Sunday, November 01, 2009

Bacon Echoes

I swear this could be Herbert Elmer Munger, speaking from beyond the grave.

Herb and I never got along that well. But towards the end of his life, we got a lot closer. One of my fondest memories, when he was 83 (he died at 85, of congestive heart failure), was the day I broke him out for breakfast at Denny's.

He was nearly blind, but he could smell things. And when his wife would drive him to the doctor's or somewhere, he would smell the bacon at the Denny's.

And then fuss about it for three days. He wanted pancakes, he wanted REAL butter, he wanted 6 or 8 slices of REAL bacon, and he wanted real, caffeinated coffee. He got none of these things at the retirement home (he lived at Meadowood, in Bloomington, a very very very nice place). His wife insisted that he should eat oatmeal, no butter, no sugar.

And, of course, she was right. Except that he was freakin' 83, and he wanted BACON. When you are 48, sure, avoid bacon. When you are 83, go for it.

Well, I was visiting, and he was up early. Like, 5:45 am. I heard him pawing around in the kitchen, I got up, put on my clothes. I said, "Dad, let's go to Denny's."

Him: "Oh....oh, yes."

Me: "We can do this. Get dressed."

Him: "I'll hurry."

We snuck out like we were behind enemy lines. Giggling, actually giggling.

Once we got to Denny's, we got the coffee and water, ordered big stacks o'cakes with bacon (I gave him mine). When the order came, he piled about 3 or 4 tablespoons of whipped butter on his 'cakes. Then, syrup tsunami. Then cut the 'cakes into tiny pieces to maximize surface area. Incredibly, at this point more syrup was required.

He couldn't quite finish the big stack of pancakes, but he did finish all the bacon. And had at least six cups of real coffee.

One of the very best mornings of my life. And Elaine just laughed when we got back to the house; I think she recognized the importance of bacon, every now and then. She even called him "Bacon breath" for about an hour. But he was nappin' in the big chair, a picture of contentment.

Anyway, those twitters, from that guy? Those could be my dad, easy.

(Nod to AH for the Twitter link)


Seth said...

Without a doubt, my favorite twitter account. Great story & memory.

br said...

Awesome story Mike!

Paul said...

One of the best stories you've ever told!

tom shubnell said...

Sounds like he enjoys bacon as much as I do. Kudos for being a caring person.