The fly swatter

QM, in an earlier comment, had mentioned she had lived in Montana. That reminded me of something I saw on this last road trip. Unfortunately, it was one of those instances where I kept my camera in it’s bag and just observed. I’ve never really liked posed shots…people looking stiff and unnaturally happy. In this case, there were just too many folks involved…but I tell you… in hindsight… I wish I had a photo for you.

Now some of you know that I just don’t do fast food restaurants anymore but when you’re on the road…desperate…that may be the only answer. One early morning, Mike and I were traveling in Montana and had not eaten breakfast. We drove into a very small farming community and found a Mac Donalds. 😦 They had some sort of yogurt/fruit thing added to the menu… so I ordered up and decided to look for a seat.

The dining room was full of men dressed in Levis..all sitting together…in two long rows. It looked like they had assembled for either a town meeting or breakfast. They looked up and I smiled at them all, then took my place at one of the few remaining places to sit. The first thing I noticed was a giant flat screen tv on the wall… which I thought was kind of peculiar in a Mac Donalds Restaurant. Then I noticed the volume of noise… rising… from the two rows of tables.

At first…I thought these men might be Farmers… but they all looked between 65 and 80 years old… so I wasn’t really sure. It was as if they had done their early morning chores and then had come here to meet about some important issue. Had some rodent or insect tried to mosey in on the county corn? Was this some sort of senior debate team? Heck…maybe I was looking at the Mayor and the City Council?

What I found really funny was their manner of speaking. Each man spoke out loudly… but they were all talking at once. And, absolutely no one was talking to anyone else in particular, as I watched in stealth silence. No one looked at anyone else for confirmation and no one ever answered a question that another posed.

In about the middle of the group, one man held up a bright hot pink fly swatter. He was waving his arms as he talked…to no one in particular…and then would arbitrarily swat at an unseen fly. Now…where I come from…a fly swatter would not be a great recommendation for an eating establishment…but no one in the group looked too concerned. Nor any of the Micky D. employees. He just kept right on talking, swatting his flies…and everyone else kept on talking as well..

At some point I changed my mind and decided that these guys were probably all retired, eccentric millionaires, sitting in Mac Donalds, watching the giant flat screen tv (which no doubt they had purchased for their own use). They’d probably met there everyday for years to swap stories…or to at least tell them out loud…regardless of who listened.

That group, all talking at once, with a hot pink fly swatter waving…Well I think even posed… would have been a keeper.

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9 Responses to “The fly swatter”

  1. Oh man, and you didn’t go up to one of them and ask what they were doing, who they were?, what the pink flyswatter was all about? For a minute I thought you were going to say that they were remote Wall Street bankers, each with their bluetooth earpieces and that they were watching a tickertape on the flat screen.

  2. oh, ybonesy…now that would have really been good! Fact was I was really scared to interupt. It was like watching live art performances.

  3. I think they were the fly fishermen club out to Mickeys Dees on senior special day.

  4. Good one! And the fly swatter was to gently stun the flies so that they could put them into a small container, the kind that prescription drugs come in. And they were practicing their swings, or whatever you call the arm movement they use. And they might have been lip-readers, too, and wanted to practice hearing over one another…

  5. Dang! Sounds just like the Spar Tree tavern up here in the great north west. Those loggers swappin’ story’s, and a couple of scroungy dogs layin’ on the sawdust floor..

  6. Ah, this story cracked me up. I laughed out loud when you talked about the pink fly swatter in the eating establishment, something that surely would be frowned upon here in clean, clean Minnesota!

    Now you’ve got me curious – I wonder what the heck they were doing in that McDonald’s? And can you say what part of Montana it was in? Eastern? Western?

    I remember one trip where I stopped in a very small town in Montana on my way back to Missoula and had a similar experience. I’ll never forget that breakfast! And aren’t these the things that writers live for? 8 – )

  7. QM, I looked on the map and I swear it was Fallon, Montana but I can’t find a MD there on the internet…only one in Glendive and Miles City…but Fallon sure seems the town I remember and my husband thought so too.

  8. Hmmm. Fallon. I’ll have to check that out. I haven’t heart of it. But have definitely heard of Glendive and Miles City. Thanks for checking!

    Wasn’t Fallon the name of a character on that old TV show, Dallas? Or did I make that up? 8)

  9. What that was was blogging without the computers.

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