Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Love Waffle House

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The recent escape of Christopher Daniel “Little Houdini” Gay from handcuffs and leg shackles in a cop car in Kennesaw may have surprised folks. But the location he chose should have been expected: a Waffle House parking lot.

Why is it always Waffle House? Maybe we just pay more attention to a news story when there’s a Waffle House angle, like a punch line hanging there, waiting to be delivered. Or maybe unusual events just gravitate toward the Norcross-based chain of diners.

“Some of the crazier stuff happens because we’re open 24 hours,” said Pat Warner, Waffle House spokesperson. “That’s part of the fun for our customers.”

Here’s a trip down memory lane, scattered, covered and smothered.

March 1999: Tonda Dickerson, a WH waitress in Montgomery, Ala., gets a lottery ticket as a tip. She wins $10 million. Four co-workers sue, saying they had a verbal agreement to split any lottery winnings. Courts finally decide Dickerson gets to keep all the money.

September 2002: Jay-Z takes Beyonce out to dinner at 3 a.m. following her birthday party to the WH on Piedmont Road.

April 2003: The late Lawrence Clark requests his memorial service be held at his favorite WH on Highway 129 near Gainesville. About 40 people, many of them employees, attend, with Clark’s ashes in an urn on the hood of a car in the parking lot. As a customer, says manager T.J. Prater, Clark “wasn’t too picky. He loved his eggs.”

March 2007: Two women get in a fight in a WH in Richmond, Ky. When police arrive, four men at the counter leave during the confusion, not paying their $100 tab. Police chase the men at speeds reaching 100 mph, and the men finally crash into a pole and are arrested. No word on how four people, even drunk, can spend $100 in a WH.

April 2008: A 20-year-old Atlanta man barricades himself inside the men’s room at WH on Northside Drive, floods the bathroom and goes on a rampage. When police get the door open they find him naked and holding the toilet paper dispenser. He has to be maced, then sedated, to get him out.

July 2008: WH employees George “Bubba” Mathis and Pamela Christian are married at the WH in Dacula. Actually, they exchange vows under a tree next to the parking lot. But they go inside for their wedding cake.

October 2008: Kid Rock’s tour bus stops at a WH in Atlanta, and an exchange of words with a customer ends up in a fight that spills into the parking lot. Rock pleads no contest to battery, ends up signing autographs at WH in Duluth, raising $12,000 in donations for charity.

I love Waffle House.

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