Originally Posted: July 2015
Once is Happenstance, a silly coincidence ….. Twice is Bona Fide Fact.
Today we ruminate on two aspects of daily life not beaten to death by Internet philosophers….. (1) Breakfast, and (2) You Look Like _______. Tying these two subjects together is where my true genius will emerge.
Our story begins 12-14 years ago soon after the Dawn of The New Millennium. Blockbuster Video stores were EVERYWHERE. 5-6 techno-eras ago people went into these stores to rent “videos” which were black plastic things about 4” x 8” that we stuck into VCR players and watched old and not-so-old movies; and bought movie snacks like Raisinettes and Goobers and micro-wave popcorn.
People who forgot to Rewind were sent to Gulags where all the prison matrons looked like Nancy Pelosi. At our house we NEVER forgot to Rewind…. brrrrrrrr.
Kid and I went to Blockbuster one evening. Forgot the movie we rented…. some dopey Kid Flick for Kid. Kid was 12-13. As we were checking out the teen-age clerkette asked THE QUESTION that immediately became part of our family lore…..
“Does everyone tell you you look like Sean Connery?”
Kid and I both did what you, or anyone, would do. We looked around to see who da heck she was talking to. OMG, it was MOI. I looked down at my daughter and the look of eternal despair on her face – she knew her and my / our lives were forever changed. Life would be forever measured by “that day the Blockbuster Video clerk told Dad he looked like Sean Connery”.
A bit like “when Marvin Austin hit SEND” except an entire institutional image was not imploded.
I replied “Well, not everyone.” as Kid put her fingers down her throat in a gagging gesture. We scurried home to tell Mom as Kid contemplated her options including “running away to join the circus”.
Before skipping ahead 12 years, lets be clear. That incredibly insightful clerk was NOT referring to “Bond, James Bond” at all but rather the Sean Connery of the salt/pepper beard of the past several decades….. but still Sean FREAKIN’ Connery.
So now its 2015…… Kid lives in St Louis. Blockbuster Videos has joined Circuit City and Borders among other dinosaurs who have sunk into the Unforgiving Tar Pit of Retail Evolution. I’m having Breakfast at my neighborhood Brig’s. Note the sly way I have segued into Phase Two here. “Genius” I’m telling you.
NOTE: THAT Blockbuster Video where IT happened is now a Bridal Consignment Store. The fate of that incredibly insightful young clerk-ette is, alas, unknown.
The Royal & Ancient Golf Society has a “rota” of golf courses it uses to host “The (British) Open”. Like The R&A I have a “rota” of places I visit for breakfast. In no particular order, my rota is….. Brig’s…. Denny’s….. Honey’s Diner….. Golden Corral.… and Subway. Panera’s and First Watch are alternatives, not formally in the rota.
WAFFLE House is NOT in my Breakfast Rota because there is not one within “makes sense” driving distance. Neither is there a Bob Evans.
Subway may surprise you. They have a wonderful breakfast flatbread sandwich – Steak/Cheese/Egg – that I customize depending upon my mood. The little Subway lady probably thinks I look like Sean Connery too. My inability to master Farsi prevents me from doing anything but smile and point to the shredded mozzarella.
So, I’m at Brigs’ which is a local “chain” with 4-5 locations across the Triangle. The first Brig’s (the one I go to) opened the same year we moved to the neighborhood so it is, of course, “our Brigs’”.
Brigs is a full menu restaurant but Breakfast is its specialty….. all manner of wonderful omelettes, scrambles, benedicts, et al ad infinitum. And a broccoli salad to die for.
The only problem with Brigs is, to quote Yogi, “the reason no one goes there is it’s too crowded”. One needs to study the customer tide tables to avoid being handed one of those “buzz & blink” thingies until your name is called. I go to Brigs 4-5X/ month.
Both hostesses / MODs recognize me on-site. If my name was “NORM” they would holler it as I arrive. Most of the waitstaff recognize me….. and therein lies today’s OMG!
I believe it was a guy waiter who ignited “it”, but the entire staff got swept up in the ensuing melee. Come on….. you do know whats coming, don’t you? 3…. 2….. 1:
“Excuse me….. has anyone ever told you you look like Sean Connery.”
It was around 8:45-8:50 AM EST….. making it 7:45 AM in St Louis. Kid would later swear an eerie cold chill enveloped her apartment. Blondie noted that there was a power surge in our house. Time Stood Still….. I gazed about the dining room and everything was “frozen” in time. 1,000s of clever comebacks raced thru my mind. The best I could come up with was:
“Did you ever work at Blockbuster?”
“No sir. You do look like Sean Connery. We all think so” ….. indicating other waiters who nodded in agreement. ….. “Whenever you come in we note “Mr Connery is in the house.”
By now a crowd had gathered around my table. Other diners were perplexed….. Perhaps fearing one of those gawd-awful “waiters sing Happy Birthday” things.
I gave them an abbreviated version of “the Blockbuster incident” and instructed the hostess to double everyone salary including her own. Applause….. Applause.
Other diners sensing some sort of flash mob thing, clapped and laughed, but were noticeably frightened.
The whole thing lasted maybe 30 seconds and it was three months ago…. but seems like yesterday. Now it’s become a part of Brigs’ lore. “Good Morning, Mr Connery.” A month ago I guessed wrong and hit Brigs when it was packed.
I was given a “buzz & blinky thingy”. Ten minutes later over the intercom “Mr Connery your table is ready…. Mr Sean Connery”. The hostess had this sly grin as she escorted Mr Connery to “my table by the window”. You coulda heard a pin drop in Brigs that morning. Imagine the stories those customers told when they got home. Life Is Good!
No, I do NOT ask for my coffee “shaken, not stirred”. I told you this is the older Sean Connery not Bond….. but still Sean Freakin’ Connery. Think the movie – Entrapment – where Catherine Zeta-Jones and I were cat burglars in Singapore.….
BobLee, you DO know that you do NOT “look like Sean Connery” don’t you? Whatchumean Willis? I suppose there’s no such thing as The Carolina Way either. Huh? That hasn’t kept tens of thousands of folks from feeling they were somehow very special for many many years. Leave me to my illusions.
“Going out for breakfast” are special solitary times for me. I am NOT part of some group of 4-5 codgers who meet each morning in the same booth to compare “irregularity” or arthritis quakery or “the good ol’ days”. If I ever start THAT, Blondie has my written permission to “Just Shoot Me”.
My “Just Shoot Me If I Ever ________” List has 5-6 items on it. “Wearing sandals with socks” is #4. Do you have a list like that? It’s more important than a Will. If I ever go two full weeks without a new column or a Quirky News update you’ll know Blondie carried out her assigned duties. A .22 hollow point at the base of what was once a functioning brain…. a/k/a “mob fashion”.
I breakfast alone…. but not alone. I enjoy the scene around me. Young families at Golden Corral on weekends are especially enjoyable to watch. Little kids eating pancakes….. VERY cool! Especially AfAm families because, despite the stereotype, there actually ARE traditional black families; who act exactly like traditional white families with small kids who love pancakes. WHO KNEW? I know because I see them at Golden Corral on weekends.
Denny’s are really nice too. The national chain is updating their units and really going for the America’s Diner image. “They” know me at “my Denny’s” too but, no….
“IT” has not happened at Denny’s YET …….. but one day IT WILL.