I’ve always loved diners. You know, those greasy-spoon joints with swivel stools along an arborite counter, vinyl padded banquettes and a tough-talkin’ waitress named Millie who looks like she could be the local tobacco-spitting champ?
Don’t know why I love sitting in those booths, drinking steaming java out of a heavy mug and pulling the toothpicks out of my club sandwich, but I do.
This trip, I was lucky enough to get to a classic diner for breakfast (which was available 24 hours a day. So you could order eggs over-easy at 11 a.m. or p.m. How cool is that?).
Each booth had one of those small, wall-mounted jukeboxes with pages of song titles you turned before dropping in your coins and selecting your song number.
They offered a very eclectic choice of tunes at this diner — everything from Patsy Cline to Patti Smith. My friends and I settled on Springsteen but ended up with Beyoncé, somehow.
And you probably know what’s coming next … (gee whiz, I’m getting predictable).
I decided to leave some coins on the flat area beside the coin slot so the next diner could enjoy some music to accompany their “two chicks on a raft” or “Zeppelins in a fog” (see below) … unless, of course, Millie got there first!
Here’s a sampling of old-fashioned diner slang from the 1920s (I could really go for some Nervous Pudding right now….):
• Adam and Eve on a raft – Two poached eggs on toast
• Blonde with Sand – Coffee with cream and sugar
• Burn one – Put a hamburger on the grill
• Burn one, take it through the garden and pin a rose on it – Hamburger
with lettuce, tomato and onion
• Eve with a lid on – Apple pie
• Eve with a mouldy lid – Apple pie with a slice of cheese
• Frog sticks – French fries
• Go for a walk – An order to go, a takeaway
• Hockey puck – A hamburger, well done
• Houseboat – A banana split
• Ice the rice – Rice pudding with ice cream
• Keep off the grass – No lettuce
• Life preservers – Doughnuts
• Nervous pudding – Jello
• Paint it red – Put ketchup on an item
• Put out the lights and cry – Liver and onions
• Shingle with a shimmy and a shake – Buttered toast with jam
• Two cows, make ’em cry – Two hamburgers with onions
• Wax – American cheese
• Wreck ’em – Scramble the eggs
• Zeppelins in a fog – Sausages and mash
P.S. Song for the day, “Zero Gravity” (written by David Archuleta and Toronto’s Mike Krompass). Enjoy!