I visited America for the first time recently. I didnâ€™t go to one of he usual holiday haunts such as Florida or New York City but to the northern part of New York State. This used to be Red Indian Country and many of the names of the towns and villages have Indian names; Ithaca, Wanuka, Fukoffpaleface, names like that.
Thanks to my being exposed to American films and TV ever since I was a child nothing came as a surprise to me while I was over there. It was exactly as I had expected it would be. The clothes were loud, the trucks were big, the cars were big, the highways were wide, the people were wide.
I came into contact with many wide people at breakfast every morning at the local diner. I can honestly say without exaggeration that I was always at least ten stones lighter than anyone else breakfasting there.
You could eat as much as you liked for five dollars as long as you didnâ€™t choose anything healthy. One dish was rashers of bacon smothered in honey served on a pile of pancake. You could have it just as it was or with a side order of extra cholesterol.
The waitress I had was brilliant and typical of all the waitresses who served me while I was over there, unlike the harpies who masquerade as waitress in this country. Cheerful, pleasant, efficient, she couldnâ€™t have done more for me. Well she could have let me play with her tits I suppose but she did quite enough to earn the obligatory ten per cent tip you have to pay over there without resorting to that.
The first time I went to the diner I demonstrated my knowledge of U.S. English by ordering eggs sunny side up. The following day, to test the waitress, who I had been assured by an American friend would remember how I liked my eggs, I just ordered eggs.
The waitress said with a flashing smile that showed about fifty brilliant white teeth, â€œThat would be sunny side up sir?â€
I smiled showing the ten grey teeth I have left and said, â€œI think Iâ€™ll have them over easy today thank you.â€
On the third day I ordered eggs again. She gave me the all-American tooth show again. â€œSunny side up or over easy?â€
I said. â€œI think Iâ€™ll have them over hard today.â€
This threw her completely. Apparently they donâ€™t do eggs over hard in America. Just sunny side up and over easy. I could have explained to her that all the griddle chef had to do was cook my eggs over easy and do them a bit longer but I didnâ€™t want to risk provoking an international incident so I settled for my eggs sunny side up again.
The name of the diner, one of a countrywide chain, was Friendlyâ€™s. I believe thereâ€™s another chain called Unfriendlyâ€™s which is exactly the same as Friendlyâ€™s except that when you give them your order they tell you to fuck off, but I didnâ€™t come across one.
Ignore this if you have already read it. My books Dear Air 2000 and Football Crazy are now in print. They are priced at Â£8.99 each and are available from Amazon, but readers of my blog can buy them direct from me for Â£7.50 including p & p. Just send me a cheque and I will send the book/books by return.
You can write to me at â€“
Terry Ravenscroft, 19 Ventura Court, Ollersett Avenue, New Mills, High Peak, SK22 4LL