Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Patrick Flynn and Ronald Tipton, 2016.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Monday, May 31, 2010

Curse of Barnaby's.

Last week we decided to go out to dinner at the last moment. We told our son we would bring him back a sandwich from Duffer's. When we returned home, we handed him a shrimp dinner and said, we told you we would get you something from Duffer's, but your mother decided we would go to Barnaby's, which is why you have a meal from Hennesey's.

Let me explain. We started out to go to Duffer's Pub, but not far up the road my wife asked, "how 'bout Barnaby's?" Okay, so I turned up the road toward that restaurant. This road takes you through the countryside out of Delaware into Pennsylvania. It twists and turns some, crosses railroad tracks twice, where we have often been stopped by long freights, and exits out onto Rt. 452 where you pick up bumper to bumper traffic for the remaining miles.

Things seemed fine. We just squeezed out onto Rt. 452 when the light changed and poked our way through Aston, PA. At one point we had to get over as a siren and red lights came from behind. A pickup zoomed past and I asked, "what kind of emergency vehicle is that? Emergency pothole patrol?" My wife said perhaps it was "cone rescue" (an inside joke I don't want to explain here)**. We passed Hennessy's Irish Pub, which was on the way and where we also often ate. Now the road got into the woods and went down a long hill of curvy road until you came to Barnaby's, except just at the last curve a police car blocked the road and a man in a yellow slicker directed everyone off on a narrow side road. 

We saw a couple trucks down the road next to a home supply store right on the curve. We figured a truck had skidded on the wet road (it had been raining) and jackknifed. 

But our immediate concern was we were now on an unfamiliar road going who knew where. It was up a steep hill and half way up we came to a stop at an intersection, we and a long line of cars fore and aft. Here was another guy in a yellow slicker. His pickup truck sat on the shoulder. It was the one that had passed us earlier. There was a sign on the side saying "Fire Police". Well, Mister Fire Police hadn't a clue to what he was doing. He was trying to direct traffic through this intersection, but had it mostly as confused as he obviously was. At one point he was turning in circles just flinging his arms up in a hopeless gesture. As a result, I just missed being broadsided as I passed the cross road.

The hill went on. We passed a college campus. I tried simply following the line of traffic sent this way with me, but they began to go different ways at crossroads. My wife said keep going straight. She thought we would come out on Route 1, the Baltimore Pike, a main highway we knew well and the one on which Duffer's pub is located. Looked like Duffer's after all.

But instead we ended up back in Aston at what is called five points, because five roads all converge at one intersection. I was completely turned around in my head. I had no idea what direction was what. My wife recognized just where we were and got me back on Rt. 452 heading back toward home. We would head for Duffer's after all.

But Duffer's was a long way off in this direction, so I decided to turn around and go to Hennessey's.   I was really hungry.

We had a very pleasant meal and we heard the manager explain to people in the booth behind what had happened down the road. A tree had fallen over and landed on a car, pinning the people inside. I haven't heard anything more about this, so I hope the people were okay. We did think, however, if we had arrived a couple minutes earlier maybe it would have been us.

This Monday we decided to go to Barnaby's for dinner. (We don't know when to quit.) We got there without a problem, beyond the heavy traffic and a few near misses. You could see the remains of the fallen tree and a couple smashed road signs just before we arrived at the restaurant. 

Then Tuesday morning as I started out to work I noticed something absent from my wallet. I had left my credit card at Barnaby's. That afternoon, after work, I had to drive back to the restaurant in a raging thunderstorm to retrieve the card. I have decided Barnaby's is cursed.


** My daughters have longed claimed to be members of "Cone Rescue", whose duty is rescuing lonely and abused highway cones. They mourn the poor cones who didn't make it, but were instead smashed by careless drivers.  I know, my whole family is crazy.

That is Barnaby's in the photo.

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