Of Folly And Of Vice

April 6, 2009, 3:23 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


That’s what started it, anyway.

It was May, south of the Mason-Dixon, and miserable. We were leaving an outdoor concert of Blink-182, Green Day and Jimmy Eat World, and we were all sweaty and dehydrated. We craved delightful fountain drinks and air-conditioned vinyl seating.

I had shouted into the back of the Steak n’ Shake with an easy-on-and-off of the major highway for several minutes that someone should take our orders. We wanted pay them for food. They said their computer was broken and they couldn’t serve any food. We could not wrap our heads around how this was possible, forget about the fact that they were acting very open-for-business – the lights were all on, neon illuminated and buzzing, doors unlocked. 

Pea finally got worked up and shouted, “This…Fuck! Inefficient!” He then went behind the counter of the road-side Steak n’ Shake and started filling everyone to-go cups. Even the other group of kids waiting to not be served by the obviously high employees.

All of us crammed back into Lou’s car and drove across the street to the Denny’s. The Denny’s wait was over an hour, thanks to all the kids coming from the concert like us. Pea and I were still surprisingly furious for being completely sober. Something had to be done. Who keeps a restaurant open at night when they have absolutely no interest in serving food? You know there’s always going to be drunk kids and people who work overnights who want to eat chili at 2am! You know this because you work there!

“It’s like the most…fucking…ridiculous…thing on Earth!” Pea shouted, nearly shaking.

“Let’s go back,” I suggested.

So we did. We took Lou’s Bonneville back across the street again to the Steak n’ Shake.

An entirely new group of kids were waiting to not be served inside.

“They ain’t serving nothing,” one of them said when we walked in. I thought, then why are you here? And then I realized I was back in the same place we had left minutes ago. Where I knew they were high and not serving food. But before I could explain any of that to the kids, Pea spoke up.

“Oh, we’re not here for the food,” he reported confidently. He walked into the restaurant and started looking around. His gaze fixed on the ceiling hangers.

He was short, yes, but he was determined to get those ceiling hangers to his level and started yanking them from their attachments in the tiles of the dropped ceiling.

I looked down and saw my prize. I should have helped Pea work on the ceiling hangers, but I couldn’t resist the call of the entry way mat.

Out loud, I said, “Oh, this is mine.”

I bent over and rolled up the mat and took it outside to the waiting Bonneville. I tossed it into the trunk and moved the Bonneville next to the front doors. You know, like a getaway car. I looked into the restaurant as I parked and saw Pea in the kitchen. Grabbing plates. Pea was brazenly taking plates from a Steak n’ Shake.

I went back inside and Pea shouted to start taking the stuff into the car. I started loading the ceiling hangers into the trunk and then helped him carry the plates. We went back for two condiment carriers and carefully placed those with the plates and the mat and the ceiling hangers. To see it, you’d think we were supposed to be taking this stuff. The employees never came outside. The kids who were basically loitering inside didn’t even say anything. There was nothing.

I started the car on our final trip out, Pea holding the “Please wait to be seated/Seat Yourself” sign in his hand. Try as we might, it did not fit lengthwise into the trunk.

“Oh, fuck it,” Pea said, hopping into the passenger’s seat, and left the sign outside of the resturant on the curb.

I started screaming as we pulled away, waiting at the end of the parking lot to make the left turn.

“Oh. My. God!” I screamed, adrenaline pumping.

“Ahhhh! Oh my God! Oh my God!” Pea echoed.

Arriving back at the Denny’s, our friends were waiting for us.

“You guys!” Pea screamed.

We took everyone else out to the car to see the blessed bounty of completely stolen property. I expected that the police would be arriving any moment. There was just no possible way for us to get away with this. There was just no way.

Somehow, we did. We chatted and ate at the Denny’s, Pea and I looking nervously out of the windows for any sign of law enforcement. There wouldn’t be any.

We drove the rest of the 75 miles home to our apartments and divvied up the goods. Everyone got a round plate and an oblong plate, as well as a ceiling hanger. I loaned the Boys House the mat, because it didn’t fit in the kitchen at my place.

I have continuously eaten at Steak n’ Shakes through out the past seven years since this incident, without incident. We never went back to that one, but who needed to? We took all their stuff, remember?


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Is the mat at your house now? Just curious…

Comment by bitchcake

You are the me I want to be. Snif.

Comment by TheQueen

It’s actually at my parent’s house. My dad really wanted it and kept it in the garage in his workshop area. I asked to take it to the condo and my dad said no.

Comment by Sis

Ha, I love it. As always, kudos on your chronicling. Those were good times.

Comment by Grego

[…] wrote a more fleshed out version of the Steak n’ Steak story for Of Folly And Vice. I’ve tried not to repeat stories between the blogs, because I know […]

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