Jai - Maple Meat Mountain

From Masq
Date: Setting:

IC:  01/17/2008
RL: 10/17/2010

The Frontier Restaurant -- Albuquerque

 Situated on the famous Route 66, the Frontier Restaurant is a landmark establishment and part of America's folk history. Since 1971, this fine restaurant has happily served the Albuquerque area and the University of New Mexico community, providing a safe, clean, 100% smoke-free environment for college students to spend hours studying or just relaxing. The Frontier's fine, affordable food, its funky John-Wayne-centered Western decor, and its unique atmosphere make it a popular hangout and gathering place.

 Behind the glass doors which proudly bear the sign "Open Daily: 24 Hours!" is a large, spacious dining area filled with dozens of tables and booths made of light-colored formica. Hanging on chains from the ceiling are sconce chandeliers shaped like wagon wheels. Behind the gleaming steel counter, you can see busy cooks squeezing fresh orange and making our signature cinnamon rolls. Above the counter hangs the extensive 'menu' board; the entire menu is served 24 hours.

~*~+view, +help rumor, and places are available here~*~

Obvious exits:
Central Avenue <O>

"Yeah, well, not everybody can be a Mother Teresa," Petra says with a faint smirk. "Especially not me. But you say you like it?" She actually seems rather interested, studying Liane as she eats her burrito.

Petra is seated at a table with Liane. She's got a breakfast burrito and a V-8, and is looking uncommonly cheery. Liane has a book in front of her and is drinking coffee. Nathan has just walked in, looking his usual neutral-to-dour self.

Neutral-to-dour Nathan has not entered /with/ Damian or Jai, to be clear, just coincidentally ahead of them. He buys a coffee, giving the women a polite nod.

Nathan doth protest too much!

Damian swings into the restaurant with a massive caffine buzz and a certain shivery spring to his step, nthe backpack that he totally has with him right now despite the desc saying otherwise, is stapped on and packed to holy hell with stuff. "Hey! You're pre-stalking me!" Damian accuses with a smile since there's a familiar bald head just a ways ahead of him. There are girly people that he recognizes as well and tells them "'Lo, Ladies!"

"It's n-n-nice h-h-helping others. A-and th-there were int-t-teresting th-things. L-like the c-community g-g-garden, or th-the h-h-home b-building, or th-the r-r-reading, and h-helping the eld-d-derly and th-they told the most f-fascinating stories." Liane explains. Then Damian's there, and she looks over and spots him, smiling. Then Nathan gets noticed - obviously he's less adorable and awesome, just a smidge - and Nathan gets a weak wave.

Nathan is /far/ less adorable and awesome than Damian. He knows this; it is the way of things. There is a cosmic scale on which these things are determined. He turns when he hears Damian's voice, though, giving the hippie a small smile and handing the cup of fresh hot coffee he just ordered over to him. "Seems like I am."

"Hey-yo," Petra says with a little wave toward Nathan when she notices his nod. And then Damian comes in and he gets a wave, too. "We're popular tonight," she murmurs to Liane with a smile. She takes a bite of her burrito and then calls over to Nathan and Damian, "Come sit when you get your food! ... OR ELSE." She doesn't comment on Liane's words.

Jai enters a couple minutes after Damian, just in time to be behind him in line, and presumably two behind Nathan. "Hey, Damian," he greets the dreads, grinning, "...looks like I'm just in time for the skinny dude convention. Would've hated to miss the opening ceremonies." He glances around, brightening slightly further even when he notices the ladies in their booth, and lifts a hand to wave in their direction.

Damian's fingers tap an irregular and rapid rhythm on his wrists, STARING at the back of Nathan's head and very obviously restraining himself from doing something that probably would have been plenty funny in *his* opinion. Taking Jai way too litterally, and the cup of coffee from Nathan, "We have a *convention*?" Why the hell hasn't anyone told him about this?

Nathan says, "Yes, and you're right on time. Do you want anything else? Burger? Here," he doesn't wait for an answer, handing Damian 10 bucks and veering off to bring his not-adorable, not-awesome self over to the women's table whether they want him to or not, "feed to your heart's content."

Liane has no idea who she's supposed to be behind, pose-wise, so she just waves at Jai, and looks a bt surprised to see all these menfolk around. Not intimidated - just, 'hey, look, you all know one another, how odd.' And then she busies herself with her sweet rolls.

"Why hello thar," Petra says to Nathan, channeling LOLcats. (Y HELO THAR.) "Have a seat," she offers, kicking out a chair for him to sit in. She glances over to the counter and finally notices Jai, giving him a little wave whether he notices it or not. "I'm gonna grab another chair so we can all fit in," she announces, and grabs a chair from a nearby table, pulling it up by her own.

"'course. There's a panel on buying belts, and then a symposium on the best way to handle people offering you sandwiches. I'd skip that one, though; I went last year and the consensus was accept and eat them when convenient, unless they were really nasty, in which case you could refuse politely or dispose of them at your next opportunity," Jai says cheerfully. When he gets to the window after Damian, it takes a minute or so for him to explain his order for today to the worker, who gives him an odd look but puts it in all the same. While he waits, he follows the others to the women's table, and snags the chair Petra just pulled up. "So, how're you lovely ladies doing today?"

