Ron vs The Chickens

Aloha from the valley isle of Maui. Sun, surf, and sand. 28 degrees with a cool wind off the ocean.

Life is good …

Unless you hate chickens – which I am beginning to do. In 92 or 93, Spielberg was filming Jurassic Park when a massive hurricane blew through the islands. In the storm, chicken barns everywhere were destroyed, and chickens ended up on every island.

They run wild and free to this day.

At 5 am, they come to life. Their crowing, clucking, and just plain cussedness has woken me two days in a row. Does anyone have a good recipe for chicken?

Maui is quite different from Oahu. Waikiki, for example, has a night life. Kihei, where we are staying, is in bed by 9. This is not a bad thing … I’m just saying.

About a km and a half from our hotel is a strip mall. We walked there last night and had an interesting experience at a local Denny’s. (yes, we are party animals)

We ordered our meals, which came not-quite-as-expected. My wife’s cranberry almond chicken salad, for example, came without cranberries … Or almonds.

In all fairness, however, it did have chicken.

When we pointed this out to our waiter, he said he’d “take care of it on the bill”. And then went on an extended break.

Penny (a Big Bang theory reference for you fans) took over.

Now, I am on vacation. I have no set agenda, and I have no particular place to go. So if ordering 6 Puppy Pancakes (little deep fried balls o dough) takes as long to come as our meal did … So be it.

When we got them, our first thought was “Oh. I guess they make chocolate ones.” Which is kind of exciting because … well … we like chocolate.

It turns out that they weren’t chocolate after all. We did, however, discover why they had taken so long. Apparently they had spent all that time sitting I’m the deep fryer.

When we sent them back, Penny was at a loss. “People usually like these”, she said.

I agreed with her, thinking that we must be pretty unreasonable tourists.

Then the fun began – although, to be fair, I had been having fun all along, as my meal was fine.

How to take the puppies off the bill? Penny hemmed and hawed – which is sight in itself – and worked away at some numbers on a pad. She went to the computer and worked some more. Finally, she asked another server for help. His helpful advice was ” just take it off the bill already.”

So, much later, we finally get our bill. As I go to pay it, Penny (not her real name) says – and I’m not making this up – ” can you add this up to make sure my math is right?”

I said “aside from being charged for a cranberry almond salad that never really arrived, I think it looks OK.”

Sarcasm, my friends, is a lost art.

Penny, to her credit, said “No, I mean the space where you add the tip. Can you add the tip and then add the total up for me?”

I am a patient man. I’ve been married nearly 26 years. I have two sons. I work in a profession where patience is a necessity.

So … I remained calm. I could have said “my tip would be to move into another line of work. Perhaps nuclear physics.” Or “maybe a job in the hospitality industry would be right for you”.

But no. I simply suggested that if she were to add 0 dollars for the tip, that would be ok with me.

Sarcasm, my friends, is a lost art.

I can’t wait to go back. It’s pretty rare that, while on vacation, you get entertainment for free.


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