I don't know if Alice even knew of the Arlo Guthrie song when she opened a restaurant in the tiny town where I lived in a previous wifetime.
It was big news for a restaurant of any kind to open. This town was even tinier than the one where I now live. It was big news when they got a traffic light, and to this day they only have one. Unless you count the one out on the highway that connects I-85 to Athens, but I'm sure they don't count that one. The residents are proud of only having one traffic light.
There was a waitress named Holly who worked at Alice's. Sweet Girl was about three years old, and she had heard the word "Hollywood" before, so she associated that with the place where we sometimes went to eat. She began saying we were "going to eat at Hollywood's," in addition to calling the waitress Hollywood.
Holly was a sweet girl too, but a little ditzy. On April Fools' Day, she called her mother and told her she was pregnant. You know, just to be funny. Shortly after that she realized that for the previous week she had been taking the placebo instead of her birth control pill. She panicked and took seven birth control pills all at one time. Then she panicked again, thinking that if she DID happen to be pregnant, that couldn't be good for the baby, so she made herself throw up. I guess that baby is about 23 now.
One night my ex tried to wipe some ketchup off Sweet Girl's face at Alice's. She wasn't keen on the idea, and he wasn't the kindest or gentlest type, so they butted heads. He was determined to win, so he pinned her down and wiped her face. A little too rough in my opinion. Sweet Girl glared at him, snatched up a french fry, crammed it in the ketchup, and proceeded to smear it all over her face. It earned her a trip outside, but it was priceless.
There was another waitress, an older lady named Evelyn. Every time we were in there, she would ask Sweet Girl if she wanted to go home with her. One night we were finishing up when it was time for Evelyn to go home, and as usual she asked if Sweet Girl wanted to go home with her. My ex said we could pick her up on the way home (I told you it was a small town), and Sweet Girl went out the door with Evelyn.
"She'll be back," I said. I didn't think she would really go with someone who was pretty much a stranger. I didn't know Evelyn that well myself, and I was a little uneasy watching my girl toddle off with her.
Sure enough, the door opened again and in came Sweet Girl, running as fast as her little legs would take her. She came to my side of the table and said, "I forgot my coat." Grabbed her coat and she was gone again.
I met up with Alice again a few years ago. She works in the cafeteria at one of our middle schools, the one that provides lunches for our school. They send one worker to our school with hot lunches for students and faculty, and for a long time it was Miss Alice. She was too generous, though, giving faculty members double portions and allowing students to charge lunches when they didn't have money. In another example of no good deed going unpunished, they pulled her from our school and gave us a real beeyotch, who is the reason I will go hungry before I will eat school lunches anymore.
Man, could Alice cook.