Damian opens his mouth to protest the charity but Nathan abandons him there with coffee and food money, and Damian looks somehow lost for a second or two. Just a second or two, because then it's food ordering time. A delicious omlette of deliciousness stuffed full of the everything that he insists should be inside it. Heading tableward with Jai and digesting this new and entirely truthless news, he takes his heavy, rattling pack off and thunks it onto the floor where it can lean against a booth seat off to the side.

"I'm f-f-fine." Liane says, scooting one way, then another, then she's cornered! Trapped! So she just shrinks a bit in her seat, and sips moar of her coffee. She looks at it dubiously, as if wishing it was, perhaps, something except coffee.

Nathan sits at one of the places to the outside of the booth (as logic also would dictate). He just looks faintly pleased that Damian accepts his food-related largesse.

"I am doing lovely, thankyouverymuch. And yourself, Mr. Skinny Guy?" Petra asks Jai, giving him a friendly smile. Her food is temporarily forgotten as everyone piles into their seats, and she smiles over at Damian and Nathan as well.

"Also lovely, though necessarily less lovely than thou, of course," Jai replies, giving her a silly little seated bow and another grin, the latter of which gets shared with Liane as well. "Nice seeing you guys again. And greetings, comrade," he adds to Nathan, finding a way to offer a hand over for shaking -- or not, should he prefer -- "I'm Jai; always nice to meet a fellow conventioneer."

One of Damian's legs boings a rapid blur under the table, he does not need more coffee but damned if he's not going to inhale what he has. "Lookit!" he says, apparently to Liane and Nathan, as the other two are busy making words at each other, and opens his stuffed full pack to pull out a boxed thing which is quickly unpacked and put on the table. "Behold!" he says as if the battery-powered flameless candle were the coolest fucking thing since sliced bread.

Nathan says simply "Hi," reaching across to shake hands with Jai. "Skinny guys always welcome here. That's /awesome/," he informs Damian, encouraging his technology-related delusion.

Liane leans in to check out the candle, then looks at Damian, puzzled, then looks back at the technocandle. "Oh. O-o-one of th-these. H-how n-n-nice." Then she seems to think of something, and brightens, "Oh, it w-w-will be w-wonderful. J-just don't g-get it w-wet or it m-might not light up." She warns Damian, also ignoring Petra and Jai.

"Glad to hear it. And you can flatter me allll day long," Petra says with a grin for Jai, taking a drink of her V-8. Once she notices Damian's heatless candle, it gets a raised eyebrow. "Hey, that looks realistic, kinda. Didja get that from the Kings? It looks neat."

"I can try," Jai replies, returning the grin, and his eyes widen a little when he shakes Nathan's hand. "...your rings are awesome," he says, mesmerized by them for a few moments, and then shakes his head, snapping out of it. "What is... oh, neat. How's that work?" he asks, and then his number's called from the window. "Hold that thought," he says, hopping up to go claim his meal.

"No, I got it from WalMart. Actually, I got all of them." Damian confesses why he should never be given money, reiterating for Nathan, "All of them!" A massive package of batteries finds a home in his lap so that he can begin the process of unboxing and battery-ing a little over a dozen lights. "If I'd known they had them, I'd'a got it there, but I thought they just had the normal kind. I can not be trusted with a book of matches, you know. So how are you fine folk'n? Hey bring mine too, Jai! I'm govered in plastic and stuff."

Nathan gives Damian a fleeting but warm smile. "They'll be perfect." He glances at his hands as though finding himself faintly surprised to find they are covered with shiny metal things. "Thanks. Most of them were gifts at one time or another."

"T-try not to w-w-waste all the b-b-batteries r-right n-now." Liane warns, in typical Liane-mother fashion. 'W-what w-w-will you be u-using them all f-for?" She asks, focusing on Damian. It's too crowded to notice everyone!

Petra stares over at Damian, and then she laughs a little bit. "You don't think maybe you went a little overboard, do ya?" she asks him, folding her hands in front of her and watching his light/battery show fascinatedly. She spares a glance for Nathan's rings, but mostly her attention is focused on the light show.

Jai tosses Damian a salute as he crosses the store, and returns a couple minutes later balancing Damian's omlette, a large cup of coffee, and a burger plate with the buns replaced by pancakes and a cup of maple syrup on the side. "Right," he announces as he gets back, "Uh... okay, grab my coffee, and I'll just..." Once someone does, he manages to slide both plates onto the table without too much incident -- just a little over-slosh of syrup. "Your friends have good taste," he tells Nathan, and then gets back to the candle-things at hand. "So what're you planning to do with two hundred plastic candle-things?" he asks, with a note of hope.

"To light up dark places, of course." Damian answers, mostly just testing they work before clicking them off. By way of a handy dandy little switch on the side! "I would have gotten more, but I had to save money for pillows and bus fare. ...And cheeto's. And coffee." Batteried up lights are chucked back in the bag to make room for his food. "I am going to make something pretty with them." he tells Jai, "And also hopefully keep from stubbing my toes in the dark."

Nathan seems faintly pleased that a couple of handfuls of cheap silver speak well for him. "You can borrow anything you need from me, you know that."

