I wish there were more of these stores in the Northeast, but I guess we aren't "country" enough. There are a few in western NJ, and I guess the adjective says it all. Cracker Barrel stores, for you city slickers, are a combo of general store meets diner. We were curious when we spotted on of their 100 foot tall highway billboard signs which have Lady Bird Johnson rolling in her grave in Santee, SC, where we camp for the night when traveling to and from Florida.
This is what you need to know about Crackers: Good, inexpensive wholesome food, and a general store with mostly nostalgic packaging, displayed totally without rhyme or reason, so you have to look at everything. However, if you want a box of cracker jacks with 50's packaging, that's your place.
So on the way back to NJ, we get a call from our niece; miss Abbie, her daughter (who we really were stopping to see) had a 103 degree fever. Since kids germs are like Bubonic Plague to us seniors, we begged off a visit. After hanging up the phone, we decided to use the stop off time at another Cracker Barrel in North Carolina, which we just noticed on another 100 foot road sign, was just 10 miles ahead.
While in the general store section, I started taking a few pictures, sensing a blog post in there somewhere. I got a tap on the shoulder from one of their corporate honchos visiting the store, maybe thinking I'm shopping the competition. I explain I'm a writer, and I'm going to blog the store. I told them about my book, "Ark", and we were off and running about college basketball, the #1 full time recreational job unrivaled by any other state in the country. Then I made a huge foot in mouth mistake.
Referring to her "peepers", I said, "Where did you get those teal blue eyes, just like Carolina Blue?"
"Sir, ma eyes ah ska blue, which IS Carolina blue, and don't yu'all refer ta Carolina blue as teeeaal! Yu'all get ya self in trouble down he ya."
I apologized, and stood corrected before she scratched MY eyes out, and promised not to make that mistake again.
Sure enough, I Googled teal, and it is a shitty green blue. Sorry again, Miss Cracker Barrel Tarheel!
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