• October 26, 2020

THE IDLE AMERICAN: Expensive tastes? - Odessa American: Guest Columns

e-Edition Subscribe

THE IDLE AMERICAN: Expensive tastes?

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Sunday, September 20, 2020 1:30 am

When someone suggests that life is difficult, there’s the temptation to ask, “Compared to what?”

Actors dating back to Shakespeare have cited another comparison concerning the difficulty of making audiences laugh. They’ve said it thusly: “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.”

Within a specific current context, Fletcher’s Corny Dog Pop-Up Stands are offering “bargains” when compared to the Dallas Cowboys’ take-out menu during games at AT&T Stadium. The former is to make us mindful of the canceled Texas State Fair, and the latter to yesteryear’s packed stadiums for Cowboy games.

My aged Uncle Mort, fiddle-string tight and apt to climb over gates to save hinges, remains a natural born skeptic. An advocate of the centuries-old phrase that a fool and his money are soon parted, he says that fools ordering AT&T take-out are instead “took-in.”

The AT&T fare—for diehards whose game attendance currently is problematic at best—makes Fletcher’s State Fair food seem cheap.

Cancellation of the fair is a “downer,” but Fletcher’s menu prices are “uppers” alongside the AT&T offering. For starters, Fletcher’s “pop-up” stands offer corn—and assorted other dogs—for $5-$7 each. Lemonade at $4 is the cheapest item. (Cash is NOT accepted, and orders must be placed in advance.)

You may want to float a loan for the AT&T Stadium’s At Home Menu. Orders are due three days before Cowboy games and are to be picked up or delivered the day before the game.

The minimum order is for 4-6 people, or one can order for 10-14 or 16-20.

Featured spread is the “Sunday Fun Day Game Day,” offering smoked prime rib, turkey, roast beef, ham, veggies and rolls for 16-20 people for $1,200, or the family-sized portion for $360. Don’t know if they have the pre-figured 15%-20%-25% tip options. Delivery fee is $15. You may NOT pass “go,” but playing Monopoly instead of ingesting food that reminds fans of the Cowboys might make more sense.

My friend Lanny Hall and his wife Carol get “kicks” out of culinary procurements in out-of-the-way places, the kind often staffed by teens with limited arithmetic skills.

On a recent trip to Branson, they scarfed down wonderful fried pies at a small store in a sleepy town. They decided to buy a half-dozen pies to munch later at their Branson condo.

Sorry, can’t do it,” the young man said. Figuring he might be befuddled by the “half-dozen” number, Lanny countered:”Can you sell me one fried pie six times?” The deal was on.

Back home in Abilene, he ordered eight hushpuppies from the take-home menu. “I can’t sell you eight,” the teen responded.

The young man said he could, however, sell him four. “I’d like four hushpuppies,” Hall said. “And I’d like a second order of the same thing.”

Again, the retired university president and skilled public servant who made three successful runs for the State Legislature was equal to surmounting obstacles between him and a transaction for eight hushpuppies.

All this reminds me of a long-ago stop at a McDonald’s to purchase a 27-cent senior coffee.

I was ready to hand her a quarter and two pennies, but she didn’t pour the coffee, even though the pot was full. “Can’t sell you coffee or anything else,” the girl said, “Our computer is broken.” Words like “no” or “can’t” don’t set well with Hall. He would have tried bartering, maybe with a pack of gum. And he would have gotten his coffee.

The late Hugh White was a long-ago Mayor of Alpine, popular with everyone except mayoral candidates. Owner and operator of the popular Highland Village Café, he befriended all. He routinely cashed Sul Ross students’ checks, even if they had no IDs. Smiling, he pointed to a sign above the cash register which summed up his business philosophy. Hang the grammar, here’s what it said: “There ain’t hardly any business got these days that ain’t went out after.” He was the best.

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Humidity: 91%
Winds: NNE at 21mph
Feels Like: 27°

Your Extended Forecast


High 39°/Low 27°
Windy with morning showers. Highs in the upper 30s and lows in the upper 20s.


High 32°/Low 30°
Periods of light freezing rain. Highs in the low 30s with temperatures nearly steady overnight.


High 51°/Low 37°
Mostly sunny. Highs in the low 50s and lows in the upper 30s.
Online Features

Pet Central


Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>



Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>



Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>



Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>

  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7314 to sign up today.