For no real reason, one afternoon while driving down the main strip in my small town of Forsyth MO, I had occasion to reflect on how a place with a population of only two thousand should support seven eateries. Each of which were unique, while at the same time, lending themselves to a grouping of sorts..
McDonald’s and Sonic: Forsyth is blessed with two fast food houses; one being the upscale version of the other. Both employ drive thru’s which many people prefer use, although I’m not sure what the true reason is. Is is because they’re all in a hurry or is it perhaps because they’re all subliminally ashamed of eating junk food. Not sure. At any rate, I too admit to succumbing to an urge to visit one or the other about once a month. (There’s something about injecting a massive load of fat and salt into ones system that is so very damn satisfying). I can’t help but wonder just how many people these massive franchises have managed to kill, over the decades, via the complications of obesity or through outright heart attacks… I’d bet that number is frighteningly high.
Fat Daddy’s and the Long Horn: A step up the food chain, in my view would be these two ‘sit down’ eateries. Each serves up a wide menu of American food with a heavy leaning towards ‘beef style’ dishes. They are also ‘click restaurants’, in the sense that everyone seems to know everyone else when you walk into either. Of the two, I’d say that Fat Daddy’s is the more expensive due to their offerings of pulled this and shredded that pork-styled dishes. The Long Horn leans more towards a humble middle of the road burger and fries enterprise. Both feature rather uncomfortable seating, in my opinion.
The Frosted Mug and Charlie’s: Next, we come to eateries that also feature full service bars. But, please note that at that point, the comparison pretty much goes off into opposing directions. While the Mug is a true ‘joint’ in the genre of the 50’s – ‘Hey Butch what say we go down to the joint?’ Charlie’s is more of an ‘upscale’ establishment as it features a micro brewery and is so dazzling bright inside that’s it’s almost hard on the eyes. (Thus, when I want darkness and greasy food, I visit the Mug…. Alternatively, when I want to be ‘on center stage’ and sample say a slab of pricey ribs, I wander into to Charlie’s).
The Chinese/Mexican Place: Then, there’s the one place in my town where you can sample more exotic third world style foods. A venue, so named, because the owner must not have thought up something more descriptive to call it. (Had I been asked to assign it a moniker, I would have opted for ‘The Gluteal Crease’, if only to give it more schizophrenic appeal. At any rate, this is the venue to visit to after you’ve exhausted all the other ones and are growing desperate for something entirely different.
Charlupa’s: That leaves us with a venue that doesn’t even exist in Forsyth… yet. A ‘true’ bar that has blacked-out windows, a difficult to see interior and scantily clad female servers who sidle up to recessed booths containing men with appraising eyes. A place where one can sit with associates you’re not even supposed to be seen with in daylight.
At Charlupa’s, there might be free peanuts in the shell, in small dishes scattered up and down a stand alone bar that supports only about eight stools. The booths are equally very ‘recessed’ with lit lanterns that are always on due a darkness that exists even at high noon. A bar, if truth be told, where one could meet a secret lover or finalize a shady business deal. You know. The kind of bar Humphrey Bogart might have frequented back in his time. Yes sir, I think that I could spend quite a lot of my time there.