Denny’s, right before 2am, is a fairly quiet place. Aside from the bathroom vermin and other customers scurrying around, there isn’t much there. There’s the manager sitting at the counter working on his eighteenth cup of coffee, the Denny’s waitpersons (to be politically correct) standing around talking, and the cooks dredging up phlegm from their lungs, spitting onto the grill and watching it crackle. There are a few customers around, mostly dazed college students.
Then, 2AM. This is a special time, as the bars have just closed. In minutes, many late ’70’s domestic cars will swerve into the parking lot, their inebriated contents hungering for a Grand Slam, or maybe just looking for a cup of coffee to pass out in. After a few moments of searching, they finally get the doors open, and stumble into the cheery restaurant. They look a bit ill. Most are Denny’s veterans, however, and could probably swallow a live hamster with no digestive trauma.
Eventually, they are seated. Most of the table light cigarettes, but the single non-smoker is invariably seated in the center of the group. Eventually, the intrepid waitperson walks over, and asks if they want coffee. Asks. Our waithero(ine) could have asked if they’d like a cup of gold. They all do, except the non-smoker, who wants herbal tea. This health freak hasn’t yet realized that anything served in a greasy mug is toxic.
They get their coffee, a thoroughly evil substance that looks and smells like thin mud, but is evidently composed of materials with much higher atomic numbers than the components of anything organic. No one is sure what it is, but a team of Dennysologists have discovered that it will dissolve a 6d nail in just under an hour. They have also discovered that exposure creates an effect vaguely similar to brain death.
After a few moments, the waitperson returns to take their orders. There are many Grand Splat breakfasts to choose from, but tonight the Harvest Slam is the favorite. For the uninitiated, this is the most evil breakfast item on the menu. It supersedes even the legendary Southern Slam, which features blobs of flour and yeast jokingly referred to as “biscuits,” covered with what looks like vomit after a meal of cat food and Cream of Wheat. The Harvest Splat, as previously stated, is worse. This features pancakes, but not the regular mushy discs of toxin that are normal Denny’s pancakes. These are slightly darker in appearance. The taste brings to mind the odor of a stack of burning truck tires. The texture is a real treat, as some genius decided to put walnut pieces in the batter. They have no taste, but do give the disconcerting sensation of feeling as if you broke a tooth, and the piece is floating around your mouth. The “pancakes” have a strange coating over them, a thick yellow liquid with shriveled apple pieces floating in it. Avoid this at all costs, the fumes can damage sensitive sinus linings. Next to the “pancakes” there is a section devoted to the “eggs,” usually scrambled. These are truly fascinating. They are covered with water, but are somehow dry and crackly. They clump together for survival. They are an even, unnatural yellow. They shrivel up if you add salt. Finally, there are two pork fat strips, er, bacon, and two small brown sausages linked along one side, that resemble aged bowel movements more than anything else. Crude, but true. The contents of these are unknown. Spectrograph analysis by Dennysologists has so far proved inconclusive. This rounds out the entree.
At this point, the restaurant is quickly filling with drunken customers. As the table previously mentioned begins to eat, several other groups enter, and repeat the same ritual, or one very much like it. They have a longer wait, however, as the waitpeople are taking a cigarette break. Steam is rising from the kitchen, as the mysterious cooks, little more than heads with funny caps to the customers, bob around behind the counter.
Leaving before the brawl begins is a good idea. The manager has already slipped out the back door, just hope you have received your bill by then. After that, all that is needed is to go home and pump your stomach.