"A-and m-me." Liane mumbles, reddening a bit, "Th-though I'm s-s-sure the others w-w-would be m-more h-helpful."

"And me, though I feel kinda redundant saying so now. Can't find it in me to claim otherwise just to be contrary, though, so suffer. Suffer in my redundancy!" Jai takes the top pancake off his burger, then puts it back on and flips the thing over, taking the bottom one off instead and pouring syrup on. Then the burger's reassembled, top off again, more syrup, pancake replaced, and he eyes the finished thing appraisingly. "We do get to see the pretty thing, right?" And now, to discover whether pancake-burger is as delicious as he imagined it would be.

Damian pauses his battery insertion in favor of devouring deliciousness. He still has his vaguely prison-lunch-room syndrome going on and eats so quickly he couldn't possibly be able to actually enjoy the taste of his omlette. Someone could run in and ninja up his food at any moment! "Thanks guys, that's really nice of you. I might have to any how, I have no idea what I'm doing but I'm sure I'm missing like a bazillion things for this whole moving into some place thing." He head tilts curiously at Jai's odd plate. "That looks so delicious." he says for his pancake burger.

Nathan studies Jai's dinner with interest. "Are those actual pancakes? I mean, people put syrup on sausage but that's spicy. I don't know, let us know how that works."

"Where are you moving into, Damian?" Petra asks, coming back from afk with sincere-sounding apologies. She glances over at Jai's choice in food, arching a brow, though she leaves it to Nathan to comment on it, taking another bite of her burrito.

"One hundred percent actual pancakes," Jai confirms, "Last time I was here, it came up in a discussion, and I told Liane I'd try it next time, so, it's next time. And it does look pretty delicious, doesn't it? Let's see..." He leans over the plate and takes a big bite of the frankenburger, chewing it with a thoughtful expression and staring up and off into space while he considers. "...yup," he decides after swallowing, "Delicious. Wanna try a bite?" The offer's most directly to Damian, but his glance around the table implies everyone else is welcome to try as well.

Damian makes his omlette dissapear steadily like magic, finally taking a break when there's only a pitiful quarter of eggy goodness left. "I haven't decided yet. I've got options, but I think I'll go for the senic and rural ranch style house as opposed to the inner city loft. Sure the location's nice on the second one but you cant beat the view on the first." Briefly he looks unsure as to whether or not Jai is luring him into some elaborate trap that will end with the words 'fork' and 'lung' close together in the same sentence. "No thank you, but I will try it next time as well."

"Er, no thanks," Petra says to Jai with a little wave of her hand. She doesn't look grossed out, but totally doesn't seem like she thinks that's going to be a good idea. "If you don't mind my asking, Damian, how are you going to afford these places? Are you being paid in more than sandwiches now?" Her tone is surprisingly polite.

"More for me, then," Jai says with a smile and a shrug, and digs in. He doesn't eat as desperately as Damian, but he seems to want to finish this while it's still warm. Means far less talking than usual from his place at the table.

Liane glances at Jai's plate, "I s-s-suppose it's g-good it t-t-tastes g-good." She looks at Damian, "D-d-do you w-want your own? I'm in a g-g-good m-mood. I w-wouldn't m-mind b-buying one if s-s-someone else eats it if I c-can't f-finish it."

"The sandwich heavy portfolio pays off for the hungry investor." Damian tells Petra seriously and with a nod of his head. "Besides, I'm meek, and some dude told me I was getting an inheritance, so that helps." He might be joking, or he took someone too literally. Smiling at Liane, he tells her, "Oh that's okay, I'll be stuffed once I finish this egg thing, but thank you so much for the nice offer, Liane."

"Wait, you got an inheritance?" Petra says, apparently taking Damian at face value. She glances over at the others as though to ask if she's the only one who finds this odd. "Who died?" She's sitting at a table with everybody else here. Nathan is afk, Damian is eaten an egg thing, Liane has a coffee and a book, Petra has a breakfast burrito and V-8, and Jai is eating a burger sandwiched between pancakes.

Everyone is at a table, keeping Liane prisoner! And making out with Petra. Possibly both.


If only.

"I hear you're gonna inherit the entire Earth," Jai says to Damian, "...I wouldn't count on the current owners kicking off any time soon, though. Just saying, y'know, for planning matters." He checks his access to napkins and, apparently finding it acceptable, pours some more syrup onto his pancake burger before starting in on the second half.

Liane has definitely been making out with Petra this whole time. Librarians Gone Wild or some such. "I'm not sure. Some guy." Damian tells Petra, as for who died, "So that's awesome. No, I mean not the guy dying. Any how, trust me, the world is an oyster, and my pearl shucking has been successful. I think. You know. Cause it might not be." He nods at Jai and gestures with his fork, "Yeah, somethin' like that. But it's not like everyone's using *all* of it right now, so I can make due."

Speaking of the meek, here comes demure, quiet Maven! She's ever so timorously muttering to herself, "What is it with this fucking cold!? Augh!" She's roused from her self-introspection by the massive nookie party; she walks over and stands, jaw agape. "Is that a... pancake burger?" she says in a combination of horror and awe.

