300!

I’ve been blogging since 2006, which I estimate is equivalent to at least a half a century in Internet Years. A lot has changed in my life during that time (address, job, church, family, car, pet), but every time I drive down Route 41, I remember that there are some things that never change – The Full Moon Restaurant, open for business twenty-four hours a day.

In honor of my 300th post on this blog, here’s a repost of an entry I wrote way back at the start of theparablelife about one of my favorite greasy spoons.

I met a friend this morning at one of the truly fine dining establishments in the Chicago area – the Full Moon restaurant, conveniently located on a desolate stretch of Hwy. 41 between the sprawl of Abbott Labs and Great Lakes Naval Training Center. They feature a concoction I’ve never seen on a menu anywhere else – the Carbetsi omelet. I think “Carbetsi” is a Greek word for “wipe everything on the greasy counter into the pan”.

Besides the Carbetsi, this dining establishment had something I haven’t seen for years: a cigarette vending machine. Maybe I don’t hang out in enough divey places. I dunno. Seeing that machine jammed into a corner near the washrooms was like a 3-D flashback to a time when cigarette machines were everywhere. My dad, a 2 pack-a-day Parliament man, sometimes bought his smokes from a vending machine. And when I was first toying with adult behaviors as a 13 year-old, the tired Holiday Inn on the other side of the fence just behind my house had a vending machine. I could walk over there and buy (really stale) Marlboros any time I wanted.

The world quietly moved on from the days when gas stations, bowling alleys and restaurants way nicer than The Full Moon had tobacco vend-o-matics. And though Jesus spared me the anguish of a lifelong nicotine addiction, seeing that vending machine today was like a flashback to the ordinary moments of my childhood: my dad sitting at the table, telling stories about his day’s adventures in insurance adjusting. He’d flick his lighter open like he had about a bazillion times in his life, putting blue flame to the end of a cig. While he talked, my mom would be pulling the electric broom out of the closet so she could vacuum the avocado carpeting in our kitchen. (Yes, we had carpeting in our kitchen. Eeew.) My sister was usually parked in the den, watching “Speed Racer”.

Just like that – launched into the past by a Carbetsi and a cigarette time machine. 

 
Do you have a joint like The Full Moon in your town?
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2 thoughts on “300!”

  1. Ah, the Full Moon. At one point in my previous freelancing life, the realtor team I worked with had their Thursday morning breakfasts there. And even though it's quite convenient for my house, I was soon begging to return to the Lake Forest Egg Harbor. But I have to admit, for a truck stop kind of place it's better than I thought it'd be.

  2. Though the food at Full Moon would not earn a Michelin star, the joint has atmosphere, especially at midnight.

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