CONFESSION: $4 ice cream chocolate drizzle pancake cures loneliness


 So I found myself feeling uncharacteristically lonely last night on a Saturday night in the autumn of Las Vegas where October evenings darken and there’s an occasional chill but it is still quite warm and dry in this leftover box from summer and I didn’t know what to do with my lonesome self because it was too late to make a date and it was too late to crash into friends’ living rooms like a sitcom goofball and I didn’t want to go to a nightclub or a bar and I tried going to retail shops but they were closed and I didn’t want to go to the main retail store which was still open which was Walmart but not because I’m better than Walmart but I just didn’t feel like that mood of zombie so I sat in my eight-year-old electric Fiat clown car in a parking lot in front of TJ Maxx while adorable strangers ambled in front of me from left to right as seen through my windshield and so I just started driving and I thought of where I used to go in high school in the middle of the night to read and to feel fresh and grumpy and that place was IHOP and as it turns out there is an IHOP on the way home to my house from the closed retail stores so I pulled up to this alleged international house of pancakes and I put on my pandemic mask and I walked in and it was empty except for one table full of whispering family and the hostess walked me to a table where she was kind to me and I ordered decaffeinated coffee and iced water and this insane pancake ice cream chocolate drizzle item for four dollars off of the IHOP happy hour menu which surprised me because I didn’t know IHOP did happy hour but I was pretty happy about it during this hour of need which registered as a four on a scale of one to ten of neediness for human interaction and with each spoonful of scrumptious sugar delight my mind perked up like sprinkles glittering through my lightless sky until I finally felt not alone and I paid my small check and I left a five dollar tip which equaled the bill and I wrote a little nice note to the server and drew a happy smiley face and I drove home and plugged in my clown car and I walked in and took off all of my clothes and then put on my exercise clothes and got on the treadmill and I walked four miles like the body dysmorphic I am but I am pleased with myself that I did something with my loneliness and I’m sure physical trainers and dietitians would not be thrilled with my choice of ice cream pancake chocolate drizzle but that’s just too fucking bad because a little sugar served from a smiling stranger was just what the metaphorical doctor ordered 

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