"I'm g-g-glad th-things are g-g-going good for y-you. Liane tells Damian. Then Maven's there, and Liane glances at her, "Y-y-yes. It's s-s-supposed to b-be v-v-very g-g-good."

Damian finishes destroying all evidence of there having been food on his plate besides a slight salsa-y, sour cream-y puddle. The rest of his coffee vanishes as well and he begins pouring things back into his pack, keeping the boxes for his candle lights as well. With them unboxed, his bag doesn't bulge as much. "Okay. I'm so full. I'm gonna go and do my thing."

Nathan nods amiably to Damian. "I'll go with you. I think pancake-burger's not my thing."

"Well, congratulations on some guy you don't know dyin'," Petra says, giving Damian a warm smile. "And have a good night, Nathan. We'll have to have another 'date' sometime." 'Date' is said with scare quotes. She takes a bite of her now nearly-gone burrito.

"Maven!" Jai greets the latest arrival, giving her a (okay, currently slightly sticky) grin. "It is a =delicious= pancake-burger. Want a bite?" He holds the thing out so that, should she be so inclined, she can take her bite out of the side that has not, as yet, been broached. "...Dude, Damian, are you saying your philosophy is 'shuck the world'? I wouldn't've guessed." He looks slightly bummed when the other Y chromosomes at the table announce their intention to flee. "Oh. Well... nice meeting you, Nathan. Catch you later, Damian."

Maven flinches and hisses at the saccharine sammich. "Heresy! Evil! I saw someone make a burger with Krispy Kremes in lieu of a bun, and I nearly barfed! Ewww! I don't go for those kinky southern things like candied bacon and sweet tea and stuff like that! See, you're even scaring the other people away!"

Damian standing up from his seat and offering it to Maven, giving Jai a thoroughly disgusted look that's surely too serious to be serious. "When you say it? It just sounds dirty. See you guys later, I gotta go get duct tape." he says while picking up his pack and waving at the numerous friendly folk. "Aaaaafter you, sir." he says politely to Nathan, flourishing an arm out towards the door.

"S-s-sweet t-tea is v-very good." Liane says mildly, "A-and t-trying n-new th-things is alw-w-ways f-f-fun. Then she looks up at Damian and Nathan with a slightly relieved, slightly abandoned look. "A-a-all r-r-right. G-g-goodb-b-bye, N-nathan, D-damian."

Nathan shudders, rather theatrically. "I'm never going out with you again," he informs Petra. "You /know/ why." He gathers up what little stuff he has and gives the table a polite nod, accompanying Damian on his tape-quest.

"Hello, Maven," Petra greets, and seems hesitant as she says, "Yeah, the pancake burger is not up my alley either. Pure evil, I say." She shakes her head and takes a sip of her V-8. Nathan gets a wide and wicked grin, nodding her head. "The feeling is mutual, Sparky. G'night, Damian."

"Sweet tea is practically the best thing about the South," Jai says, lifting his chin, "And candied bacon sounds good, too. In fact, if I had some candied bacon? I would put it on this burger RIGHT NOW." He takes a defiant bite of his travesty of a sandwich. "Not my fault if they're not man enough to brave the Maple Meat Mountain." Yeah, that's right, he just named the thing. So there! "...see, Liane's wise. Trying new things is good and good for you."

"Oh, I've tried all sorts of stuff," comments Maven as she sits down in the booth, as far as way as possible from the divvilburger. "I once took so much acid that I thought I could bend time! I've eaten all sorts of disgusting stuff in Japan. But... that... thing? Nuh uh, thank you. I just don't get the Southern fascination with sugar. Bleaaaah."

"S-s-sweet th-things are t-tasty. H-have you h-had s-s-sugared c-crickets? Th-they're c-crunchy. But c-crickets are quite d-delicious either w-way. D-depending on the c-cricket t-type." Liane says, and drains the rest of her coffee.

"I'm not trying something that's going to clog my arteries and add ten pounds just by my looking at it. It's just setting myself up for disappointment when I choose never to eat it again," Petra says with a shake of her head. "I'm all for new experiences, but there have to be some limits. I'd totally try sugared crickets, though. That sounds cool." Yes, that's right-- she won't try a pancake burger, but sugared crickets are right up her alley.

Jai rolls his eyes. "I'm not even Southern," he says, "...and it's not even all that sweet. The syrup's countered by the onions and pickles and stuff. Man, next you'll be slagging off honey-baked ham..." He has a swig of his own coffee, and grins at Liane. "I've eaten normal crickets, but never sugared ones. Where d'you get those? And I've never tried acid, but I'm not positive I can't bend time anyway. How d'you know you can't?"

It's Liane's turn to receive Maven's stare of horror. "Sugared crickets? Why on earth would you even think up something like that? I'm happy to live in a first world country where I don't have to go scrounging for bugs - but to go hunting for them and then sugar-coating them? Are you part snake? Do you enjoy deep-fried brain sandwiches with maple frosting?" Jai's question receives a shrug. "I don't even know what 'bending time' /means/, but I thought I could do it anyway."

"F-father used to t-t-take us w-with him wh-when he w-went to another c-c-country for work." Liane says, "A-and we were r-required to t-try the n-new c-c-cuisines. M-most of the ins-s-sects w-we t-tr-tried were act-t-tually very g-good."

