Friday, January 18, 2008


There seems to be an Unwritten Rule that is followed religiously by Diner Proprietors throughout the land: One must have, immediately visible upon entering the facility, a Display of Excessively Large Baked Goods.

Let’s parse this, shall we?

Immediately Visible Upon Entering.

The Baked Goods Display must be the first thing that catches the eye of the Happy Patron. Many diner owners elect to have a glass cabinet with rotating shelves, the better to display the Cakey Wares. In the photograph below, an enterprising Truck Stop Owner has taken this concept and extended it to the merchandising of Meat Products:

Rotating Meat Display
Check out our meat!

Imagine such a case filled with cakes, each the size of a Human Torso, and you get the general idea.

Excessively Large Baked Goods.

The motto of the Diner-Owner is “Nothing Exceeds Like Excess,” and nowhere is this more evident than in the colossally-sized cakes and pies that are proudly displayed at the diner entrance.

The late Bernie Kliban once famously said, “Never eat anything bigger than your head.” Bernie was not a Diner Patron.

Fact it: Everything about a good diner is excessive. The menu is a tome the approximate weight and dimensions of a telephone directory. It reads like War and Peace as written by Chef Tolstoy, with eighty-five thousand, seven hundred and forty-six different dishes, not including the pile of evening specials. The portions are, individually, sufficient to feed an entire third-world country. Yet all that fades into insignificance when it comes to Diner Desserts.

Rectangular cakes the size of tree trunks. Layer cakes standing a foot tall. Eclairs that could satisfy the Fifty-Foot Woman in more ways than one. Looka dis:

Monster Cakes 1

Monster Cakes 2

Monster Cakes 3

This Cakely Bounty is what stares you in the face when you step into the Marietta Diner...just a little ways south of the Big Chicken. One diner, folks.

I have often wondered just who it is that eats this stuff. I mean, most normal humans cannot even contemplate finishing off a Diner Meal, let alone have room for dessert. But then again, a glance around the diner generally reveals a higher-than-normal proportion of Outsize-Americans.

There should be a sign on those display cases: “Save Time - Apply Directly To Ass.”

Maybe ol’ Bernie was right.

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