I didn’t feel like liveblogging on our drive last Friday but here are the highlights from Twitter plus whatever else I remember. I’m 42 now. There’s not much room left in my head for memories, considering how thick my skull is. I apparently didn’t tweet very much:
- Oh here we go. Henry BEGGED me to drive for two hours so I did and now that it’s his turn again, he’s bitching about how I allegedly drive “LIKE A MANIAC.” But did I shave a bunch of time from our ETA??? Yes so I’ll take that as a THANK YOU.
- Ugh Henry just bought really disgusting gas station trail mix and it tastes like I ate a handful while walking thru a fish market.
Yeah, so I drove for two hours two the NEW RIVER GORGE area of West Virginia which is never-ending, I fucking swear to god. I listened to Pierce the Veil while Henry and Chooch slept. It was fine. But then once Henry took the wheel, it was HUNGRY TIME and we just happened to be near Dolly’s Diner which I became obsessed with the last time we traversed this route on my birthday trip last summer.
(Side note: I love Pierce the Veil so much and haven’t really listened to them in so long that some of the songs were really hitting hard. I was glad that I was the only one awake because I was EMOTING.)
The food was nothing to write home about but I vividly remembered their famous BUTTERSCOTCH LUSH and I would be FIBBING if I told you I hadn’t thought about straight motorboating a wedge of that heavenly sugar-pillow ever since the first time a forkful of it splayed itself across my tongue. So honestly, I didn’t give a fuck about the actual dinner portion of the evening. I was there for the main XXX event.
As soon as we walked in, I was in approximately everyone’s way and apparently forgot to turn down the dimmer on my CITY FOLK PASSING THRU neon crown on my head. “I WANT TO SIT IN THE SAME BOOTH WE SAT IN LAST TIME” I stage-whispered to Henry, who elicited a smirk of disapproval immediately. But then Chooch, who is sometimes on my side, said to the hostess with full confidence, “We would like to sit at Table 11, please.”
She was a young, surly girl who looked PISSED to be working on a Friday night and even more annoyed at the audacity of these CITY FOLK requesting a specific table. But she sighed in a tenor that translated to, “OK weirdos” and lead us straight to our specifically-desired booth. I had no idea that the table numbers were so visible on each one, not that my poor eyes could see that from the front door anyway.
TABLE 11 BOI.
We unfortunately did not have the same older woman waitress as last time, which is a shame because that broad was awesome. Instead, we got a young girl with little personality who was very matter-of-fact about everything. Like when Chooch had the gull to order pink lemonade and she was like, “Sorry we only have the yellow kind” and why was this so fucking hilarious to me?? Everything from the fact to Chooch going rogue and wanting an off-menu pink bev, to the waitress nipping that want in the bud immediately.
Meanwhile, some older man was walking around the joint, stopping to open up window blinds here and there. When he was kneeling across the seat of the booth behind us to reach the blind on that particular window, he turned to us and your standard WV greeting of HOWDY FOLKS and we were like, “YAY SOMEONE IS BRAVE ENOUGH TO TALK TO US OUTLANDERS” or maybe it was just me who reacted as such by returning his greeting with giant Pittsburgh gusto. (Whatever that means.) He asked if we had been here before – a solid query since none of us were wearing suspenders, trucker hats, or any type of WV PRIDE garment. Since Henry doesn’t talk to WAITSTAFF and Chooch was too busy fiddling with his RUBIK’S CUBE (his latest obsession, help me, so sick of hearing about algorithms), I became the default spokesperson of TABLE 11 and said, “NO, WE HAVE BEEN HERE ONCE. WE CAME BACK FOR THE BUTTERSCOTCH LUSH” and the way I said it might have had slight rabbit-in-a-pot vibes to it. The crazed look flashing in my eyes might have contributed a bit to that vibe too but who can be sure. I just get really AMPED ABOUT DESSERTS and it’s hard for me to hide it.
My exuberance was clearly an invitation for him to turn around in the booth behind us and lean in between Henry and me (!!!) in order to start pointing out various menu items. “You like Philly cheese steak?” he asked, giving me absolutely no chance to respond. “Cuz this here is the best thing on the menu. WE DEEP FRY THE BUN.” I was trying not to laugh because Henry had pointed that out earlier, but not in a way that expressed any interest in trying out this deep-fried bun for himself.
