It’s midnight on a Saturday night in Stillwater, U.S.A.
You’re with your best friend and he decides he’s hungry. He’s a doer, not a thinker. So what do you do? You grab your hoodie and head out the door with no particular destination in mind.
This was where I found myself this weekend. We were walking down the street talking about anything and everything in search of food. We walked into Qdoba, changed our minds, and walked out. We were walking down the sidewalk, and he turned to me and said, “You know what I want? Pancakes.” It sounded reasonable to me. We headed in the direction of Wal-Mart, which happens to be about two miles from our dorm.
As we headed away from campus and through a neighborhood there were fewer and fewer lights – it got a little creepy for a minute. Especially because we felt the need to discuss the worst-case scenarios as we strolled down the dark street. I was glad to see the lights again as we came out of the neighborhood. It was a beautiful, clear night which was making for a perfect walk.
When we got to Wal-Mart it was about 12:30 am. We tried to walk in one door, but it was closed because it was after midnight. After going in the other door, we headed off in search of pancake mix. We couldn’t find the brand we wanted, so we stood for a little while debating what to get. Then we had to go get eggs and butter. Squeeze butter or tub? The cinnamon rolls are by the butter, so we obviously needed some of those for some other time. But which ones to get? Let the debating begin again. Then we decided maybe we needed bacon. But what kind of bacon did we want? (I think you’re starting to get the pattern here.) We were finally ready to get syrup. We walked past it once, so we had to turn around. (This is the dumbest Wal-Mart ever. There is a row of cleaning products in the middle of the food. Go figure.) You know what was right by the Aunt Jemima syrup (a definite must if you want good pancakes)? That’s right – the pancake mix we had wanted originally… which doesn’t need eggs. So, we headed back to the back of the store yet again to put the eggs back. But there was a problem. We were so excited that we got the pancakes we wanted that we didn’t actually pick up the syrup. And we were still holding the other pancake mix because it was from a different aisle. So we went our separate ways, one got syrup and one put the pancake mix up. Finally ready to check out, we headed to the front of the store one last time. We checked out and headed for the exit. But after our little adventure we forgot the door was closed so we had to walk the length of the store yet again to leave. Then we made the two mile trek back to our dorm.
When we got to the lounge, it took us longer to get started than I thought it would. The first thing I learned is that boys are nasty. There were remnants of who-knows-what dried on the cookware on the counter. When we went to wash them, there was no soap left. At first, I thought that it was at least a good sign that a whole bottle of soap had been used but then again, who knows how many
years that bottle had been there? Luckily we had some soap of our own. After searching through the other lounges and my room, we managed to collect all of the supplies we needed. Let the cooking begin.
About three hours later the mess was put away, and we were eating the last of the bacon in my room. Then we laid on my rug (it is super-extra soft) and talked for a little while. All in all, it was a pretty successful night. So, as you can see, our quick trip for food turned into an over four hour adventure. If you give a college kid a pancake…