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It’s Just the Area


By Katharine Branham - [email protected]

The restaurants that line the roadsides in the middle of nowhere are one thing, but there are freaky little places that exist. While traveling, you might notice the off-the-wall places that are serving up food and a little more. I am talking about the backwards way of cooking, eating, and sanitation skills that are in practice. You know what I mean.

I had taken a drive with my friends in the country and found a cute cozy town. We were all a little hungry and a dinner seemed to be the perfect choice. The waitress came up to take our order and was very pleasant. Across the room, a man sat talking with a waitress while pouring ketchup. He had poured it on everything, and just when he was finished, he held the bottle upright with a considerable amount that had spilled down the side -- and with his mouth opened wide, he licked it and placed the cap back on. I then expected the waitress to say something or at least wipe the bottle – but nope… nothing. She continued chatting with him as if nothing had happened. Maybe he is a regular and has his own bottle. I personally would not do that to the bottle in my refrigerator. Our food came and a bottle of ketchup had been placed firmly on the table. We all looked at it with hesitant suspicion. The waitress at the counter was now refilling the ketchup bottles and the bottle licker’s ketchup was gone. She had mixed it in with all the others there on the tray.

After an unpleasant experience at the diner, we needed to stop for gas. A friend and I walked in to pay for the gas, and the guy in front of me requested a pickle to which the cashier cheerfully said “Sure”. He pulled out a plastic bag and opened the lid. The Jar was full and the aroma of pickles quickly filled the air. The cashier held the bag high and reached into the jar with his fingers and grabbed a pickle placing it in to the bag. The cashier was wearing no gloves and his arm hair was still dripping with pickle juice, which he wiped on his jeans. The sale was rung-up and we were next in line.

A drive in the country is not something to do without checking what food is available in the small town you are visiting. If it looks dirty on the outside, it is probably dirty on the inside as well.



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