Thursday, July 05, 2007

Cafe Millpond

I'm still working on the next installment of the story and in the meantime I've vowed to write entertaining little snippets for you, so that we don't lose touch.

Currently, Husband, kitty and I are house sitting for my parents who have gotten in their RV and done gone up to Millpond to visit Memere Marie and the like. Miraculously they have maneuvered the hulking RV safely up the east coast once again and have only banged it into one tree and two fences, which is a vast improvement from the time they got it stuck in the mud, tore down electrical lines knocking out power to three city blocks and drove it into a ditch.

Now my father, the Israeli who has traveled the world over, is not much of a Millpond kinda guy at all. They view him as some sort of exotic animal - A Jew. I don't even want to imagine how he views them, but he is a fabulously good sport about going up there and engaging in all sorts of rednecked activities with my mother's relations. My father is only snobby about one thing and that is food. In particular, coffee.

Millpond is not exactly an oasis of culinary mastery. Used to be there was only one restaurant and it was owned by my great grandmother Ethel, whose actual name was Aurelia, but for some unknown reason she insisted that everyone call her by her less attractive middle name. This should be proof of the insanity that runs rampant in my gene pool. Why on earth would a woman with a lovely name like Aurelia demand to be called an ugly name like Ethel? It's pure Flannery O'Connor material. In any event, Mama Ethel owned the only restaurant and it served chicken and dumplings and people went there to sit together on picnic tables and eat chicken and dumplings and it was called Ethel's restaurant because dammit, that's what it was. God forbid someone would call it Aurelia's Restaurant, all hell'd break loose. Mama Ethel got too old and the restaurant closed, so then there were no restaurants anymore until Woody's Ranch House, my mother's former employer arrived. Woody's too was short lived.

Currently Millpond has a record four restaurants, a McDonalds that everyone calls a MAC Donalds, a KFC that everyone still calls Kentucky Fried and a Dairy Queen, but that's only open in the summer and it's the old kind that you order at a window and you can't go inside it unless you work there.

My poor father. He nearly starves. One restaurant is owned by Mennonites and fills the chicken and dumpling void left upon Mama Ethel's death. My mom likes this place. They have decent crab cakes and vegetables boiled to brown mush in fat back. Millpond also has two new places where you can get steaks and baked potatoes and then they have a pizza place that would shame Italians the world over. I swear they use ketchup and Velveeta.

I mentioned my father's coffee snobbery. I did not mention that he needs an IV drip of espresso to maintain the quality of his life. Without coffee I think the man would die. He's been drinking espresso for so long that if he quit cold turkey he might explode. At home he either visits the coffee shop run by real Italians from real Italy or he uses his super fancy espresso maker at home. When he travels he makes do at Bux.

The problem is, Millpond is the only town in the whole US that does not have a Starbucks. The closest one is actually 37 miles away, and my father has been known to drive that far in decaffeinated desperation. In the past my father has kept himself alive in Millpond with an abomination known as instant espresso powder, an ingredient in many fine desserts, though not really an actual beverage option. It is however, a matter of life and death, so he suffers through without his doppio macchiato ristretto etceteras.

This trip something terrible happened. My father in his haste to drive the RV, FORGOT THE ESPRESSO POWDER!!!!! (Note to self, buy him an espresso maker for the RV). He drank regular coffee the whole way. The stopped at Starbucks' all through the deep south and he was ok.

But then they got to Millpond, a wasteland for foodies, and there was no espresso. He's been drinking Memere Maries dreadfully weak Sanka, but he may as well have been drinking muddy water from the big machines that irrigate the crops in the area.

My father had the brilliant idea that you know, Millpond really IS modernizing. It's getting far more hip and progressive lately and it isn't the isolated scrapple factory town of the past. Maybe, he mused, maybe the pizza place, which now serves baked ziti, had espresso. It couldn't hurt to try.

He went to the pizza place, which seemed to be making an attempt at at least a Disneyfied version of Italian-ness with its red checked table cloths, Chianti bottles and plastic bunches of grapes. Chianti!! Chianti was a very good sign. Just last year the only wine to be found in Millpond was Mad Dog 20/20. Surely if they had Chianti, they'd have espresso.

My dad made his way to the counter and the greasy haired girl with two gold teeth behind the counter did not look in any way Italian. Her name was Fay. It said so on her name tag. Fay told people she worked in an I-talian restaurant instead of Italian. You know I-talian, from IT-ly.

"Do you have espresso?" asked my poor, shaking, coffee addict father.

