Friday, January 30, 2015

Memories Of Minot

Yesterday, Old AF Sarge had a little story about his time in Minot, North Dakota, and his post made me nostalgic, for I, too, spent a little time in Minot back in the day.

So there I was, approaching Minot, North Dakota on US 2 on the homeward leg of a month-long cross-country motorcycle trip that had taken me from Detroit, Michigan to north of Seattle, Washington and back. before leaving, I'd somehow come across a visitor's guide to Minot that had included a half-off coupon for a Mexican restaurant in that exotic city on the plains. I packed that coupon with my maps and other documents, and every time that I happened across it on the trip, my mouth watered as I thought of the great Mexican feast that I was going to have when I got to Minot. Oh, it was going to be SO good!

Well eventually, after a few weeks on the road, minus a few days spent with some wonderful relations on the West Coast, I rolled into Minot in the early afternoon. Perfect! Mexican time! I'd been having one hell of a day and I really needed this. I found the restaurant without much trouble and coasted my Suzuki GS 1100e into the parking lot. (Yeah, a 1982 1100e with a fairing and saddlebags = touring bike capable of 150+mph...what a ride!)

I walked into this Mexican oasis and noticed that it was empty except for me and some bleached-blonde surfer-dude waiter who sauntered up to me and said: "Need a seat, dude?"
Normally I was fairly laid back, but like I said, I'd been having a pretty rough day--a rough couple of days, actually--and I was bone-tired, hungry, and more than a tad irritable, so the "dude" think grated on me from the beginning. He led me to a booth, said "Here ya go, dude," as he handed me a menu, and then he walked off.


I perused the menu and selected a burrito plate that looked like the best burrito ever in the picture and then I pulled a paperback book out of my jacket pocket and commenced to reading it while I waited on waiter/surfer dude to come back. It took him quite a while to come back, but I had my book so I wasn't upset. Then he opened his mouth: "Reading a book there, dude? Cool!"

Gritting my teeth, I ordered the meal I'd selected, and my disdain for slacker/waiter/surfer dude took a back seat to the thought of this great meal that was just minutes away.

Another long period passed as I read my book and waited on my food, but finally it arrived. "Here ya go, dude," said the yellow-haired pest as he sat the food down. I let that go with a simple "thanks", and as he wandered off, I cut into my burrito that I'd fantasized about for weeks for and took the first mouth-watering bite.

It was cold.

And not just cold, I mean, there were ice crystals crunching on my mouth, as the center was still partially frozen. What The. Fuck?!

"Hey!" I called surfer dude over.

"What's up, dude?"

I explained that the burrito was not cooked right, being still frozen in the middle, and told him that I wanted to send it back for one that was actually, you know, cooked. He looked at me for a few moments, his brain obviously trying to come to grips with this sudden waiter dilemma, and then he seemed to get it and he took it back into the kitchen, where I heard him loudly exclaim: "You didn't cook this dude's burrito enough! He says it's still frozen inside!"

I listened for a reply, curious as to how the chef might respond, but all I heard was the sound of a microwave oven door slamming, followed by a few beeps and then the sound of the microwave in operation. (They weren't all that quiet in the late 1980s.) Then I head a loud "DING!" and a minute later, surfer dude was back with the same lame-ass burrito, only now it was radiating steam from it's nuke-job.

At this point, I just wanted to get out of here. But I was still ravenous, so I wolfed this disappointing excuse for a Mexican fiesta down then I strode up to the cashier, paid my bill, and stormed out into the parking lot. This had to have been the biggest let-down of the whole trip, I was thinking as I put my helmet on. But it wasn't quite over yet. As I started my bike, the slacker/waiter/jerk-off/surfer-dude came RUNNING out into the parking lot, waving at me. "Dude...DUDE!"

I was just about to drop the bike into gear, but I figured maybe he was going to tell me that I'd left something behind, or that the manager was sorry and wanted to make amends by signing the business over to me or something. But I was wrong yet again.

"Dude," he exclaimed as he reached me. "You forgot to leave me a TIP!"


"Ok, I've got a tip for you," I told him as I dropped the bike into first gear. "Work on your customer service and QUIT CALLING PEOPLE DUDE!!!"
Then I popped the clutch, gunned the engine, and spun a donut in the gravel parking lot, showering surfer dude with a spray of rocks before I rolled out onto the street again.

That at least made me happy.


  1. At least you got off base... sigh

  2. Dude, you should seriously think about self-publishing. Very nice post.

  3. But did you use your half off coupon?

  4. Since my first job was in the restaurant industry, I tend to overtip. But I have no compunctions about stiffing a waiter or waitress who acts like that one did. (Fortunately, they're few and far between. Most owners can't afford to have lousy waitstaff drive away repeat business.)
    By the way, did you use the coupon? Inquiring minds, you know.

  5. I probably would have done the same. Having worked in a restaurant in a college - I too seriously overtip but some service is just not deserving of it.

  6. Yes, I used the damned coupon...a crappy microwave burrito for half off is still dinner and money was tight on that trip. I was still pissed though--weren't no half off on that.

  7. Ballad of the hungry uneasy rider dude...

  8. Wow. I'm glad I didn't make it off base!