“Wow,” I said, trying to push the word out as an exclamation but it fell flat. “You should get that!” I nudged Henry obnoxiously. And then the guy (Mr. Dolly? He had “owner material” written all over him) continued making his rounds, but I noted that he did not give any of the other diners as much time and undivided attention as the VIPs of TABLE ELEVEN.
By the time the waitress came back with Chooch’s YELLOW bev and flipped open her order pad, Henry had somehow convinced himself that he was now obligated to order the Philly cheesesteak even though it wasn’t what he wanted. I laughed. When don’t I laugh.
Chooch got a grilled cheese and I just went for the egg and cheese sandwich, which was supposed to come on a BISCUIT but the only option the waitress gave me was TOAST, and then when it arrived, the eggs were scrambled and there was no cheese on it! It was the most pathetic breakfast sandwich ever, but that’s ok because its only purpose was to coat my stomach before I stuffed a plate of whipped creamy LUSH down in there.
Waitress displayed mucho ambivalence toward us until Henry called after her, “Wait can I also get cole slaw?” And suddenly the fact that Henry wanted a side of slaw endeared our table to her. The way she stopped in her tracks and sing-songed over her shoulder, “Yeaaaah! Small or large bowl?”
Henry chose the small bowl and then was like, “I wonder how big the big bowl is,” just as another waitress began to walk toward us with a large bowl on her tray. “There’s your cole slaw,” I laughed, but it was really just soup for another table and Henry’s cole slaw ended up coming a few minutes later in a standard side bowl.
Cole slaw action shot.
At one point, the waitress asked we needed anything in passing, and I was concerned because she didn’t call us YALL like she was calling everyone else, and I just wanted to be INCLUDED. But then later she did call us YALL and I felt better.
When it was time for dessert ordering, I asked in a very hyperactive, desperate yell, “DO YOU HAVE THE BUTTERSCOTCH LUSH?” The waitress was like, “Yeah of course we do” and the came back a few seconds later to say, “I’m sorry, we don’t have any butterscotch lush.”
I WANTED TO DIE. LITERALLY. I almost screamed, “WE CAME ALL THE WAY FROM PITTSBURGH AND YINZ DON’T EVEN HAVE ANY OF IT?” but instead I popped an imaginary pill and calmly asked, “OK what else do you have?” As soon as she said, “Pumpkin lush” I cut her off and said, “OK I’ll take that!” and that was dumb. I should have listened to the options. Because the pumpkin lush was not it, fam.
All the other parts of the lush were exactly as I remembered them to be, but the pumpkin part was kind of gross. The texture was too viscous and it was kind of sour. It was reminiscent of the kind of filling in those Little Debbie pumpkin cookies – but less sweet and, I dunno, wetter. If it had been more like a pumpkin pie puree, it would have been bangin’. But I don’t know what they used in there. I should have went with the cherry one or, anything else, really.
Chooch had a German Chocolate Cake which they clearly nuked before serving, as evidenced by the wafts of steam billowing off his plate. His was pretty good though. I remember the last time, he ordered the coconut cake and that was really good too, so we know that at least three of the desserts are good, which leads me to believe that the pumpkin lush was just a poor choice and I should not write off Dolly’s.
I mean, believe me, I ate every last crumb off that plate, it wasn’t INEDIBLE, people.
Oh! While we were in Dolly’s, that old song “My Guy” came on and I got all dreamy-eyed. “I always associate this with ‘Days of Our Lives’,” I sighed. Henry the Dunce asked why, forcing me to adopt my “indignant teenaged disgust” voice. “Because of when it was sung to ALICE HORTON??” I cried and the way Henry’s eyebrows levitated off his forehead and contorted into a foating question mark said it all.
Fun fact, when I was a kid, I wrote a fan letter to the actress who played/plays Jennifer Horton AND SHE SENT ME SIGNED HEADSHOT. I still have it somewhere I think.
Obligatory gas station bathroom road trip selfie. This was at a Flying J either still in WV or in VA. All I know is that I was the only one there wearing a mask and got some really classy glares. I love this divided country!
Three hours later, and I still couldn’t stop thinking about “the yellow kind.” WHY IS THIS SO FUNNY.
And then, while Chooch “I’m so tired, I work all the time and wake up at 4:45am to go shopping on Black Friday, boo hoo hoo” slept the rest of the night in the backseat, Henry and I had a very pleasant drive to our Friday night destination of Sweet Water, TN. We listened to A Perfect Circle and I made barfing noises when we drove past a giant church cross.