April 26, 2007


One thing about that I like about this area is the number of drive-ins we have. Diners... not theatres. We used to have alot of those, too, but they're long gone. We've got three diners within a half an hour of here... at the least. Jay's in Oregon, Sam's in Byron, and Bing's on the southside of Rockford. Something about those places that I love... not only do they have personality, but I like the sense of stepping back. And sometimes you end up other places...

I had to run down to Oregon (Raging Mom's stomping grounds) to renew my cycle plate, and, since I was in the neighborhood, I stopped into Jay's and got a double cheeseburger basket and a large chocolate malt. Not a problem, there was a bit of a wait, so I grabbed a booth and looked around at all of the fifties memorabilia, the Cardinals/Reds wrapup in the background. I watched a mentally handicapped kid beating up the jukebox, and his grandmother trying to calm him down. Finally, one of the girls came from behind the counter, shut off the game, and gave the kid some quarters to play the jukebox. When "The Monster Mash" started to play, I felt like I was in another place.

The inside of the diner seemed a bit brighter, and the outside grew darker. The smiles of the little girls eating ice cream cones were too big, too innocent. The handicapped kid started running... stumbling... in contorted circles. He stopped and clapped when "Little Old Lady From Pasadena" started playing. He may as well have been clapping for the arrival of my food, because it showed up at the same time. And per the usual, it kicked ass.

As I watched the kid bouncing off of the jukebox, and listened to the slightly annoying giggles of the three little girls, it clicked. The whole scene was too Kingesian. Or Kingesque, should you prefer. I knew right then that something was about to happen. Most likely, it wasn't to be a good thing. I was halfway through my burger when it finally came about.

I sat facing the door, and I could see the outer door begin to open. As it did so, there was a rush of air. Not like in the movies... this was towards the door, like the air was trying to escape. Then the inner door was blown or pulled open, and there he stood. Roy Frickin' Orbison.

You couldn't mistake him. He was wearing the dark glasses, and carrying his Gibson ES-335. The strings on the guitar were rusted through, and broken, and the wood even appeared to be rusty. Roy wasn't looking too good, himself. I believe that I could see maggots moving through his rotting flesh, but I didn't want to stare... I was always told that it was impolite, and gott knows that I'm going to be damned polite to a dead man who's standing in front of me. Roy looked at me with his new eternal grin, and I'd have sworn that he winked. Then he tossed a quarter to the jukebox kid, who no longer seemed to have any problems. The kid deftly caught the quarter, dropped it in the machine, and punched the numbers. Roy's rendition of "Love Hurts" began to play.

I looked back towards Roy, and his grin was unmistakable. He gave the kid a look, nodded at me, and began to sing in his decayed tenor. It was surreal. "Love hurts, love scars, Love wounds, and mars any heart not tough or stong enough..."

And before I knew what was happening, the guitar flashed, smashing into the skull of the kid's grandmother. "To take a lot of pain, take a lot of pain, Love is like a cloud, holds a lot of rain..." Her dentures flew to the floor, and I couldn't look elsewhere. The slightly yellowed teeth setting in a growing puddle of red rain... the thunder of dull thuds heard in the distance.

I'm not sure how long I sat there, but when I looked up, only Roy, the kid, and I were the only ones left. That I could see, anyway. The kitchen help may have been alright, but of all the patrons, there were but the two of us. Booths filled with bodies slumped over and bleeding. The giggling little girls were now silent, save one who was now a gurgling little girl. There were splatters of gray matter and blood across the front windows, and bright artistic splashes of red on the walls... a horrible Rorschach test.

"Oooooo, love hurts," Roy sang as he walked to the door. The kid resumed stumbling his circles, and fell skidding through a blood puddle when he stepped on his grandmother's teeth. As he got to the door, Roy turned and gave me a thumbs up. Then he turned and walked away...

What the hell was that all about?

Posted by That 1 Guy at April 26, 2007 10:42 PM | TrackBack

First of all, thanks for the call-NOT! I would have met you there. Second, I have 2 nieces that work at Jay's, so I am definitely going to get a behavior report on you.

Posted by: Raging Mom at April 27, 2007 04:58 AM

As usual, I was a perfect saint. I stopped by around three... I figured that you were still working for Mr. Slate.

My bad.

Posted by: That 1 Guy at April 27, 2007 05:16 AM

Uhhh... Who shows up at Hooters when you have lunch there??

I need to know what to have on hand...

Posted by: Richmond at April 27, 2007 07:00 AM

What happened? Someone slip you some acid in that double cheeseburger?

Posted by: oddybobo at April 27, 2007 07:21 AM

Oddy, I'm thinkin' they serve mushroom appetizers at that joint... I'm just sayin', Shit T1G, he knocked her falsies out? That's just wrong... kinda like hittin' a guy with glasses, only if that were the case, the waterhead would've slipped on the glasses in the end instead of the choppers.

Posted by: RedNeck at April 27, 2007 04:53 PM

So... Rock & Roll Heaven is in Illinois?

I thought it was in Oregon:


Posted by: Harvey at May 1, 2007 07:46 AM

Ah... but this was in Oregon... Illinois. Heheheh...

Posted by: That 1 Guy at May 1, 2007 08:27 AM