Back in January Mr. Zoom and I took a trip with my parents to an outlet mall. This meant getting up before dawn - as my parents insist that getting there early is key. The place is a few hours drive away. And if you don't get there early, a chasm opens and swallows the entire mall. Or something.
Actually, it's the parking they are after. They have a nifty theory about where they park. It borders on Feng Shui and urban legend - and I've given up fighting it.
There is only one thing that makes this trip worth while, and it is the restaurant in Banning that we always stop at for breakfast. Grammas.
This place will kick your ass. It's got the best French Toast I've ever had. I would have taken more pictures to show you how it feels like the Republican Party and the Bible Belt, Dress and Handbag of America vomited in a room after a hard night of partying and subsequently abandoned the mess out in the California desert - but I was literally afraid that someone would have gotten up and forced me out of the place at double barrelled shotgunpoint. Yee Haw.
Apparently during this trip with my parents I made the mistake of discussing t-shirts. My mother was wondering what to do with a lot of t-shirts she had that were so beat up, she couldn't have even given them away. I told her that I use things like that as rags around the house - or when I'm putting something breakable in storage, I'll wrap it in an old t-shirt.
In typical Mom fashion, she took this to mean that I was in need of household rags. To her credit, she didn't buy a bunch at the outlet mall. Instead, she silently waited until a future visit and handed Mr. Zoom a full grocery bag full of "tea" towels she didn't need anymore. And my parents never do anything in moderation. She handed the bag to Mr. Zoom saying "HERE, Zoom said she needed - ney - wanted these. Here you go." Mr. Zoom, having been schooled in the ways of Mom took the bag and didn't even look inside until he got home.
The bag was too heavy to have just old towels in it. Inside, under the explosion of towels that escaped the bag, was a Costco size, giant tub of Shout. That stain remover add on for laundry. which we don't have a need for. And won't in the next 100 years. The amount of time it would take to use this size of Shout.
Just last visit I got, without warning, a half of box of hershey dark chocolate bars, a half of box of individual packets of nuts, a bag of peanut butter filled pretzles and two 12 packs of diet Cherry Coke. Anyone else remember those "grab bags" from Farrell's Ice Cream Parlors? Because it feels like every visit I have with my parents is sponsored by Tim Burton and the parting gift is a grab bag of the most random crap EVER.
I think I drank diet cherry coke for about a day once in 1997, and my Mom hasn't forgotten it since. But she has forgotten the fact that I am allergic to nuts.
Don't get me wrong. I love my parents and very much appreciate what they are trying to do. And so do the people at my office who find these treasures in the office kitchen.