Old Man and Old Woman had driven on Interstate 55 many times, too many to mention. This time they were driving from Beaumont, Texas, the day after Christmas. Christmas in Beaumont with Golden Boy, their youngest son, had been painful and disappointing for too many reasons to count.
Old Woman strongly suggested they stop and get some food. Old Man said he was just fine, and she could wait a while. Old Woman replied in no uncertain language that they had better stop or there’d be pee all over Old Man’s precious car.
|Lambert is a former Sikeston Bulldog football, wrestling and track coach.|
Passing by Sikeston, Missouri, a sign announced “Home of the Throwed Roll”, and this would suit them both just fine, since they weren’t talking with each other at this time. Old Man parked his precious car, and Old Woman got out even before the engine stopped running. By the time Old Man had opened his door and slammed it, Old Woman was inside and sitting at a table, menu in hand.
The Throwed Roll was unusually quiet this day right after Christmas which suited Old Man just fine with his failing hearing. Old Woman could have done with some laughing and people around, since she enjoyed visiting with people on next table over or behind.
A chirpy little waitress named Patty took their order of ham and beans for Old Man, and turkey with stuffing for Old Woman. Old Man canceled his order and instead asked for meatloaf, after Old Woman announced that she wasn’t going to ride with someone who had just eaten beans.
Plates delivered and Patty asked if they would like some rolls. Why, yes, Old Woman nodded. Patty called to Norman Lambert, owner of the restaurant, for rolls and Patty moved out of the way. You’d better get ready, she whispered as Norman launched the first roll to Old Woman, who had excellent reflexes.
The soft-ball sized roll hit her hand with a WHAP, just like being caught in a ball mitt. Then Old Man caught his roll, barely containing it. Patty set a bowl of smooth butter and a jar of molasses on their table, asking if they’d like to put some on their roll. Why, yes, Old Man nodded. Patty wiped her hands on her apron, and then burrowed her index finger into each roll. Then Patty slathered a sizable amount of butter in the well, followed by thin line of molasses easing out from about a foot above.
Old Man and Old Woman gasped and then laughed, finally making eye contact. Three rolls later they were back on the I-55, heading home, talking to each other like old couples do.
Throwed Rolls has probably saved many relationships over the years.
My parents are Old Man and Old Woman.