…with our beans baked. (Part IX)

Hours later we’re back at Diner Deluxe for more. Ernie says, before it was this place, it was another place. But that’s most of Chicago—nearly everything’s something that used to be something else. Take a boat ride down the river that winds through downtown, and the tour guides will draw your attention to all these architectural ghosts. 

For Ernie’s second Diner Deluxe dinner, he orders an egg skillet with pancakes. That, he washes down with an Oreo cookie milkshake. Ernie says it’s good—no, actually, it’s a great shake. And this, Ernie says, is because it’s an end-of-shift-made shake. We’re our waiter’s last table. I don’t remember if he was male or female or both or neither. The first one, from earlier, was definitely female. Understand, between our first and second Diner Deluxe visits, Ernie and I got business-serious busy with the baking of our brains. 

For my second Diner Deluxe dinner: mozzarella sticks. These are three times bigger than my best-ever erection. And when erect, baby, we’re talkin’ thicker than a D-cell battery and longer than five of ‘em in a row. Ok, four. And these three Diner Deluxe mozzarella sticks set down before me, they’re more monstrous than that. I was envious. That’s right, envious of fried cheese. That’s how insecure I am.

Between our first Diner Deluxe visit and our second Deluxe Diner visit, we waited for Mr. and Mrs. Wench to finish attending a play. Or maybe they were performing in it. It’s all haze, but never purple enough. So we stood in the cold backyard of Ernie’s mom’s three flat condo, trading hits off of Ernie’s rainbow-striped pipe, with Ernie’s dog and Ernie’s Mom’s dogs batting their wagging tails against our legs. 

When that gets old we head around the corner and down the street to I-man’s buddy’s bar. We know I-man, but we don’t know his buddy, and we don’t know I-man well enough to ring him up at this late hour. Ernie says the place doesn’t have a liquor license (yet). People are inside anyway, and they’re drinking something. There’s a blown-up projection of a Pac-Man game in-progress on one of the walls. But the door’s locked and every time Ernie tries it, the people inside, we can see their mouths laughing at us. 

We meet Mr. and Mrs. Wench at Wayne’s Honky-Tonk. As those of you who took the Wenchs’ Notoriously Infamous Haunted Tour of Uptown know full well, Wayne’s is a bar of infamous notoriety. It’s also something of a haunt for the Wenchs and their posse of canny toughs and seductive vixens. But that’s a whole other can of warms. Or worms. 

19 & 20 November 2004 

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