Petra snorts at something said by Maven, but it's unclear what in particular, since she doesn't comment. No, she just eats her burrito in silence, shaking her head a little. She glances over at Liane as the woman speaks, nodding her head. "That sounds like fun. If you ever get your hands on any weird cuisine like that again, I'd like to take a nibble."

"Where do you =get= a deep-fried brain sandwich with maple frosting? 'cause yeah, I might enjoy that," Jai says, "And I dunno what bending time means either, but it sounds interesting." He ffts lightly at Petra, "And yet you don't wanna take a nibble of MY weird cuisine. I see how it is. Hmph, I say. Hmph!" He shakes his head. "Most things are pretty tasty, and many things are delicious. Like most people are pretty interesting, and many people are fascinating." Handily for everyone, he's down to the last couple bites of the controversial burger, and they probably won't last long.

Maven looks around. "Is Damian really gone? OK. When I was a kid, growing up in rural Illinois, Mom & Dad would occasionally drive around aimlessly. And lotsa places down there have deep-fried brain sandwiches. I was convinced that the places were run by zombies. When I got older, I thought I was imagining that shit - but no, they really exist, and they're chock-full of cholesterol. Hell, they even sell 'Armour pork brains in milk gravy', in little cans."

Liane says, "B-brains are d-d-dangerous to eat. M-mother ins-s-sisted we c-could only eat a f-f-few of th-the d-dishes, and alw-w-ways c-cooked." Liane remarks, then stands. "Exc-c-cuse m-m-me. I n-need s-s-some j-j-juice. Or c-c-coffee. Or s-s-something.""

"Acid's a helluva drug," Petra says with a smirk, then shakes her head at Jai. "Well, I'd say I don't want to try your weird cuisine because it's horrible and fattening, but the truth is I just don't like you." This is paired with a wide toothy grin. She arches a brow at Maven and shrugs. "Yeah, if it weren't for the cholesterol and the mad cow kinda shit you get from that stuff, I might try that. As it is though, none for me." She glances over at Liane, nodding her head. "See you later, my new stalking victim."

"Sure, sure, I see how it is," Jai says woefully to Petra, giving her his very best puppy-dog eyes (but no, not from real puppy-dogs). "Go ahead, break my heart. What's one more crack in it?" Sniffle. Sniffle. Finish last bite of burger. "...okay. So deep-fried brain sandwich, on the list for when I end up in Illinois. Which is inevitable eventually. And I guess I better not invite Damian to come with." He sits up, washing that last bite down with coffee, and finally starts in on his fries. "You are coming back though, Liane, right?"

Maven sighs and starts talking mostly to herself. "After that, 'jellied eel pie' in London seemed stark-raving normal. Hell, it actually had flavor, compared to most British food. I suppose it got me inured to weird food; slimy fermented soybeans that smell like the insides of somebody's well-worn gym shoes? No problem! Live fish that you take bites out of? Sure! Pufferfish that'll kill you if you eat their livers? Really kinda bland. All in all, I prefer Tex-Mex."

Liane glances backwards, "I'm j-j-just g-g-getting a d-d-drink." She assures, before she continues to the counter. Her player is a space case.

"Okie dokie!" Petra says to Liane, wiggling her fingers at the woman. "I'd like to try jellied eel pie. Pufferfish, maybe not, but I guess it'd depend on how I was feeling that day. I'd want to get it from a really talented chef, though. That shit can kill you, prepared wrong."

"Good!" Jai says toward Liane, and then settles back in his chair to munch nice, non-controversial french fries. And he only dips them in the leftover syrup a little bit. "Yeah, I dunno about the pufferfish. I'm sure it's good, I'm just not so sure it's to die for. The rest I'd eat, though. Well, natto I already tried, and that was okay. Better when you're kinda drunk though."

"It's not even very good. It's bland, kinda mushy. People eat it mostly because they like the tingly numbness it causes." Maven shrugs. "Pretty much the only people who've died from it are those dumbasses who thought they could tolerate more of the neurotoxin than they actually could, and convinced the chefs to give it to 'em. There're better ways to get high than eating poisonous fish."

"Yeah, if I wanted tingly numbness, there's Anbesol. I don't have to risk my life. Or I can just take 'shrooms and have a WAY better time." Petra shrugs and finishes off her breakfast burrito, then takes a drink of her V-8. "I think I'll cross it off my list of 'things to eat before I die.'"

Jai laughs at the Anbesol alternative, and munches his next couple fries with a thoughtful expression. "Haven't tried 'shrooms either," he admits, "If I want a really tingly mouth I usually just have a couple packets of pop rocks and a Coke. Or a dental appointment."

"Shrooooooooms", Maven dreamily mumbles. "They're so bizarre. Made me turn right-handed for a while when I took a bunch. And then I thought I was a giant humanoid fly. With tiiiny little wings." She jerks abruptly upright. "Um, yeah. Right. I think I need to go pass out for a while. Sugarburger trauma made me not realize how late it was."

"We should do some sometime," Petra says to Jai, reaching over to lightly punch him in the arm. "It'll be fun." She turns to Maven as the woman moves to leave, nodding her head. "Have a good night." Then she glances back at Jai, smirking faintly. "I could totally see you going to a dentist's office and saying you need lidocaine, but don't have any cavities. Yet."

"You're left-handed too?" Jai asks Maven, "...I prolly shoulda guessed that, actually. Go take my sugar crash, 'cause god knows I won't have one. I send them off to people like you who mock my brilliant creations, instead. ...also beware, 'cause some day soon I'm going to appear at your reference desk and talk you into researching something for me. Be warned." He gives her a grin and a little wave, and laughs at Petra's suggestion. "Man, I dunno if that's wise. I might do something stupid and not even funny, and then how would I face you?" It's not actually a no, though. All he has to say about the dental image is, "...I believe strongly in preventive maintenance."

Maven manages a sleepy giggle. "I live to serve! Come on by if you have research questions; it's a hell of a lot more interesting than cataloging. And if you decide to go tripping the night away, let me know; I can babysit or follow along, if you like." She shrugs her coat back on - not that she ever posed taking it off - waves to the diminished crowd, and stumbles out into the night.

"You're left handed? I knew there was something devilish about you. Maven, too. You both sit at the devil's right hand! Or left hand, as the case may be." Petra watches Maven leave, then turns back to Jai and reaches out to try and poke him lightly in the chest. No reason for the poke is given. "As for doing something stupid, that's kind of the point with drugs, isn't it?"

"Yeah, my dexterity belies my sinister soul," Jai replies, "But devilish is a lot more fun than angelic. I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way." And apparently, pretty good at a Jessica Rabbit voice, at least for that quote. The poke makes contact, and he does not crumble and collapse under the impact. "I guess you could argue that's part of the point, yeah, but I do want you to continue speaking to me in the future, and mind-wiping people is SO inconvenient."

"I agree RE: devilish and angelic. It's like the saying goes-- it's far easier to ask for forgiveness than permission." Petra grins at the Jessica Rabbit voice, then says, "Ah, so you want me speaking to you! I'll draw compliments out of you whether you like it or not! Clearly you're infatuated with me." She inspects her nails and blows on them before buffing them on her jacket.

"Well, really, who isn't?" Jai says with a vague, sort of airy gesture, "We're only human, after all. If you prick us, do we not bleed? ...rhetorical question, rhetorical. Please don't check. You're prolly gonna find out if we do eventually anyway." It would be more convincingly casual if the tips of his ears didn't pinken faintly at the accusation, but surely one would have to be looking to notice that. "I require assurance beforehand of a full amnesty afterward. Just in case. I mean, I put my foot in my mouth often enough when I'm totally sober." He picks up another fry and uses it to point at her, "Luckily, my feet are =also= delicious. Just awkward."

"I *was* gonna have to check," Petra says, of his 'do we not bleed' statement, and shakes her head. "You have my most sincere assurances of amnesty," she says, in a totally insincere way, though at least it appears to be intentionally insincere. She takes a drink of her V-8 and asks, "So have you done 'shrooms before, or will they be a new and altogether terrifying experience?" She's really selling it there.

"New and altogether terrifying," Jai replies promptly, "So that should be fun. You? I mean, I gather not new, from what you've been saying, but hey, many things can be terrifying repeatedly. But how terrifying can they be if both you and Maven are inclined to keep trying, and you won't try a simple sandwich? 's reassuring, really."

Petra is sitting at a table with Jai, an empty plate and a half-full glass of V-8 in front of her. Jai has a half-empty plate with syrup on it and french fries.

Petra is pessimistic. Those plates are half full!

Petra pauses, then admits, "I'm not new to acid. But 'shrooms I've never done. Still, I hear it's a milder trip than acid, and it doesn't last as long. Given acid lasts for-fucking-ever, I'm not really going to complain too much. But the shit's EXPENSIVE. It's insane. But I bought some anyway. Splurged a bit."

Zack wanders into the diner, hands in his pockets and cap pulled down low over his head. He heads straight for the ordering place, not yet noticing that he might know one or more people in the place just yet. If only someone would call out to him. He stares up at the menu board, deciding.

"Oh I =see=!" Jai says, sounding rather delighted by this admission, "I am not entirely the lone naif I thought I was! You are caught! Sorta." He grins at Petra, and offers her one of his remaining fries. Without maple syrup on it, even! "Well, what the hell. I'm in. I can take a day off whenever." He has not yet noticed Zack, having currently tuned out most of the restaurant that is not at his immediate booth.

Taking the french fry, Petra munches on it with a smile, shrugging. "Yep, I'm caught. I have acid too by the way, if you're interested." She's like a total drug dealer here. The rush of cold air coming through the door makes Petra glance over, and she brightens when she notices Zack. "Yo! Zack!" she calls out, rather louder than strictly necessary. And in case that doesn't help, she holds up her arms and waves them about like a freakin' loon.

Zack looks surprise at hearing his name hollered out and he looks up and around until he spots a loon waving her hand in his direction. His surprise turns to a wide bright smile at the sight of the young woman and he slips out of line and heads her way. "Well howdy, Petra," he offers happily as he move to the table. Once there he moves to put a hand on her shoulder and gives it a squeeze. Regcognition paints his features as he looks towards her table mate. "Howdy," he offers Jai, though doesn't attach a name to it.

Jai looks kinda surprised at hearing Zack's name hollered out himself, and looks over to find him. "Hey," he greets the other guy, giving him a grin. "...french fry?" The plate does indeed have maple syrup on much of its surface, but there are still some fries untouched by the sweet deluge.

As her greeting for Zack, Petra points to Jai and says, "He ate a fucking pancake burger. Like, a burger, including ketchup and pickles and stuff, with a couple pancakes around it. Guy's a nut." Still, her tone is rather good-natured, even if she clearly doesn't approve of his choice in dining. "Have a seat," she offers Zack, and kicks out a nearby chair.

Zack waves off the offer from Jai, however he helps himself to Petra's treats! That is to say he plops down next to her on the bench, eschewing the chair, and steals a quick kiss from her cheek. "That sounds kinda gross," he as to admit, but hey, he doesn't judge the man. No sir. Just an observation. He's still got a happy smile plastered on his lips.

"And maple syrup. You forgot the maple syrup," Jai points out to Petra, still grinning, before looking to Zack to add emphatically, "And it was =delicious=. I'm not a nut -- okay, fine, maybe, but in THIS case, I am a pioneer. Someday you'll all be reading about how the Maple Meat Mountain is all the rage from coast to coast and possibly some other coasts, and you'll regret missing out on the chance to say you tried the very first one. I'm tellin' you."

Petra grins over at Zack and leans on him casually before saying to Jai, "Somehow I find myself in doubt of your assertions. More likely, you'll die of a heart attack long before you get the chance to spread your nefarious concoction past this restaurant. And I will laugh. With gusto."

"If a heart attack was all it took to make a meal go away, I reckon just about half the restaurants in this country would be gone," Zack observes casually. Then he helps himself to Petra's hand, holding it in his own. "Anyway, I'm strugglin' here. Yer name is... Jay, right?" His non-hand holding hand points a finger at the young man across the way.

Jai shrugs, "Close. Jai. Starts with a J, rhymes with i-words. My, buy, pie, die, fry, o hai, et cetera. Actually, doesn't rhyme very well with et cetera." Speaking of fries, he eats another, and makes a faint face. "Interesting note for future: fullness from that burger apparently sneaks up on you. Oh well, snack for later. And incidentally? I won't mind you laughing with gusto when I have a heart attack, because you'll already be down in hell where I can't hear you. You'll need all the joy you can get." He grins at her, and glances over his shoulder to the counter. "Gonna get some foil and some more coffee. 'scuse me."

"You have a point," Petra admits to Zack with an exaggerated sigh. She glances down to their held hands, then back to Jai. "I won't be down in hell, on a technicality: I am never going to die. It's my master plan: never die. So far, it's working out quite well. I haven't died yet, after all. And there is no excuse for you."

Apparently Jai made a fatal mistake telling a Texan how to prounce his name. "Oh sorry. Jaaay. Like a Franch Fraaay." It's drawn out. He should've stuck with Jay. "Oh, an' not all heart attacks are fatal," Nurse Zack helpfully points out. "If y'all feel one comin' on, take some asprin. An' call 911."

"Oh right, I almost forgot: elder god," Jai says, standing and pushing his chair back in, "...well, in that case, I guess I'll just have to throw myself on your eldritch lack of mercy sooner or later." Hey, he spent a year in Texas, and they all worked it out then! Okay, most of them worked it out then, anyway. He heads off to the counter.

Zack is at a booth with Petra and Jai, though the latter has seemed to just head to the counter. Zack is sitting next to Petra and holding her hand. In front her and Jai are a pair of half-full platters, but you'll have to ask them what was on them other than fries and syrup. Ew.

"You should teach me CPR or something," Petra says amusedly to Zack. "I don't know ANYTHING about medical ANYTHING. What little I guess at is learned from really bad medical dramas. Apparently everybody dies of tumors. I learned it on TV, so it must be true." She nods to Jai before he heads off to the counter, saying, "I won't grant you mercy, as that's not in the Elder God contract. But I may allow you to die in a slightly less gruesome way."

Darling walks on in with a battered acoustic guitar strapped across her back. Cradled in one arm is a cowboy hat, bottom side up, that jingles rather suspiciously with each step. She heads to the counter with it, expression halfway between dull and mildly pleased.

"I reckon I could do that," Zack offers towards Petra with a half smile. "I mean, the basics ain't that hard an' I figure the more people that know it the better. Right? Maybe -I'm- gonna need it. But we should start with mouth to mouth." Heyooh!

Jai gets his fry-transporting foil and a new coffee, in a decidedly to-go kind of cup, and turns around to see Darling standing behind him, with the result that he almost drops the coffee. Almost. "Oh, hey again. Did... that sage work out for you?"

"Oh naturally," Petra says with a grin to Zack. "Why do you think I brought it up in the first place? I have no interest in learning how to save lives. I mean, remember who you're talking to here." Her tone is light and teasing, and she takes a drink of her V-8 before glancing up at the sound of the jingling. "Oh hey," she says. "That girl was in your shop the other night. The customer I *actually* assisted for a change. She wanted some herb. Oregano? Chives? Basil? I dunno. But I found it for her! I'm like a fuckin' hero." And then Jai jogs her memory and she says, "Oh! Sage. Yeah. Whatever."

