But, in between the hospital trips and running back and forth across town between our motel and Mom's house, there were some moments when you look around you and life goes on.
We stayed at a Comfort Inn on the east side of Springfield, and of course, like any motel worth its salt in these times, they had a free breakfast. Hey, they also had a free happy hour, although we only attended one. When you're in the Ozarks, you get country food, so every morning, the Comfort Inn's "free" breakfast consisted of the following: Sausage patties, egg "patties" (I have no idea what the fuck they were made out of, I guess eggs because they were kind of yellow), biscuits ... and country gravy. Country gravy is white. I guess it's made out of flour and flour lumps, and the guests ate it up. But after looking at people smothering their biscuits (made out of flour I would guess), with more liquid flour, I just stayed with the coffee. At happy hour, we were allowed one plastic cup of box wine and something that looked like chicken lumps covered with some yellow puss-like shit. I'm glad we only attended one of these.
Well, breakfast is only one meal in the day, and having tired of take out food and eating at restaurants, we took a trip to the grocery store for ... that staple of road trips ... sandwich stuff. We found a very nice grocery store right next to the motel. And here it is:
Actually, Their Prices Were Pretty Inflated
Besides olive loaf, salami, bread and cheese; Jan wanted an entire jug of sweetened iced tea. When we got to the checkout lane, the young man helping us couldn't read the scan sticker on the container. He kept running it across the scanner and ...
Me: Here we go.
Check Out Guy: Sorry, do you know how much this was?
Check Out Guy: Okay ... how about a dollar fifty?
Me: Make it a dollar twenty five and you have a deal.
Check Out Guy: Sold.
I only bring this small exchange up because if this had happened at any grocery store in this area, everything would have come to a screeching halt while some asshat ran to the back of the store to search for the item and then run back to report the price. Hey, I've got to love Price Cutters for cutting through the shit.
Like any other city, Springfield has a number of independent gas stations with mini-marts attached. My favorite is Rapid Robert's, because they have Pabst Blue Ribbon and you can be a member of Rapid Robert's "Go Club" if you want to, but I declined. If we ever move there, I suppose I'll sign up. But the most prevalent independent gas/mini goes by the strange moniker of:
No, This Isn't a Discount House of Prostitution
I made sly references about the name to a few people, but I guess everyone is so used to it, that they didn't give it a second thought. We drove past the Kum & Go World Headquarters, but I didn't bother to take a picture.
While I'm at it, I should include a picture of our motel. It was "okay" and the people were nice:
There Was Some Guy Sitting On A Milk Crate Out Front, But He Moved Before I Could Take His Picture
One morning, we stopped at the front desk to ask the reception person to mail a letter for us. There was an old guy in front of us (shit, I can tell anymore if some one's older than I am unless they're in a wheelchair), dressed in a cabana shirt, dress slacks and flip-flops. He looked like an asshole, but presentable enough where I figured he might be the CEO of Kum & Go. Anyway, he asked the receptionist if he could "borrow" a razor. Before I could stop myself, I said ... out loud ... "Don't forget that I have the razor reserved for 10 a.m."
If looks could kill.
All good things come to an end, and we left Springfield at the end of the week. We decided we wanted to take our time getting back to Chicago, so I'll cover that next.
Next: NOT "The Road (Part 3).