the chilli and cheeseburger omelette special
I have never seen a man eat a steak for breakfast before. Free market advocates like to say that capitalism made the luxuries of Louis XIV available to us all. Bob and Edith’s Diner made that all too real for me today. This month’s breakfast specials included chicken and a waffle. Next month you can get the chilli and cheeseburger omelette. They knew I was English because I wore a Scottish tweed jacket, apparently.
America has long been a trope and today I saw the America of the 1990s movies from my childhood. It is all here: the yellow public school bus that runs along the long, straight, undulating suburban streets lined with magnolia and blossom trees—such abundance of blossom—weatherboarded houses with telephone lines at peculiar angles running slack across the yards. The flags. When I arrived, I thought this place was an ugly grid: taking my own advice to get off the main street I was delighted.
Never have I known such birdsong, even in the English countryside it is hard to find it so close, so unbothered by the constant but unavailing interruptions of a busy city. The singing carries on despite airplanes, construction noise, and traffic. Starlings run across the pavement right in front of you. The sparrows are big and boisterous with overextended chests, hopping around as if they were a gang of law-enforcement officers. I saw a juvenile woodpecker, something no amount of patience has ever won me the sight of at home.
No wonder Americans are so happy.
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