Sunday, May 29, 2011

I love Moosic. (PA)

At the cafes and truck stops
All up and down the line
I see lots of pretty girls
But there's none as sweet as mine
With big blue eyes that sparkle
She's the sweetest I ever seen
Gotta keep these big wheels rolling
To my truck driver's queen.

I finally left Cambridge this morning and pulled into Scranton, PA sometime in the early evening. Ah, Scranton. Doesn't the TV show The Office take place in Scranton?

I used to do a lot of driving between Tonopah, NV and Southern California a few summers ago when I worked for the Forest Service. During that time, I'd listen to a variety of NPR podcasts, The Splendid Table with Lynne Rossetto Kasper being one of them. She'd usually have Jane and Michael Stern talking about the more delectable highlights of random restaurants they'd hit on the road. It took me several years after that to finally pick up my own copy of Roadfood. Now that I have it with me and I'm actually taking a road trip, I wanted to use my copy of Roadfood like a journal. It would be so marvelous at the end of the trip (or, better yet, at the end of many trips), to thumb through a ragged, dog-eared copy of a book that, for the present moment, sits clean and new in my backpack. At the end of its usefulness, I imagined that I would have written millions of notes, directions, comments, critiques, and stars in the margin and between the lines of Jane and Michael's reviews. The pages would be stained with grease and ketchup from diners through the South, the East, the North, and the West. This was a book with untapped potential. This was a book that would get about as much use as my Munsell chart, and would undoubtedly prove to be just as good an investment. The Sterns have an online version of Roadfood, but I figured I'd pony up the money and invest in some serious memory-building and memento-collecting as an American archaeologist in America. Buying this book was not an option. It was like a college textbook. A textbook on LIFE. LIBERTY. and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

I pulled out my copy of Roadfood and looked to see whether any restaurants in Scranton had been reviewed. Yup -- the Sterns had reviewed the Glider Diner in Scranton, PA. After double and triple checking the diner hours -- "always open!" -- I pulled into the parking lot with anticipation.

The Glider Diner. Closed. SO a B. on Twitpic

They were closed.


Well, of course they were. If there's anyone alive on this planet that so plainly deserves the title of "Harbinger of the Most Anti-Climactic Moments in History," it would be me. The hours on the door read, "Open 24 hours -- Monday thru Saturday." Well, Jane and Michael, this place is not always open. Or maybe someone should have told the Glider Diner that they were supposed to always be open because the Sterns said so. Well, I suppose that random closures and incorrect hours are supposed to be verified by dialing the diner's phone number that the Sterns had also graciously written into their reviews. Oh, well.

So I turned around and Yelped up a place -- Thai Rak Thai on Adams St. -- and enjoyed a lovely (overpriced) Thai dinner. I brought Roadfood in with me for good measure and set it down by my plate. By George, I paid $14.95 for this book. It's going to get stains on it whether it likes it or not.

(That's what she said.)