Quite a while back my parents kept having a slew of negative experiences with le International House of Pancakes. The most glaring was the one where they traveled to one of The Big Adjacent Cities and specifically had in mind to eat at the IHOP.
After being seated along with their one cup of coffee for about an hour, during which they made an acquaintance with a neighboring cowboy, they decided to up and leave. I hear said cowboy offered to pay for their coffee, probably out of pity. From the experience my Dad maligned their slogan to Come Hungry, Leave Hungry. (Formerly, ‘Leave Happy.’ They were decidedly not.)
Flash forward to yesterday. My Mom and I decide to try the IHOP here due to a sudden hankering for crepes and French toast and hash browns respectively. Miraculously, the town of my high school years has come into a bit of an upswing… an Applebee’s, a Chili’s, an IHOP, even a
Hastings with a WiFi Café.
[Kids these days have it way too easy. Thrilling for me was going to the run-down diner with the phones at the booths. PHONES! With wires!]
So we get our menus and I glance at the propped up display of specials with their slogan. I repeat my Dad’s, “Come Hungry and Leave Hungry” and in the exact same moment I hear the waitress tell a dad and his two children behind me, “I’m so, so sorry…but we’re out of eggs.”
It was early and I was hungry, so naturally, this leads to dramatics. I lean to my Mom and in strangled tones, “No eggs!”
She looked up at me as if peering through fog. “No…eggs? What?”
“They have no eggs! Eggs! Sweet mother of God, no eggs!”
The clincher for me is that they also had no hash browns. [!] But really they also had no ham and whole host of intrinsic food stuffs due to a truck “disappearing” during the holiday weekend. The waitress recommended we deliberate before ordering drinks. Deliberation was one look at each other and one look toward the car, before rising in unison.
As much as I was already amused, what really killed me is when we walked out to the car. I noticed the conversation between the father and two daughters that had been sitting behind me. Specifically, the little daughter of about 4 and the dad:
“But Daaaaadddddy, I want to eeeeeat heeeeeere.” She threw a coloring book to the ground and pouted.
He looks up at the IHOP, grimaces and says, “Honey…um… they don’t have any food here.”