Day 89. Mystery Jeff, The Meal, Raptured at Noon, CST

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Probably six years ago, a new breakfast diner opened in downtown Springfield called Gailey’s. It opened in the storefront of a former old fashioned pharmacy of the same name. My friend, who is also named Jeff, and I would go there every Saturday. After awhile I realized that every time after eating there I would feel either a little too full or still hungry. I needed to fix this, so I pored over the menu putting together different items from the a la carte menu. The items seemed to float in space like in A Beautiful Mind, and I could mix and match them.

Finally, I created my masterpiece.

-Two eggs (I prefer over-easy)

-Sweet browns (hash browns made with sweet potatoes. If I used the word, “delish,” it would apply here)

-Bowl of yogurt with fruit and granola inside

I called it the Mystery Jeff. Mystery Jeff is my nickname in Springfield. It was the perfect amount of food for a Houghton shaped stomach.

I soon began a marketing campaign to indoctrinate it into the Gailey’s staff’s collective consciousness. I would order it by name until they knew what I was talking about. After that, I would just look to the server and nod. Eventually, the Mystery Jeff made it on to the specials board. Then, to my great delight, it became a menu item.

Mystery Jeff had made it.

Since that time, upon first meeting me, people will often say, “Oh, like the meal at Gailey’s.” I will say, “I’m the guy.” It was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. Some people strive to eventually have a building or a wing named for them, I just wanted something that would make people say, “I ate you this morning.”

Soon after, Michelle got her own menu item. On that day, we became a power couple in Springfield.

Today, we got to do our normal Saturday routine. We got up, went to Gailey’s and ate ourselves. Then we walked around downtown and ran into people we know. We came home and took an amazing nap (I haven’t been sleeping well in LA). We went to the grocery store, made dinner, took the dogs on a walk, and watched TV. Normal felt good.

Also, the rapture did not happen.

It turns out the 89 year old man who had once predicted the rapture in ’94 was wrong again. I think the story is actually fairly sad considering all the people who were so  desperate for an escape from their reality that they believed the guy.

However, my two cents.

Even if I were a rapture believing kind of guy, the only category of person I would not believe about predicting an impending rapture is a guy who wrongly predicted it before. Don’t you lose your rapture predicting privileges if you’ve gotten it wrong once before? In my book, that disqualifies you. When we’re born, we’re given a card that says we have one chance to predict the rapture. The card is non transferrable, like an airline ticket. You can’t have another guy’s rapture ticket just because he’s not planning on using it.

Also, the person I would not categorically dismiss, but would bring about suspicion, is an 89 year old guy. When have we ever trusted 89 year olds with math? At a restaurant, my grandpa tips 10%…on accident. He didn’t calculate it. Change fell out and landed on the table when he grabbed his car keys trying to hightail it out of there.

Be careful who you trust.

The only Mystery Jeff that was raptured yesterday was Mystery Jeff, the meal, from the plate into my mouth.


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