WILSON: Return to the diner

Published 8:00 am Saturday, August 29, 2020

The detainment orders had been lifted (albeit, without B1G football). The world was slowly recuperating from being turned completely upside-down, and the Circular Congregation Breakfast Club had resumed its morning gatherings featuring coffee, breakfast and argumentation — followed by another round of coffee and continued argumentation.

All manner of rules had been set into place in order for folks to be allowed to come back out into the sunshine — but it wasn’t clear which were rules founded in science, which were merely guidelines based on media accepted best practices, and which were the results of delusional paranoid hysteria. Regardless of the reasoning (or lack thereof), Sarah’s Diner was open for business, and the group was, once again, gathered around the big, round, oak table in the middle of all the action. It was a beautiful sight to behold!

“I took up golf,” answered Harrison Winkle, when asked what he had been doing during the era of house-arrest.

“You hate golf,” scoffed Jimmy — thrilled that he could, once again, challenge one of Harry’s comments (it had been a long time, and the feeling was so satisfying). “With your back, you’d turn into a pretzel just teeing up.”

“Miniature golf?” joked Firewalker, equally happy with the opportunity to bring his conversational skills out of hibernation. “I’ll bet you couldn’t get it through the windmill.”

“Remember back in April, golf courses were among the very few places allowed to open up?” Harry began to explain as he took a sip of his freshly brewed coffee. “I had a choice — get fatter by sitting on the couch, eating microwave burritos, and watching 1970s reruns on TV or I could drag my sticks out of the basement, blow 15 years of dust off of them and take a nine-hole stroll in the park. I still can’t hit out of a sand trap, but I sure can hit into them — so I got that going for me.”

“I met a girl, online,” Big John Hudson happily recounted his time during the mass incarceration.

“So, no changes to your lifestyle, whatsoever,” countered Arnold Tobin (the perpetual candidate without a cause). It felt good to brush the cobwebs off his debate style, even though it was an easy jab (since Big John was always on dating sites — with or without a pandemic). “I considered running for office again, but I had a couple of tiny heart attacks and a very small mini-stroke…so I…”

“Wait!” interrupted Tommy Jones, the senior member of the Congregation. “You had two heart attacks and a stroke?!”

“Not really. I’m using you guys as a focus group,” explained Arnold as the rest of the group recovered from his news bombshell. “I’m trying out explanations about why I have been hiding in my basement and not out debating my opponent on the campaign trail. What do you think?”

“Giant load of bull droppings,” Jimmy continued with his usual contrary style of discussion. “But, since it’s politics, it just might work.”

Everyone shrugged, mumbled, and nodded in agreement.

“I’ve been chasing away all of the murder hornets,” he added. “Since I couldn’t do anything about the Doo-Doo-19 Sick-a-Thon, I decided to take on the murder hornet plague.”

“I haven’t seen a single murder hornet,” Harry returned Jimmy’s scoff from earlier (and got the same satisfying feeling).

“Exactly!” exclaimed Jimmy, with a gratified grin. “It has been a lot of work, but I think I got just about all of ‘em. You’re welcome.”

“Giant load of bull droppings,” the group responded in rare agreement.

Tommy decided to throw his two cents worth into the conversation.

“When things were first going to hell in a handbasket, I decided to visit a buddy down in Florida. Had to drive down there because flights were canceled, and had to eat and sleep in truck stops because they were the only places open — not so great. However, did you know Florida has a lot of older, single women? Good times.”

Sarah smiled, quietly laughed and patted Tommy on the shoulder as she refilled his coffee cup. It was good to have this argumentative bunch of blowhards sitting around the big, oak table in the middle of her dinner, once again.