Life with Earl: Dining out
Life With Earl is a semi-regular feature on A ‘lil HooHaa. For the back story, click “Earl” at the top of the page to see past stories.
It was all set to be an easy night.
After a round of golf, the three of us — myself, Jay and The Big East — were figuring on heading to the next town over and eat. It’s a bigger college town so there are many options. And heck, a night away is the way to go.
Then the phone rang.
“Hey, P.J., whatcha doin’?” screamed the voice from the other end.
Little had I known that Jay has shelled out my phone number to Earl. I had made sure not to give it to that sucker.
And the look on Jay’s face made me realize he know who was on the other line. After shooting Jay a look, I went back to the call.
“Hey Earl … nothing really … why?
“Well, I figgered I’d hitch up to town and hang wit’ you and the boys.”
You can imagine I was a little worried about this.
“Well, Earl, we were actually leaving for College Town to eat.”
Considering Earl didn’t seem to have money too often, we didn’t think he’d want to go.
“Woooo hoooo!” Earl screamed into the phone. “I just made some cash on the course! I’ll come, too!”
We didn’t even have the chance to say no.
Before we knew it, Earl was knocking on the door and when we answered he had a big goofy smile on his face. I had slightly agreed to this only because Jay had handed out my number. If not, I would have found a way to skip out.
The punishment was on Jay, though. He got to share the back seat with Earl, who was dressed in his Sunday best — dirty jeans, a flannel and a hat that said “I go fishin’ cause I can.”
The worst thing happened as soon as we hit College Town. There’s a Hooters, you see, right as you hit the city limits. I think Earl almost jumped out of the car.
“WHOA! Hey guys, a HOOTERS!!” he exclaimed. “Let’s eat there! I ain’t never been to a Hooters before!!”
Jay piped in. “Actually, Earl, we were thinking of going elsewhere tonight.”
“And besides,” The Big Easy piped in. “Once you’ve seen a Hooters girl, you’ve seen them all.”
We seemed to forget that Earl hadn’t seen a Hooters gal before.
“But I wanna eat there!” he shouted. “Hot women, hot women and hot women! Maybe I can get a number or two.”
As soon as he blurted that last sentence out, I jammed the brakes, did a quick U-turn and soon pulled into the Hooters parking lot.
This was too good to not let happen.
The line was long. That didn’t stop Earl.
“Lines is made for cuttin’,” he said.
Sure enough, Earl cut the line. And, somehow, it worked. We were soon seated. The waitress was beautiful and, well, perfect in many ways. Earl noticed.
“Hiya boys. I’m Tiffany and I’ll be your server,” the waitress said. “Can I get you anything to drink?”
We ordered beers, but Earl was speechless. His eyes were focused on one part one body part of Tiffany.
To give him credit, he was at least staring straight ahead.
“And you?” Tiffany asked Earl.
The Big Easy responded by giving Earl a swift kick under the table.
“Uh, I’ll have a Coke.”
Tiffany walked away and Earl’s speechlessness left just as fast.
“This is the greatest day of my life. I can’t believe this,” he said. “That chick was all over me. She was eye …”
“Easy Earl,” Jay interrupted. “No need to get fresh.”
“I can’t handle this,” Earl said as he became flustered and somewhat sweaty. “I need to do something about this.”
Just like that, Earl popped up and took off outside. We could see him taking deep breaths and walking around the parking lot. He came back in and was confronted by a couple more Hooters girl. He then dashed to the bathroom for a few moments and came out, looking refreshed and drying off his face. That big goofy grin had returned, too.
“A little water to the face always wakes me up,” he said.
He then peered at the menu.
“Woooooweeeee, look at these prices,” Earl said. “A feller could go broke in here if he came once too often. But dang, look at all these women!”
Earl’s eyes, again, started to bulge from his head. His jaw seemingly rested on the table.
“Earl, drooling isn’t attractive,” Jay said.
“And I think it’s against health codes, too,” The Big East said.
Tiffany returned to take our order and Earl’s eyes, again, fixated on her upper body. I actually felt bad for this girl. She was only doing her job.
Giving an order to a waiter or waitress is a simple process, at least to those who hit up places to eat sometimes. I ordered a burger and fries, as did Jay and The Big Easy. We also ordered some of Hooters’ famed wings.
Earl was still looking at the menu.
“What do you recommend?”
A slap to the forehead knew I was in for a long night.
“Well, as you can see, we offer pretty much anything you could want in a place like this,” Tiffany said. She seemed to be losing her patience, but was holding it well. “Our burgers are fantastic, the wings are famous. I don’t think you guys came here for a five-star meal.”
Earl didn’t budge.
“Earl, do the lady a favor and order,” The Big Easy said. “I am actually hungry and would like to get the food today.”
Though it was almost painful — as he knew Tiffany would then leave the table — Earl ordered. All that time for a burger and fries.
After Tiffany left, Jay smacked Earl on the back of his head, sending his prized hat flying across the table.
“Listen you dork, if you want to come out with us, control yourself,” Jay said. “We don’t need you pitching a tent and lifting the table with every girl that walks by. Calm down!”
And just like that, Earl stood up, picked up his hat and left the table. Not a word was said. I had wondered if Jay had found a way to push Earl too far.
“You didn’t have to smack him, Jay,” The Big Easy said.
Before Jay could answer, Earl re-appeared — sporting a “Hooters –CollegeTown” shirt.
Apparently, there were no hard feelings.
Surprisingly, dinner was uneventful. We ate, got the bill and we seemed ready to leave. As Tiffany returned with our change, however, Earl decided to make his move.
“So what are the odds I can get your number?” Earl asked, trying to pull off his best James Dean imitation. “I’ve seen you looking at me all night.”
I believe Tiffany wanted to die on the spot. Figuratively and literally. She just stared. The three of us buried our heads in our hands.
No answer came. That didn’t stop Earl, who had the second move up his sleeve. As he got up, he put his arm around Tiffany.
“Come on, I’ll take you somewhere fancy and we can get to know one another,” Earl said.
With that, Earl experienced his first kick to the family jewels. He went down like a ton of bricks. Tiffany then asked us to kindly remove our friend.
“You guys aren’t banned, but never bring him back,” she said.
We apologized over and over as we pulled Earl out of the restaurant. We threw him in the back of the car and got out of there as fast as we could.
Twenty minutes later, Earl seemed to finally get his breath back.
“Man oh man, that was great,” he exclaimed! “She touched me! I knew she wanted me! Did she give you guys her number to give me? Come on, don’t lie!”
The number we gave him was 555-1212. I can’t imagine the look on the operator’s face when Earl called and asked her about being a Hooters girl.
I was hoping that would be the end of Earl. I really was. But Jay keeps calling him. And that is usually followed by how much we loved hanging out with him.
It seems we’re stuck with Earl.
Heaven help us.
Fundraiser: I am, again, trying to raise money for the Relay For Life. If you donate to me — even a small amount — you will be entered to win a super-sweet quilted scarf. Click here for all the information!
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