"Umm no. We just got cheese and pepperoni." said Fay.

Millpond still has a little ways to go.


Mile High Pixie said...

Baaahahahaaaa! We just have cheese and pepperoni!

And props to you for the Aurelia/Ethel refernece to Flannery O'Connor. Joy/Hulga would be proud.

Anonymous said...

HA! I can sooo commiserate with your dad! I too, am addicted to espresso. I traded it and 30 pounds for cigarettes...then I bought a treadmill instead of an espresso machine. 20 pounds to go until I can have my espresso machine! This is no laughing matter; serious stuff that caffeine.

Green said...

Your poor Daddy. I once saw on MTV Cribs that Tommy Lee has a Starbucks station in his movie room. Maybe your dad could get that in HIS movie room. On the RV. Right.

I think Starbucks (I'm a hot chocolate at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf girl myself) sells their stuff in bulk, so customers can buy and make it at home. Maybe you could FedEx him some and have an espresso machine mailed to him from the nearest BB&B to Millpond?

bssc23public said...

Millpond sounds like my wife's hometown except the nearest Starbucks is 110 miles away in Great Falls. Like your poor father, my espresso sucking BIL has to bring his own or go through withdrawals. And they pronounce the food I-talian too. Thanks for reminding me, you paint a good picture.

The Therapist said...

My mom says IT-ly and it drives me nuts, because she knows better. It is like she's trying to sound like a hick on purpose!

miss tango in her eyes said...

I sort of don't feel sorry for your dad. He should know better and organize himself properly, and kit out the RV with the proper espresso making equipment.

Maybe he sort of enjoys the suffering.

booda baby said...

Haha! Still, better they don't know what presso is instead of pretending they've got Guiness and pouring it in 17 seconds.

Lost in the Stacks said...

that's too funny! My hometown has no Starbucks in it either. The nearest one is like 20 miles away in a Target...Everyone there says MAC Donalds and I-talian too. It drives me insane...

zorra said...

That's hilarious. My hometown is also bereft of Starbucks. When they got a Quiznos last year, there was dancing in the streets.

Lana Wood said...

I love your stories about your nutwich family. In many ways because it reminds me I am not alone in the nutwich family having universe.

On that note, I noticed you changed your header from "I Quit." I am dying now to know about the sister is not your aunt thing because in cyberspace all my nosiest qualities come out.

A Request; I am hoping at some point you will consider making all your prior writing live again, that shit was too funny, and reminded me so much of some of the idiotic garbage that goes on around here.

Another Request; Even if you do not want to shate ALL the old writing, how about the personal stuff? Like about your parents getting you Prada shoes, the stuff about the boyfriends, and the BEST, the story about your Mom telling off the bitches at temple.

And FINALLY, I hope Kendall Stein is OK. I loved her sweetness and believe in my heart of hearts she will turn out to be a pretty neat person as soon as she realizes how to be buy lunch meat.

By the way, I am not a stalker. I just have a freakish memory, especially for things I have read. Now I have to get my ass in gear, and get back to writing myself, I've fooled around long enough...

Leonesse said...

WOW, just wow. I thought my little burg was small. We are BIG TIME in comparison. We have a SBucks in the new Safeway, the same MACdonalds, but we have hit the big time because Walmart decided to put us in good graces and opened up the only Walmart in 2 counties. So we have hit the big time and have a Carl's Jr and a Kentucky Fried/A&Dubya AND a Taco Time!!! The only decent places to eat (and I mean decent as you don't wrinkly your nose upon entering) are 2 of the mexican food places. There isn't a single decent bar to sit with friends and have a glass of wine, only major dives with fights and blood all over the sidewalks. The DQ was disgusting and was torn down. And GOD FORBID you mention Bush doing a terrible job. I have learned to keep my mouth shut or get ran out of town! Dissenting opinions are apparently not allowed in this "American" town.

Leonesse said...

OH!!! and a Quizno's just opened up. We are hitting the big time now!

Charlotte said...

Your poor dad. I feel the same way about Coke. Although over the years I've learned to make due with Pepsi when it was neccesary

Anonymous said...

Maybe your dad should buy a stovetop espresso pot for $20? Believe it or not, those little puppies work. That begs the question of where he can get good coffee beans in Millpond, of course!

Anonymous said...

Millpond isn't the only Starbucks-less place in the world.

I'm near Augusta, GA, in a city that is an emerging commercial center. No Starbucks. Yet.

Of course, I don't like their coffee, so it's really no big deal.

We did just get a new coffee shop, though - "Seattle's Best Coffee".

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