The Cracker Barrel in Prattville is busy. And loud. Inside, there isn’t much in the way of elbow room. There are heaps of people eating dangerous amounts of biscuits.
And I am trying master the wooden Triangle Peg game.
The object of the game, of course, is simple. Leave the fewest pegs remaining on the triangle as possible.
Let’s say, for instance, you finish a game and only one peg is left. This means you are a NASA-level genius. Two pegs; you are moderately clever. Four pegs; your parents are first cousins.
Whenever I play the Triangle game, it’s not pretty.
I love it here. But then, I have a long history with Cracker Barrel. I’ve eaten at Cracker Barrels from Junction City to Gainesville. The food suits me.
The overhead music always has steel guitar in it.
Today, an elderly couple is sitting next to me. The man is skinny. She is frail. They are shoulder to shoulder.
The man is wearing a hospital bracelet. His entire lower
leg is in a brace. His face is bruised purple. He is resting his head onto the old woman’s shoulder.
“I love you, Judy,” he says.
She just pats his head and scans the menu.
On the other side of the dining room is a table of paramedics. They wear radios on their shoulders. Their eyes are drooping. It looks like they’ve had a long night.
I eavesdrop on their conversation, but can’t make out much. All I hear is: “I’m ready to go home.”
These men are modern-day saints.
Behind me is a young family with five kids. Four boys are tall and thick. One is not.
One child is small and slight. He has a device in his ear and a device mounted on his head. He stares at his older brother’s plate and says, “Can I have…