hamburgers and coffee you can stand spoon in - whose bathrooms haven't been cleaned since Hoover was in office, would PALE at the very thought of serving Iceberg.

    To "heck" with anybody who actually likes or wants to eat the stuff. THEY know what is best for us. No Iceberg. No Firehouse Nachos.

    Sometimes life is the diarrheas, if you get my meaning.

    donsgal
     

  3. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    There's a Texas Chili Parlour over on Lavaca. Their chili is OK, and comes in various strengths.

    On Lamar, heading toward the river, there's a place on the left, Shoal Creek Saloon, before you get to where Whole Foods used to be. I haven't been there, but it looks interesting. They have cajun, but I think I remember a sign outside about chili, too.

    I'm thinking there's some places out South Lamar, too, but I'll have to wait till my son gets up this morning to ask. He and DIL are here for the weekend. They live on that end of town and eat out a lot.

    I'm not really a fan of EZs because I remember when it was 2 Js. :) Hamburgers from there were an occasional treat and a *big* deal in my family long ago.
     
  4. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    OOOOO I love iceberg lettuce! REally miss it on burgers! Keep trying to grow it but no good luck yet. I also feel your pain regarding some of the changes society insists on making inspite of those who want to stay where we were LOL. Sis
     
  5. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I thought you'd cut and pasted this from your local (paper). It would be a good column for them- why not send it in? My mom has been getting $25/column for voicing her political and other musings and has really gotten known locally- she happens to enjoy it when people meet her and are nervous she might write a column about them.
     
  6. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    DIL says there's a new place on South Congress, past where Riverside crosses it. Doc's Motor Works. She said their Frito Pie has good chili on it.
     
  7. primroselane

    primroselane Well-Known Member

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    I need the locals to be themselves. They are changing too much as it is.
     
  8. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    Oh man, that's horrible, like I was just told recently some disturbing theory's about Santa Claus...

    Hopefully, you'll be able to duplicate their pot of chili at home, and if not, I'd probably talk to the chef, and see if he/she'd divulge their recipe...

    I rue the day that our forefathers neglected to put important immigration regulations in our state constitution... namely, that if a person couldn't distinguish between the finer points of chili, and pass a taste test, they wouldn't be allowed in. And of course, have the 'trap' that would instantly disqualify em... whether they put beans in their chili... the travesty!!!

    belay the previous point about 'probably' asking for the recipe... if I liked it, I'd beg, borrow, or steal it... All's fair in the Love of Chili...
     
  9. bugstabber

    bugstabber Chief cook & weed puller Supporter

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    Come to South Dakota, you'd be amazed at all the iceberg lettuce.

    Do you have Burger King? I like their chili, but I'm sure what you and I like in chili may be different!
     
  10. largentdepoche

    largentdepoche Well-Known Member

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    Once we went to KFC and they said there were out of chicken. Krystals was out of corn pups...Satan was skating to work that day LOL!

    Kat
     
  11. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    The restaurant we went to at lunch was out of shrimp for the po-boys!

    It's an evil plot. :flame: