Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||Incredible Growing Spaghetti...
few weeks ago, I was out of town attending a festival in East Tennessee. Even
though we made reservations months in advance, that was not soon enough, and we
ended up staying away from the center of activity in a tiny town in a
middle-class motel. It was actually okay as all we needed was a bed for the
night and a place to eat.
"Is there a good restaurant around here?" we inquired of the desk
"There's an Italian place right across the street, and." He covered
his mouth and whispered, "They serve alcohol."
Apparently, a restaurant that serves alcohol is a rare commodity in a small East
Tennessee town. We really were not looking for a night out on the town, if you
could call it a town. We just wanted food. But we decided to give it a try.
The restaurant was less than impressive, to put it kindly, but the smell of
yeasty bread baking drifted out of the kitchen and by now we were starving.
"Booth or table?"
"Oh, a booth would be nice."
"You'll have to wait while I clean one off then."
Dozens of empty tables and we had to ask for a booth, we thought, as the
host/waiter/cashier/busboy cleaned dishes off one conveniently located next to
the kitchen door.
Finally, seated, we looked at the menu. I decided to play it safe and order
spaghetti. Surely I couldn't go wrong with spaghetti at an Italian restaurant.
Honey asked what kind of wine they had, as if this step-child of a truck stop
had a wine cellar.
"We don't have wine - just beer. You are welcome to bring your own,
Unfortunately, we were already there. I guess they meant next time -- as if
there would be a next time. I sort of wondered if they served Pabst Blue ribbon
in a can, but I figured I'd better just go with iced tea and leave redneck
tradition alone. Such jokes might not be appreciated in this environment.
While we waited for the food, we were treated to the conversation of the cooks
in the kitchen as they yelled back and forth, discussed the trials and
tribulations of a mutual friend, and banged dishes. I won't repeat the
conversation, as you would not want to hear it. Besides, Mary Lou is over her
surgery and doing just fine now.
The salad arrived. It was crisp and the bread was crusty and hot. I was
beginning to feel more optimistic.
Finally, the food arrived. It was a bowl of spaghetti large enough to feed an
entire family. The waiter sat it in front of me. It had one of those round
spaghetti spoons that you use to help wind spaghetti on your fork. I was
impressed. At least they knew how to serve spaghetti.
The spaghetti was good and I ate and ate. But the more I ate, the more spaghetti
there seemed to be. I ate and it grew. I ate more and it grew more. I ate more
and more and it grew more and more.
Finally, I could eat spaghetti no longer. I could not even miss what I had
eaten. In fact, I'm certain there was more now than at the beginning. It must be
soaking up the sauce and expanding, I decided.
I asked the waiter to take it away before it outgrew the dish. "It was
really good," I apologized. "I just can't eat that much."
"It soaks up the sauce," he mumbled.
Honey's fettuccini grew too, but he managed to stay ahead of it somehow.
He got out his American Express card to pay. I nudged him, and frowned. He got
my drift, and put it away and got out cash.
We paid and escaped quickly before the spaghetti could grow out the kitchen door
and follow us home.
I'm still afraid that I will pick up the paper one day and read about a small
Italian restaurant somewhere in East Tennessee where the spaghetti grew so
incredibly large that it pushed off the roof and nearly killed several
Copyright 2006 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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