Memory is a strange chain.

I guess it’s strange because it never seems to be very linear.  It has links that spread out to the sides, veering off into odd directions, randomly adding to the total length.

Until you start walking its length, you don’t realize how many weird diversions it takes…or how strongly some of the meanderings are stuck up in your head.

I heard from a friend from high school recently…and it got me thinking about a place called Duff’s Smorgasbord that we used to eat at.

I’m not sure exactly where Duff’s was.  I think it might have been in the old Woolco building….I don’t really know.  I do remember that the bulk of the building was an antique mall…and back in one of the rear corners was this buffet called Duff’s.

It was perfect for a bunch of teenage boys.  It was cheap and nasty with fried chicken and ham and pink foam jello and an ice cream bar.

All you can eat for 2.45.

What more could you ask for in an eating establishment?

I don’t remember it ever being very busy when we were there….but we never took that sign as any kind of warning.

I think that when you’re in your teens that quantity usually trumps quality, anyway. That was something that Duff’s excelled at.  There was always a lot of food out in the warming trays.

I remember this one time when we got off on some weird tangent, falling on the floor laughing, milk shooting out of our noses.  We were out of control.

I think the question that started all the hilarity was “So…what time do you get off?”

Teenage boys can turn anything into nasty.  I didn’t say witty…or really intelligent…just nasty.  But to a teenage boy, nasty can be hilarious.

So there we were, rolling and snorting, laughing our heads off because a simple question could be tweaked just a little and turned into something that to our sophisticated intellects became nastily hilarious.

Nasty hilarity at the food bar.  It doesn’t get much more completely satisfying than that.

Other than trying not to laugh in church, I don’t remember too many times when I’ve laughed as hard.

I guess “nasty” is relative.  If we had been confronted with real, full on nasty our reactions would probably have been less appreciative.  From what I remember, I had some pretty nice friends…more “silly nasty” than “disgusting nasty”.

Typical teenage nasty.

I don’t really understand how memory works.  I don’t understand what triggers the things we remember.

I don’t have these flashbacks every time I go back up to the food bar.

The memory of snorting milk out of my nose isn’t so strong that I can’t get another helping of garlic green beans without thinking about it.

Memory is a strange chain…and sometimes it gets kind of heavy to drag it around…but there are links that I’m glad are part of it.

Sitting with my friends, laughing our heads off, bellies full to bursting with cheap buffet food is definitely one of those links.

03 Unbroken Chain


image from here.




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