For as long as there have been roads in America, there have been roadside diners. And while these down-home establishments number in the thousands, each one is pretty much exactly the same. Whether way down in Texas or all the way up in Oregon, here are the seven types of people you can expect to find at a roadside diner.
Photo credit: chucknado, Flickr
7 The Local
He’s been coming in everyday for the past 10 years, and he’ll continue to do so until all that greasy food clogs his arteries and carries him away to the afterlife. Typically found sitting alone in a counter seat, he quietly sips his coffee while reading the newspaper. Of course, he also knows the entire wait-staff by name and considers them family.
6 The Out-of-Town Family
Traveling families in need of a potty break and good ol’ fashioned burger are staple of the roadside diner. While the kids color their menus, the father may try (and fail miserably) to hide his city slicker roots. More than likely, he and his wife will make an off-hand comment about how there’s something so magical about the simple livin’ of country life. Despite being a couple days old, they’ll also decree the microwaved slice of apple pie to be the absolute best they’ve ever tasted.
5 The Town Sheriff
He’s the big fish in the little pond – and when he’s not pulling over road trippers on the highway, he’s inside the diner filling up on eggs and bacon. Much like The Local, he’ll sidle up to the counter and make chit-chat with the waitresses. His near constant presence may have you wondering if he ever does any actual police work. Well, as it turns out, the answer is, “No” – because in Small Town, USA there are no crimes big enough worth investigating.
4 The Surly Waitress
She’s spent most of her adult life serving up French fries and wiping down tables – fact that would leave anyone more than a little jaded. Though her sweet country accent may fool you, there’s a surly woman under there just waiting to serve your food with a side of sass. And since things move at a slower pace out in the boonies, you better not expect quick service, because that’s just not how things are done in a roadside diner.
3 The Trucker
After a long day of hauling, all a trucker wants is a good meal and a simple cup of coffee. While similar to the Local, truckers tend to sit in the back-corner booth rather than at the counter. As he sips his coffee, he’ll quietly stare out the window and think about how he made good time today.
2 The Hungover College Kids
Whether on their way home from Coachella or trip to their state’s party town, the hungover college kid can’t make it all the way home without drowning his or her headache in a plate of greasy eggs. Too tired to notice the locals silently judging their messy hair, these partied-out compatriots dutifully throw back their meals, pay their bill and head back on the road to get back in time for next week’s classes.
1 The Drifter
He’s the creepy guy with the wiry eyes and dirty coat. His unique appearance will constantly draw your attention, but your eyes dart away when he turns to meet your gaze. So creepy is this guy, that the waitress drops all attitude and serves him without a single snide remark. If he leaves before you do, chances are you’ll soon see him walking down the side of the road with his thumb sticking out.
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