No Gravy for Old Men

“Are all y’all together?”, the overly sweet waitress asked while smacking on a wad of gum.


This was the first sign that I had landed in a foreign place.  I thought I had traveled to an English-speaking land, but clearly the geniuses at Wikipedia hadn’t mentioned any strange dialects associated with the native Floridians.  I knew I was in trouble, but like McGyver, I quickly adapted; “Jeez ya, B’y!  We’s all ta-geder”, I blurted out in my best Newfie accent.

My quick-thinking confused the poor server enough that she simply handed out menus and left us to form a plan.

What strange gastronomical concoctions would be thrust upon us?  Would I recognize anything?  What are ‘Towering Onion Rings’?  This could be tricky on my sophisticated, yet delicate pallet.

“I’ll have a burger with fries.  Gravy on the side, please”.  Surely, even in this strange place, a burger would be a burger.  I only had to assume that the ‘fries’ were made with potatoes and not some indigenous creature.

“Gravy, sir”? The young heavily accented girl puzzled.  I must have confused her with my proper English.  I might have to revert to sign language.  “Yes, brown gravy.  On the side, please”.  I made the shape of a small bowl with my hands, to help in case she still didn’t understand me.

“Ohhh…sorry.  We don’t have gravy.  We have a really great Chipolte mayo though”. 

What the hell is a ‘Chipolte’?  Is it a relative of the armadillo? I wasn’t going to risk it.  Plain fries would have to do.  How could such a world-renowned destination not have gravy? Asking for Poutine was completely out of the question.  Would they have assumed I was looking for the Russian President.

What other strange things would I be in for during my stay here?

I heard that the Orlando area had many fresh water lakes.  Being from Canada, I was sure I could find solace by wading through the clean, clear waters to give me a sense of home while trying to adapt to this alien land…

no swimming


Disney World!  Yeah, that would be great.  Skipping freely from ride to ride, I figured I could get in a half-day of kid-like freedom in this iconic park….

disney crowds Nope!

So, gravy was out, can’t swim in the lakes, and a theme park required elbow pads and 3 days time just to park the car.  What’s so great about this place?  Why does everyone come here?

Super-friendly giant rodents in human clothing…strange, but oddly appealing…


It’s warm. Like, all the time warm.  Shorts in November warm….bordering on hot…

sunny weather

…and the good citizens of Orlando have adopted a ‘Special Needs Palm Tree’ program, offering jobs to disabled palm trees on the sides of highways….Props!

palm trees

The gravy would have to wait until I returned to civilization.


8 thoughts on “No Gravy for Old Men

  1. Ahh yes, the ordering brown gravy attempt. Just be glad she didn’t bring you the white gravy stuff they use for biscuits in the south. Blech!

    • No way! I won’t try anything I’ve never tried before.

      P.S.; the gravy was for the fries, but if I wanted to try something new (which I don’t), I’ll try it on the burger next time. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Gravy can mean all kinds of things in the USA. In New york or Jersey, it could mean “pasta sauce.” In some parts of West-By-God-Virginia it may be assumed that it is “sausage gravy” you want when you ask for “gravy.” Of course, in some parts, if you talk about gravy too much, they will think you have excess millions…

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