There’s not a lot that I remember about my time in college.
Not because I was in a drunken stupor the entire time, but more because I just have a horrible memory.
But there was one night in particular that has stuck in my memory for a very odd reason.
I don’t remember what exact themed party had just wrapped up at the Fraternity house, but it definitely was after midnight when several of us made our way to the nearby Waffle House.
I remember sitting next to a girl that I had been talking/flirting with all night and was enjoying the direction the night seemed to be heading.
The waitress came over and began taking everyone’s orders. I knew what I was getting which is what I always get at Waffle House.
For those of you not familiar with the Waffle House hash brown code, I’ll break it down for you.
Scattered: Scattered on the grill (instead of in a perfect circle)
Covered: Melted cheese
Smothered: Sautéed onions
Chunked: Grilled Hickory Smoked Ham
I don’t remember what everyone else ordered, but I DO remember how the girl sitting next to ordered her hash browns.
Girl: Hash browns, scattered, covered, diced and topped.
Me: (thinking) What did she just say?
I knew that “Diced” meant adding tomatoes, but I had never heard of “Topped.” Since I still had hopes of continuing my evening with this girl I didn’t say anything. But a quick glance down at the menu told me it was topped with “Bert’s Chili.”
Now I don’t personally know Bert or anything, he may have some really kick-ass chili. But I can’t imagine that Bert himself would be brave enough to try his own creation after it sat in a Waffle House all day.
Seriously, think about that.
I love me some Waffle House, but I know what to expect going in, a kinda-clean, truck stop environment that prolly makes most of their money between the hours of 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.
Have you EVER heard anyone say, “You know what? I feel like chili. Let’s go to Waffle House?”
How about, “That Bert’s Chili over at Waffle House is so good. I wonder if I can find the recipe on Pinterest.”
Yeah, me either. That’s because people go there for waffles and hash browns.
I was able to push her hash brown selection out of my mind for a little while as everyone continued talking. That all ended once the food arrived.
I tried to act normal after they sat down our plates. I did my usual routine with my eggs and hash browns, but all the time I kept looking over at her Bert’s Chili plate.
As she shoveled the first bite in I remember thinking…
Me: Well, I’m done here.
Not with the food, because I ate the hell out of my plate, but with her.
I wasn’t rude about it or anything and sat there trying to have a good time with everyone. But as we sat there talking, I kept watching her eat bite after bite of that chili and it took everything I had to not do this at the table.
All I could think about was how that she was going to have a belly full of Bert for the rest of the night. While that might have set well with her, it did NOT sit well with me. I figured that no matter what else might have happened that night that eventually it was NOT going to end well for one of us.
I don’t exactly remember how I got out of the situation, but I do know that she didn’t come home with me and I didn’t stop by her place for a nightcap.
I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t even remember her name, but then again why would I want to remember someone who ordered their Waffle House hash browns with chili?
I know, I know, I’m a horrible person. But I just think I dodged a major bullet that night, prolly a lot of them.