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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Coupes and crepes

Sent from my Samsung smartphone on AT&T

     "What is a crepe, and why should I eat one?"
     Suddenly the one-liners from Talladega Nights came flooding to mind. Not wanting my father to start a scene, I told him, "It is a fancier wrap for your breakfast burrito, just without the burrito."
     The crepes suggestion had started off as a bad joke, but was taking on a life of it's own.  Following breakfast, me and dear old Dad were headed to the Dallas Auto Show.  Since I tend to make fun of anyone or anything related to Dallas, and knowing that I couldn't even afford the concession prices at the auto show, never mind the vehicles on display, I was looking for some way to have a little fun with the subject matter.  For all I knew, any car show in Dallas might feature food servers dressed like Larry the Cable Guy walking around with platters of pate'.  Somehow crepes for breakfast just seemed the perfect connection to get the day started.  Dear old dad was not convinced, and stuck with his breakfast burrito order.  I thought I would have some fun with the waitress and ordered crepes for myself.  When she gazed towards the windows, looking awfully confused, that's when I realized she thought I was ordering drapes.
     "Not drapes, dear.  Crepes, you know breakfast crepes."
     "We gotta fruit salad, but no grapes."
     "I don't want grapes.  You know, crepes, those fancy thin pancakes with a filling in the middle?"
     "Fancy pancakes?  You some kind a Jean Girard fan or something? You know he ain't a real race car driver, don't ya sugar?"
     "Never mind, just bring me a breakfast burrito.  Hold the burrito and put in some fruit salad and whipped cream instead."
     An hour later, we are standing in line at that Dallas Auto Show, waiting for the doors to open.  Staff members were scurrying around trying to handle last minute preparations before the show started.  One guy was running around up front barking orders into his walkie talkie and pointing at people in an alarmingly threatening manner.  Clearly he was the head honcho.  I know this because he had an ID badge with his picture on it, with the caption, "Head Honcho."
     The Head Honcho spied the two of us at the edges of the well-heeled crowd, and clearly we were not part and parcel of the show-goers.  He pointed at the two of us in an alarmingly threatening manner.  Dad smiled and waved, I started looking at the floor, suddenly intensely interested in the floor wax.  Head Honcho charged at the two of us, pointing now with multiple fingers on both hands.
     "You two! Why are you standing around, get over there and grab your mops!"  Dad smiled and waved again, like he was in on some private joke with Head Honcho.  I pushed him to the side door where Head Honcho was pointing, which was propped open by one of those mobile janitor work stations with the trash can in the middle and the mop bucket on the front end.  Safely inside, I pulled the cart in behind us, and let the door slam closed before Head Honcho could make eye contact again.  With eyes adjusting to the light, I could make out a small platoon of Larry the Cable guy lookalikes scurrying around with silver trays filled with pimento cheese finger sandwiches.  A few looked our way, but we looked close enough to Larry that they believed us to be one of them.
     Dad was already headed towards the large exhibit room where the cars were on display.  Since I didn't have a ticket, a ticket stub, or a badge that said Head Honcho, I grabbed a mop in case anyone asked how I got into the exhibit hall.  To my horror, Dad found the last remaining Segway reserved for security guards, and took off into the midst of the exhibit at full speed.  Fortunately, I had exited the staff quarters right behind one of the aisles where the non-vehicular exhibits were set up.  Sandwiched in between a satellite TV vendor and a travel agent, was a group of electric wheelchairs.  I jumped on one at the end of the row and took off after the old man, the broom handle firmly jammed in the seat and the broom up in the air like the orange safety flag on a child's bike.  I turned the corner, and the broom nearly knocked a Scion off of its low hanging perch above me.  I pulled the broom handle out of the seat and laid the broom out in front of my wheelchair.  As I forged into the crowd, I imagined that I looked like I was heading into a geriatric jousting tournament.
     Even though the Segway was much faster than my wheelchair, the old man wasn't hard to track.  I simply had to follow the trail of freshly scraped paint, busted rear view mirrors, and the parade of Larry the Cable Guy lookalikes that had been knocked to the floor by the marauding Segway.  I could hear security running along behind me, and it wouldn't take long for them to catch up.
     Fortunately, it didn't take long to find dad.  He was shoe-horning himself into a roadster that was about three sizes too small for him.  When I finally talked him out of the roadster, I was ready to call it a day and head home.  And we might have made it to, had we not found the concession stand.
     "Look there, son.  They serve crepes!"
     We never stood a chance.

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