Sunday Sightseeing, Part 3: Going Ham in Hamilton plus a BONUS HENRY INTERVIEW ABOUT THE SERVICE
It was after 2pm by the time we were done being dummies at Vent Haven, which means we were precariously close to The
Witching Bitching Hour, otherwise known as the hunger twilight, where Chooch and I morph from adorably angelic sweethearts into Regan and Damian in Warped Tour shirts.
Henry had approximately 37 minutes to find us a place to eat before the transformation was complete.
Back when Christina and I were friends, I used to visit her pretty frequently in Hamilton, OH, which is a few miles outside of Cincinnati. Since it was kind of on our way home, I suggested that we eat at Hyde’s, a family restaurant she took me to several times. I remembered liking the aesthetic and the pie, and was prepared to throw a fit if Henry said no, but then something miraculous happened:
Henry’s old SERVICE roommate Tim contacted him because he saw on Facebook that we were in the area! This put Henry in a great mood and he said YES to Hyde’s because now we needed to kill time in order for Tim to come out to meet us from wherever he lived in Indiana which is apparently close to Hamilton, who knew? (People who look at maps, I guess.)
Tim called Henry shortly after we arrived at Hyde’s. Henry jumped out of the booth and went outside to answer it; I’ve never seen Henry run out of a restaurant that fast in my life, not even the time he dined and dashed at HOOTERS in 1992.
So then Mr. WE GOTTA GET HOME, NO MORE STOPPING! decided that after lunch, we would be meeting TIM at Jungle Jim’s!
Holy shit, I was so so excited, I could barely eat. Just kidding, I almost accidentally ate my hand while shoving my grilled cheese into my gnashing maw.
We had a really colorful waitress too who made sure she told us how busy she was every time she swung by our table, and I really liked that Real Talk aspect. I want to believe that we were the only table she confided in. I kept hoping she would talk shit on her other tables to us but she never did.
She probably made fun of me to her other tables though after I was a total tourist and asked WTF “sarasotas” are.
Turns out they’re just homemade potato chips served with BBQ sauce.
“That Yinzer bitch over there asked what them sarasotas is, can you imagine,” she probably said to the table of old bitches who came in for pie.
Chooch of course substituted a basket of sarasotas for his fries and Henry was very perplexed by this.
“Why don’t they just call them homemade chips with BBQ sauce, I don’t understand,” he said.
One thing to note is that I honestly don’t recognize any of the scenery in Hamilton, for as many times as I have been there. Like, if you set me loose and said, “Find Christina’s old house or die” well I guess I’m dead. I don’t even remember the name of the street, and I used to mail her shit all of the time!
I think this is my mind’s way of protecting me, lol.
On the way there, Henry and Chooch argued over the fact that meth and methane aren’t the same.
So nothing about Jungle Jim’s was familiar to me but who cares because a REAL LIFE PIECE OF HENRY’S SERVICE PAST WAS THERE.
OMG you guys. My mind almost melted.
Chooch took these pictures because he’s my little spy in training.
Unfortunately, Tim and Henry talked about kind of boring things, mostly just catching each other up on their current lives. So Chooch and I were like, “Eh, screw this” and walked ahead of them, looking for the Romania aisle.
I never grocery shop, but Jungle Jim’s is huge and full of weird international goods and animatronics. It’s like Chuck E. Cheese for grocery shoppers. This is where I bought my first and only durian in 2004!
The last time I was here was August of 2005, when I was about 65% sure I might be pregnant. There was a fortune teller thing there, so I inserted my quarter and asked, “Hey, am I pregnant? Because I mean, I just turned down ice cream in favor of mustard, so….”
I don’t remember when her prediction was, which shot out of a slot at me, but GUESS WHAT I was definitely pregnant. Technically, this was Chooch’s second time at Jungle Jim’s, I guess.
My favorite thing about Tim is that he chided Henry about not marrying me so TIM, YOU CAN STAY.
Here’s a quick Henry Interview!
What did you & Tim used to talk about at night when you were roommates? GIRL STUFF?
Henry: I don’t remember. It was 30 years ago. Literally, 30 years ago.
So, you and Tim lived together in that place in Indiana?
Henry: In the trailer? Yeah.
Did he know you were the town Eunuch?
Henry, sarcastically I think: Hahaha, oh my god, you’re hilarious.
Did he know you were obsessed with being Erik Estrada back then?
Henry: Just answer it yourself. I’m not answering that. You’re making shit up as always.
Hmm, I don’t know Henry. That picture tells a different story. Speaking of stories, I heard you and Tim talking about the time you drove some guy’s car into a ditch. Talk about that.
Henry: It was 1986 maybe? We had just gotten off work at 7:30 that morning and went to the bar. We (guys I worked with, there was maybe 4 or 5 of us) pretty much drank all day. I had to run home to get something* so I borrowed Joe’s car and when I got close to my house I turned the corner too sharp and went into a small ditch on the side of the road. I blew out the tire and bent the rim and then I parked it at my house, took my car back to the bar without telling him I did anything to his. He didn’t find out until the next day when he came to pick it up and he found out it was damaged so I had to pay for it.
*(Probz porn to trade.)
Good, that’s what happens WHEN YOU DRIVE DRUNK, ASSHOLE. Anyway, that was a boring story. Did you ever take a bullet for Tim?!
Henry, in an annoyed/laughing tone: No. Psh, take a bullet for Tim….
What is your most vivid memory of Tim? Was he in Panama with you?
Henry: He was always working on his car because it seemed to always be broken. I don’t remember [if he was in Panama], I don’t think so but I can’t be sure. It’s possible.
(WOW. SOME FRIENDSHIP.)
Was Tim with you when you went to see CHEAP TRICK in Texas?!
Henry, appalled at this question for some reason: No! That was when I was in training, when I just got out of basic. Tim didn’t come in until my last year maybe…
(So, right before he went AWOL.)
Henry just said he’s not going to divulge the contents of their Jungle Jim’s convo, so basically this was a huge waste of time.
Somewhere outside of Columbus, I was imitating Henry so intensely, that Chooch laughed so hard he pissed his pants, which just made Henry even angrier because now he was going to have to stop somewhere so Chooch could change.
“We’re never going to fucking get home. Thanks a lot, assholes,” Henry barked, which just made Chooch and me bust out our sides from all the laughter.
When Henry set the GPS that morning as we left our hotel in Louisville, it told us we’d be getting home sometime around 4.
We got home just shy of midnight.
Good god, that was a fun whirlwind trip to Kentucky.
This post and recollection of the GLORY DAYS just made my day!!! I protest strongly that the audience was not privy to even one topic of the SERVICE conversation. Utterly unfair. I PROTEST STRONGLY.
Omg that was