Allie got on the perfect attendance roll at school. We decided to celebrate by taking her out to dinner.
Choice is something that confounds my daughter. I told her we'd take her to any restaurant she wanted. You'd have thought I had strapped down a fuzzy bunny and a cuddly hamster, picked up a hammer and said, "Choose." She made these funny, constipated noises until I began to offer some suggestions. One was Ella's Deli.
She jumped at the chance to go Ella's.
I won't bother describing Ella's to you. There is a Web site:
So we went to Ella's and the girls ran around like honyoks and looked at all the displays while we waited for our food. Once it arrived I ate more pickles during this meal than I ever have before. I even tried deep fried pickles. Had celery soda, too. They're both pretty good.
The food is always good at Ella's but what I wanted to write about was the mechanical horse they have. One glance at this thing and I was immediately transported back to my childhood. The horse was cast from metal. No plastic here. The paint is worn and the saddle looks as if has entertained the butts of generations of kids.
It still only cost a dime to ride. We put Julia on the thing and dropped our dime in the slot. I was shocked by how violently this thing jerked Julia back and forth. Judging from the look on her face Julia was surprised, too.
My children have grown up with plastic riding horses that charge at least 50 cents to gently sway their riders to and fro.
I find this sad.
I like my mechanical horses violent. If I was four, I'd want a cheap ride that feels as if I might fall off and impale myself on one of the horse's sharp metal ears. This is also what I want for my children.
Fortunately they can still find it at Ella's Deli.
And pickles - a shitload of pickles.