Zack is sitting next to Petra at a booth and holding her hand. In front her and Jai are a pair of half-full platters, but you'll have to ask them what was on them other than fries and syrup. Ew. Jai is up at the counter, as is Darling.

<OOC> Petra says, "Man. I screwed that all up. Jai is at the counter. There's a plate where Jai *was* sitting."

Darling's eyes narrow for a second before recognition opens them up again and she gives Jai a nod. "Sure did." When she catches an earful of Petra, she glances off her way and simply shakes her head in disbelief. "Lord, but this town is small." She declares before setting her hat on the counter and thus staking a claim on the spot, even if she doesn't sit right away.

Zack looks from Petra over towards Darling as she relates her sage-helping story. "Oh yeah? Nice work, Petra," he decides with a smile. "Sage is good as an antiseptic or an' astringent," he gives Petra a little impromptu lesson. "'Course it tastes good too," he adds with a little grin.

Liane returns from chatting with some waiter, with her basket o' fries and soda. Extra fries, too! What the heck were they talking about, that she gets extra fries? Then she notices Jai up at the counter too, and gives him a small little smile.

"If it helps any, I was already sitting over there with her," Jai tells Darling, but can't stop himself from admitting, "Then again, I did actually run into her here. And some other people who also-- yeah, you're right, this town is damn small for being pretty big. Sorry. My current theory is that it's a kind of singularity centered on Joel." He notices he's still talking, and with a mighty force of will, stops, giving her a little smile and shrug, and heading back over to the booth. Liane gets a rather larger smile in return for her own. "You made it back! And with both your drink AND something. Good work!" He reclaims his seat, setting coffee aside long enough to package his syrupy fries for later enjoyment.

Petra watches the exchange about it being a small town, smirking faintly. She calls over to Darling, "Do you know Joel? I should warn you that if you say no, we'll have to gang up on you and induct you into the secret society of Joel. Or perhaps have you murdered, as you could be a spy from the anti-Joel camp, small though it may be." She takes a drink of her V-8 then and says to Zack, "Antiseptic or astringent. Got it. Well, that's one single herb I know something about. Go me!"

Darling watches Jai talk and wander and talk again in a different spot, loses interest in the lot and turns to her hat. She picks it up and gives it a shake to settle whatever's inside. After a second of that, she goes rooting through and starts picking out coins. Before long she's got a handful and a few words over her shoulder at Petra. "I know a Joel."

Zack flashes a little smile towards Petra as he says, "Well y'all gotta start somewhere. Might as well be be with the famous four." What the other three are, he doesn't say. When he notices Liane, however, he offers out a, "Howdy, Annie." Simple and cheery.

Liane looks at Darling, puzzled, trying to place her and failing miserably...at first. Then she flushes, skin turning a deep red. "Oh! I'm s-s-so s-sorry. I w-w-was r-r-rude to you l-l-last time, and you c-c-c-came into the s-s-store and ev-v-veryth-th-thing. I'm s-sorry." Zack gets a guilty looking smile.

"Everyone knows Joel," Jai says, apparently to the packet of fries he's making the last folds on, and then he looks up again. "Well. Hate to do it when Liane just made it back to us, but I prolly better go get back to work. Half the town's probably stranded, unable to get to the other half." He stands against, gathering food and coffee, and snagging his plate to bus it. "Liane, it's gonna have to depend on you to keep them from blowing this place up or something. Luck be with you."

"I'll n-n-n-need it." Liane murmurs, totally ignoring pose order!

"A Joel, but possibly not *The* Joel. Hm. I suppose we'll let you off the hook just this once, but really, you're getting off light. We'll just have to confirm the identity of the Joel you know to be sure his DNA matches the Incredible Edible Joel, and then we can put this whole matter behind us," Petra says with a grin for Darling, and then turns to Zack and asks, "The famous four? Do any of the others include oregano? Cuz I totally use that in cooking." She smirks at Jai as he prepares to leave, wiggling her fingers at him. "Tell Clara I said hello. I'll have to get your number at some point so I can make good on my assurances."

Zack offers a wave towards Jai as the fellow makes his leave. "Y'all take 'er easy, Jaaay," he says to the young man. The waving hand reaches up to pluck the knit cap from his head and stuffs it into his pocket. He doesn't comment on the talk of Joel, instead seeming content to just sit for the moment. The Famous Four is similarly not commented on for the time being.

Jai pauses and sets his burden back down, freeing a hand to spirit a business card and pen from some pocket of his coat, scrawl on it, and pass it over to Petra. "The printed one's dispatch," he says by way of explanation, giving her a little half-smile, "I'll pass on the greeting." Things are re-collected, and he heads off, dropping off his plate on the way out.

Darling obviously has no great interest in Joel, or the inside joke that it seems to be to everyone but her. Petra is given a nearly flat smile that's polite enough, but no more than that. It's Liane that ends up getting the lion's share of her attention and a more proper smile. "I don't even know what you're sorry 'bout, so I guess it's alright." The change in her hand is given an idle shake and out of the corner of her eye, she watches Jai depart.