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Friday, October 01, 2010

MY LIFE: A Visit To Peculiar Missouri, Part 3: The Robot Revolution And Why Peculiar Is Peculiar, And Not!

Sorry it's taken so long to get part 3 done. If it's any consolation, I'm already over half way done with the next post! - OlderMusicGeek

Link to Part 1
Link to Part 2

Now it was my turn to eat.

I skip the truck stop next to the freeway because I figure it will mostly have people pulling off the freeway for a bite to eat, and I want to go somewhere where all the Peculiar people go!

So we go to the u-shape strip mall where we saw a couple of the restaurants.

I go to a sandwich place first. It seems like it would be more Peculiar than the Mexican or Chinese place there.

It is strangely named with the simple “The Sandwich Shop”. It was if it was named by someone who did know how to name a sandwich place.

When I go to the door, I notice the place has no signs or menus on the wall and is completely empty of furniture except a counter, placed there as if it were some prop!

It was, of course, locked. So I went to the Mexican restaurant. But it also was locked and looked like it hadn't been used in ages. Also, it was looking like a prop with the front of the restaurant bare except for the sign with its name.

Then I went to the Chinese restaurant. Same story, locked, bare, only a sign, the same prop look.

“What the hell? Don't the people in this town eat?”

Of course, that's when it hit me! Do they? The only restaurants that were open were the two that get business from the freeway!

Good Lord, did we stumble into a town of robots? Cannibals? Human-eating aliens?

Then I remembered there was still the greasy spoon further in town. It was a risk, but by god, I had to see it through.

So I hopped in the car and drove further into this town of danger and mystery!

Unfortunately, the danger and mystery wasn't very forthcoming. The diner was your typical small town diner. Old and a bit run down, but clean and well taken care of.

And the two teenagers working there were your typical laid back teenagers. The girl dressed in shorts and t-shirt. No long skirt like someone who didn't know how people really dress.

And the guy wore jeans that hung off his buttocks. And he snuck peaks at the girl in the shorts when she wasn't looking. Damn it, typical teenager behavior, not like robots at all!

About the only thing peculiar going on that diner was the half-white, half-black kid sitting alone leaned back in her chair bobbing her head to her iPod. But that's pretty typical behavior for my daughter.

And everyone who came in while I waited for my food were annoyingly normal! My god, did I somehow get to Normal, Illinois, by mistake? Was that what made this town peculiar? It sent you through some space anomaly to Normal? But then why was everything named Peculiar This and Peculiar That?

I finally couldn't take it anymore! I asked one of the other customers if she was from Peculiar. I think she started to think I was peculiar! Imagine that!

Anyway, she said she wasn't originally from there, but had been living there for over fifteen years. So I asked her if she knew why the town was called “Peculiar”.

She gave a story that pretty follows what the website for the town of Peculiar said.

The story basically goes like this...

The early settlers had a hard time picking a name for their little spot on the map. After arguing over it a few times in the general store, they sent three names to the post office, who I guess makes the town names official.

Well, it seems the three names the settlers chose were already taken, so the fed up town told the post-master general that they didn't care what they got “so long as it is sort of peculiar”.

Apparently the post-master general either had a sense of humor or was a smart ass... or maybe he was just fed up with town. Or possibly all three!

But he wrote to the town, “in all the land it would be difficult to imagine a more distinctive, a more peculiar name than Peculiar.” And that, supposably, is how the town got it's name... and not because it's populated by aliens, demons or robots, dang it!

So that pretty much concluded our adventures in Peculiar. I ate my chicken sandwich, which tasted fine and not funny at all. Then I got in the car, and my daughter and I hopped on the Peculiar exit and head out town, and I must say we did so rather disappointed.

But I guess now, one of these days, when we go to Chicago, we'll have to check out just how normal Normal, Illinois, really is...

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