It's funny how many coincidences one finds, if only one stops to look around. It's even funnier when you find not a coincidence, but merely a change in perception.
At any rate, there's this restaurant we've been itching to try. It's not exactly a new sort of place; it's been around a while, although it has changed names several times in the past few years. So Friday evening rolls around, and it's time to go. It's not a quick drive; probably in the neighborhood of 45 minutes south by south-east. And I pass it several times. It doesn't help much that my directionally challenged self is looking on the wrong side of the road (Thanks, Google!) Nonetheless, we find it and pull into the parking lot.
The food was OK, as far as it went--pretty standard cheeseburgers and french fries. They had some interesting drink specials, should the one of us not driving decide to get a wild hair. Dent rather liked the coffee. They had a hammered-copper espresso machine, impressive in the amount of counter space it occupied. They had also a wild collection of liquor and beer bottles displayed. I guess so you know what they're selling, I don't know.
Up at the cash register, they also had a stack of take-out menus. This was good; I have a bad habit of not knowing what I'm going to order even after I get there. Yeah, I'm one of those who stands up at the counter going, "Uhhh....ummmm..." GUILTY. We also seem to be aquiring a small collection of menus from local places. Maybe one day I'll frame all of them as some kinda fru-fru art project. But I digress.
As is normal with small family owned restraurants, local buisnesses pitch in to help with the cost of printing the menus in exchange for a little advertising space. So it was here. And there....on the very last page...was a buisness ad...placed by someone Dent hasn't seen in 10 years.
Oh, they've emailed a couple of times (after ms. detective here tracked down the email address for him), but they hadn't really spoken over the phone (I don't think we ever got the phone number...till now....)I had remembered thinking this was a place the friend would probably like.... Perhaps I'm Psychic. Or Psychotic. Take your pick. Coincidence? Or just a change in perception?
Flash forward to Saturday. No, wait, to explain this next part, I'll have to shift things backward. Bear with me.
Last year, I decided to make an attempt to try to Martha-Stewart myself into a decorated kitchen. All one needs is a theme, yes? Go into your favorite dollar-general type store and take your pick: chickens? Grapes? Maybe you'd like to decorate the kitchen in cutesy teddy bears. Hell, my mom had cows all over her kitchen. I decided, hey it's a kitchen, let's do chili peppers. Piece of cake you'd think. It's all over the internet: towels and salt-and-pepper shakers and paper napkins. I even remember some sort of "Chia pet" kind of thing, in a chili pepper shaped planter. No sweat. (Pun intended)
.............the problem is that chili peppers seem to be a locally southwest kind of thing. So it's rare to find anything here with chili peppers on it, unless it's been shipped in from another store. After a year of searching, I have a grand total of 6 items with chili peppers.
.....1 glass olive oil bottle (Big Lot's), 1 plastic tray (Dollar Tree), a deviled egg plate (Ollie's).....and several things that match the egg plate, which we thought were individual deviled egg holders...but looking the company up on the internet, find they're actually SPOON RESTS. So now that we're up to par, NOW we can flash forward to Saturday.
Back at Ollie's, where they have a wonderful assortment of crap that the other stores are trying to get rid of. I wander on to an aisle and find Dent helping a little old lady find some things for her kitchen.(It's weird how Mr. Scruffy there can scare off the normal adult, but children and old people come right up to him) In her hand was--a plastic item I immediately recognized. It was small, oval and had chili peppers on it. The spoon rest! I grinned. The two were discussing cheese slicers (I think.). Dent helped her find the slotted spoon she was looking for, and off she went to find more things.
....But in an ending I just can not make up, I heard her comment, "I wish I could find some more of these...they're so HANDY in keeping the devilled eggs separate, you know, to portion them out...."
Once she was out of earshot, I leaned in. "You didn't tell her it was actually a spoon rest, did you?" I asked in an undertone. Dent shrugged.
I guess it's all in the perception. Or the coincidence.