In the days prior to the Memorial Day three-day weekend, I repeatedly answered queries regarding my plans simply – “couch,” “eat something,” “sleep,” “scratch an itch”. I desired little more.
Whether it was my recent post mentioning chicken or the fact that I’d freebase fried chicken if I could, I decided to treat Paloma to one of my patented food-related road trips – a journey that would take us forty-five miles into the hinterlands, through Pasquo, Tidwell, and Brushy Creek to the Beacon Light and their much-celebrated fried chicken (at least according to blurbs found on the internet).
Of course, the price for Paloma’s participation was a quick shopping side-trip to a mall on the way. Now, I haven’t frequented malls since I was skipping school in tenth grade, but I harbor no conceit against them. They are, quite simply, the American version of street markets in other parts of the world (albeit more superficial).
While waiting, I noticed numerous pairs of people, clearly there together, and both of them speaking on cell phones.
Why? If the people on the other end of the call were so important, why weren’t these people there with them rather than each other? Two men stood there, chattering into their phones outside of Pottery Barn Kids. Maybe they were calling their wives.
“Yeah, honey, it’s me. I’m at the mall. Yeah, with Bob. Anyhow, we’re headed to get a big pretzel and we’re outside Pottery Barn Kids and I thought I’d call and see if you wanted me to pick up any pottery for the kids.”
I digress. We eventually arrived at The Beacon Light, a small roadside establishment crowded with numerous folksy items for sale – small, stone bird baths, wood carvings, and homemade fudge. The fried chicken was divine.
The following morning, while at the grocery store, I noticed onion ring batter and thought to myself that fried chicken coated in onion ring might be a feast indeed. I’m not sure if such a thing exists or the responsibility for bringing this culinary delight to life rests with me.
Deep down, I suspect that I long to be a fried chicken mogul like Col. Sanders, Mrs. Winner, or Popeye. Perhaps the hungry masses will know me as Pappy and come far and wide on the simple recommendation of a stranger on the internet.
I, obviously, would.