On the Road: Looking at America Through a Layer of Filth, Grime and Bug Guts

Out to Lunch
Finding Lunch in Oklahoma

I bought a book before I started the trip to help us navigate the old highway. Much of the road doesn't exist anymore and some of it is now part of Interstate 40. Our thinking was, we would take the old road when we wanted to see some sights and then get on the interstate when we wanted to put miles behind us. The book was also a good guide to sights and restaurants along the way. When we stopped in Weatherford, Oklahoma for lunch at a cafe the book recommended, I learned there is a problem with the book and all books of this nature. The restaurant was closed. Rule number one with any kind of guide book, assume the information is out of date. Don't let this stop you from trying to find something mentioned, but expect to be disappointed. You will either find the place closed down, under reconstruction, or living under an assumed identity 2 towns over. We didn't let this defeat get us down. We only had to wait one more town and we found a place named Jigg's Smokehouse. The place was a wooden two story shanty with a mangy mutt on the porch. Nothing screams good eatin' like a run down shack.

Jiggs Smokehouse

Jigg's is the exact opposite of a vegan restaurant. The menu had any kind of meat product you could think of, barbecue, steak, sausage, ham, roast, loin, and a couple more that you've never heard of. I didn't see a vegetable within 2 miles of this place. There were potato chips on the menu, but even during the Reagan administration -- the more slack days of food categorizing -- I don't think anyone dared call a potato chip a vegetable. Wendell and I ordered a Barbecue sandwich. Back home in North Carolina when you order barbecue, you get a standard hamburger bun full of chopped barbecue pork. But we had left North Carolina a long time ago and this was Oklahoma and here barbecue means beef. Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw when the server handed me my lunch. This sandwich was as big as an old LP record, 12 inches in diameter. Each half of the bun was an inch thick. In between the two pieces of bread was 2 inches of shredded beef. This was more than a sandwich. This was more than a meal. This was famine relief. It was so much sandwich, I was full after 2 bites. I have never been beaten by a sandwich, but this day I was crying for mercy. As I sobbed, a man, a big Oklahoma man, came in and ordered what the menu called "the kitchen sink." This sandwich made my sandwich look like a McDonald's Happy Meal. It was beef barbecue, sausage, ham, more sausage, more beef, and more ham all squeezed between two giant 12 ounce sirloins. I watched in terror as this man, this beast, this poster child of carnivorism ate this Whitman's Meat Sampler. I was disgusted. I couldn't believe my eyes. He noticed me staring at him with my mouth agape. He asked if there was a problem. I shook my head "no" and then asked him how he could eat that sandwich. I asked him how could he treat his body and his heart so bad. He gave me a cold stare and then his colon stood up and called me a sissy. I cried all the way to Texas.

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