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9/23/10 Mi Camino Real to Mount Orab

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7:30 a.m. Thursday morning. September 23, 2010. 6 hours and 54 minutes til autumn. Lake Waynoka, Ohio.

Bob jumped a good 6-inches off his bed, pulling the kitty-cat with him by the claws that were half-buried in the beefy heel of his left hand. “Damn, I dreamt I was falling on the porch again, dear,” he addressed his wife Joyce rubbing her eyes to the familiar, yet jarring, sounds of the morning pounding on all the doors of their domicile which was located on the placid shore of a tiny lake, part of a small gated community where minimum wage rent-a-cops protected their neighbors and the De Tores against “them.” “Them” being any of a number of hordes, which the people of Waynoka Lake assured their guardsmen/women, would rape, plunder and pillage down to the last rowboat at the last slip of their fine marina, given the slightest provocation or hint of a diminution of vigilance on the part of the guard force.

Bob gently rubbed his left shoulder with a right hand that was bleeding freely from the cat’s claws. Well, actually it was his left rotator cuff, scene of a recent game of “Operation,” he had played a few weeks ago against a team of medicos from the area. A game which had left him exhausted, and which had left his left arm in a sling. He smiled when he realized today was NOT a day for him to run punishment laps on the PT track, the penalty of losing his ass and half a year’s paycheck; he still thought he’d been had. But what can you expect from “those people?”

“Goddamned cats,” he muttered.

“What’d you say?” Joyce.

“Gonna be a nice for the the Lunchbunch, dear!” he quickly corrected himself. “I’ve gotta make sure that Wee Willie and flee and CB have got their act together since it’s my day.

“Think I’ll skip breakfast to give myself more room for Mexican. We’re going to Mi Camino Real in Mount Orab, you know, that one you like.

Grabbing a paper towel as he hopped through the kitchen he blotted the worst of the blood and headed for his trust Mac.

Email here he comes.

TO: Willie and Connie; CC: fle

FROM: Bob

“Willie, drive your convertible today. Willie, allow yourself an extra half hour for driving this morning; the apple orchard is something like a mile over 68 and there’s a lot of one lane traffic. Make sure you leave early enough.

“Willie, your shopping list is a dozen fuji apples for fle, a gallon of chide for CB and flee, and two gallons of cider for Joyce and me, and whatever you want for yours.

“All of you, bring enough ice with you. The cider is excellent, but it won’t last long if it’s not kept cool. And enough cooler space, too.”

As Bob showered, he remembered he’d forgotten to remind his Lunchbunch friends to wear weather-appropriate clothing (shorts and light color shirts) and check their vehicles’ fuel levels. Running out of gas would be awful and fle would have a shit-fit if we’re not there by eleven.

He stopped to bid a fond adieu to his wife before he left for his rendezvous. Joyce had returned from a 10 day trip to Disney World just two days before and an hour later, it became obvious he had not given himself nearly enough time for that not so quick goodbye, dear, smackeroo. But that’s a story for another day. Stay tuned, voyeurs!

Still, his wasn’t the last car of the bunch to pull up the Mi Camino Real’s parking lot: Fle and CB had pulled in just ahead of him, but Willie’s car was nowhere to be seen.

CB went inside to reserve the regular Lunchbunch table. While fle and Willie mostly chose first-time eateries, Bob just as proudly prodded them to his few favorites time after time. This would be the fourth time for Mi Camino Real, but he knew CB would love it and that fle and Willie would tolerate it without a whole lot of bitchin’.

Plus this would probably be the last time for this restaurant which had lost the bulk of its customers when construction jobs in the area evaporated taking away scores of Hispanic workers.

“Why ain’t you out here already? What’re you waitin’ for,” he called to fle still sitting in Tranq’s shotgun seat, waiting – it seemed like he was always waiting for something or the other – for, for what? A celestial sign? Of course, today is the first day of autumn. “You waiting’ for 2:46 so you can usher fall in, flee? That it? Like royalty or something?”  If not, start gettin’ your ass outa that van. We got us some eatin’ to do. Looks like your other half is getting’ a head start!”

The rest, as they say, is history. We all pigged out on Mexican. Steak fajitas for Bob and CB. A combination plate of burrito and taco for Willie. Chiles verde (pork with green chile sauce) for fle. Main courses were good. The cheese and chorizo dip sucked. The jalapenos, both canned and roasted, were delicious. The flan was average for flan. I give the food a 7.2. the ambience started off with a 3 but warmed up by library’s end to another 8.6.

CB and flee got lost in Cincinnati without our GPS – construction shutdowns – but still made it to the church on time.

Wee Willie made her appointed rounds, hauled in the goods and once again showed Bob the deal he’s gonna get when he buys her convertible.

Willie also got us a get well card to send to Jude (Bloomer) who’s getting a hip replacement today. Another gimp added to the group.

Pregnancy was the main topic of discussion. Wanted and unwanted. Too many; too few. Predictions and perils were placed carefully under the microscopic lens of the sometimes querulous quartet. Didn’t seem like a whole lot was resolved, but, for sure, man, much was dissolved in our collective consciousness where it will percolate till next we shall meet on the morrow morrow maybe morrow.  Oh! Oh! We also learned that Willie’s convertible’s tires are filled with nitrogen – and she said she wasn’t a yuppie!!  Tsh! Tsh! Sorry Willie can’t make Thursday or Friday next week. Fle doesn’t have a ride on Wednesday. CB and Bob planned a fle and Bob luncheon on Thursday in Cincinnati. Mexican? Reprise? el?  Yesterday, Bob paid, Willie tipped, Bob chose.

Afterwords at the Mount Orab Library. Bob went 3-0. I was 0-3. CB was 2-1. Willie 1-2. Bob continued to maintain his position chief coffeehouser, pseudo scrabble (copyright til you die) godfather, and kvetcher, despite two particularly lunging come-from-behind efforts by yours truly. I remember I looked at the time on my iPOD after the first game. 2:14, 10 minutes til autumn! Imagine that!

Willie had to leave by 4:00 to rendezvou with her MS support group. The rest of us were rendezvou-less.

We briefly brought up Eddie Fisher’s name (I wondered who sang “Oh My Pa Pa”) at the library, as it turns out, on the day of Eddie Fisher’s death (at 82).

Willie and I got a couple of what appear to be excellent used books from the library.

CB and I stopped at Smokin BBQ just outside Mt. Orab on the way home. 1/2 slab ribs. 1/2 chicken. cornbread, Ebeans, potato salad. Ribs were okay. Chicken sucked. cornbread was sweet. beans okay. CB punched up potato salad with fake mayo and made it good. I keep thinking the place is gonna be good and I keep being disappointed. And they’re way too expensive not to like. So, next time, any OTHER place.

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Written by frankieleeee

September 24, 2010 at 9:06 am