Note:

This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What a Circus

Yesterday I decided to give Circus Family Restaurant a try with the girls.

It's one of those places that everyone knows about as a landmark...like "where's this place?" 'Oh, it's right next to the Circus place', or 'it's right across the street from that Circus place...' So I decided to finally give it a try.

It's a very small place and is generally a grill: burgers and hot dogs and french fries. They also included milkshakes and floats but alas, no vegetarian options.

The atmosphere is a throwback in time and place. The people behind the counter didn't look like the typical "Cary" folk, nor did the patrons. There were a few older folks who reminded me of people I knew in the mid-West. It was such a surreal experience, in one regard: I walked into the restaurant and I was no longer in Cary.

I enjoyed an old fashioned hot dog (spicy) "all the way". I never knew old fashioned hot dogs were spicy.

CJ had a burger. MiMi had french fries. The fries were pretty good; just the shoestring variety that I remember eating as a teenager.

The best was my root beer float in a big styrofoam cup; the girls enjoyed milkshakes each.

It was cramped, eating there and of course, I felt a little like we stood out. Then to top off my strange 'twilight zone' feeling, in walks two teens and a slightly older guy.

The teen boy was in a wife-beater (I love this word...) with a cigarette tucked behind his ears, and a crude tattoo glaringly displayed on his arm.

The teen girl was in basketball shorts, tank and flip-flops. I noticed later that she held a ziploc bag of ice on her arm.

The 'normal' dude was in golf-like gear but despite his guise, they all were very suspicious. I thought I was in an episode of Cops in a trailer park.

The girl was very loud: "babe...I used to come here as a kid. Hey babe...did you hear me? Babe?"

The older person would be babe. I assumed the wife-beater wearing teen was her brother?

Babe would pay very little mind to flip-flop girl.

But she continued to talk loudly. "They have great burgers. I remember that." Now she reminds me of an episode of Intervention.

She continues to babble and eats her corn dog when the phone rings and suddenly, normal dude leaves the table, toting his food. He comes back in for the ketchup.

Then wife-beater leaves after normal dude and flip-flop girl is left all alone, eating her corn dog, looking extremely sad...shifting the bag of ice on her arm...which I am trying to see what happened.

I'm not comfortable *at all* with these people. The owner of the restaurant looks like he could take on normal dude. I'm trying to figure out how I can take her out and protect the older ladies in one corner, and my girls in the other corner.

Finally, she finishes her dog and leaves. She gives a loud but earnest "Thank you" to the owners and is gone.

Whew. I didn't have to take off my shoes and earrings and start pulling hair. All is safe.

Until...we leave and get outside. I immediately hear her screaming at normal dude. I can't see her. I see him in one car, and I assume she must be in the other car next to his. And she is just screaming "Quit talking about me!!! I KNOW YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT ME!!!" I mean SCREAMING.

I hurry the kids in the car and drive off. Glad to be out of that situation. I have no idea what the situation was but man, it was suspect from the get-go.

And I'm still in awe that any of that every occurred. A step back in time...would I dare give it another try? Another bite at Circus?

Which, BTW, was pretty good grill food. And the people working there were pleasant. The owner, after flip-flop girl asked him how long they'd been there, said they've owned the restaurant since 1968 but the building was there at least two years before he bought it.

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