Having been some what miffed earlier in the day by the shockingly poor judgement of 12 of my countrymen.. I decided that I'd take a nap. That left me waking up rather late in the evening, and since I didn't feel like cooking I decided to go out to eat. Problem is, in this part of the world.. when one wants to eat after about 9pm, there is only one place to go. Waffle House.
I'm not proud of my choice of dining establishment. They generally serve overly greasy food that is best consumed after you have had one two many. At least that seems to be the popular conception. This one happens to be near a major truck stop as well, so you get a lot of drunk truck drivers coming in after sitting in their sleepers polishing off a 6-pack. Sometimes this results in fights in the parking lot.. and police involvement.. it can be highly entertaining. Most of the time though it just results in a lot of really odd conversation.
I've never had the kind of Bill Hicks experience when at a Waffle House.. but I've had plenty of run-ins with drunks. Tonight was one of those nights. As I'm, sitting there it begins to rain. Well I've finished my food and really am desperate to get out of the restaurant before any of the drunks start talking to me. But it's coming down pretty hard. The waitress comes over, and asks if there is anything she can get me.. I said no, only if you can stop the rain. She followed up with a questioning look and said something like "I'll think really hard on it".
What followed was one drunk shouting "Yeah just need to get the right vibes goin!" another shouted out "Like String Theory!" This lead to a screeching halt.. I swear some one dropped a plate and a record skipped. "Whats that?" the first drunk said.. "I don't know, I just heard it on TV" said the second.. then they both turned to me.. I have no idea why, perhaps, tying back in with the bill hicks reference, because I was reading a book.. and asked me did I know what string theory was.
Well my grasp of quantum physics and deep math is how shall I say.. scanty at best.. but I dug down into the darkest reaches of my brain trying to remember everything I'd ever heard in any Micho Kaku documentaries I'd seen.. I proceeded to ramble on about quantum entanglements and wormholes and quarks and neutrinos and all sorts of groovy stuff. I did it in a good Arlo Guthrie voice too. Eventually, whether they had heard enough or simply felt they now understood what string theory was.. they both sort of wandered outside to smoke a cigarette.
Thing is, I have no idea what I was talking about.. but they have no idea I had no idea what I was talking about. It's mutually assured ignorance when it comes to this sort of thing.
All I can take away from it is.. thank goodness I'm not drunk at the waffle house, asking stupid questions to complete strangers. I'm also forever indebted to those two drunks for giving me something to write about that I at least, find highly amusing.
Brian Aldiss, August 18, 1925 — August 19, 2017
5 hours ago