Nothing can speak to the depth of the economic crisis (and the media's cover-up of how bad it really is) than the experience I had yesterday.
Because I am no longer purchasing a morning paper from the corner store, I decided to go out for breakfast for the first time in over a year. Rather than go to the local, out-of-the way, greasy spoon, I headed over to the highway and the largest breakfast restaurant in town. As I pulled up to the crossing light at the intersection I was a bit puzzled because there were NO CARS in the parking lot. I saw cars out back where the employees park; however, none in the customer lot. My first reaction was they are closed.
Anyway, I proceeded through the intersection when the light changed and pulled right up to the first parking spot nearest the door. I entered the restaurant and was seated -- and found myself to be the ONLY CUSTOMER!
Now look, readers, I know it was a 8:30 on a Monday morning and not the busiest time of day; however, I HAVE LIVED AROUND HERE a LONG TIME and I HAVE NEVER seen the place EMPTY!! There are usually at least a HANDFUL of tables taken at the slowest times. But no, no mom-and-daughter, no families, no businessmen, no college kids, no one except me.
Well, I ordered my grub and took about half an hour to eat (if you can believe it, the plate was dirty and the Freedom Toast was underdone. How?). During the whole time NO ONE CAME IN!! I wouldn't lie to you, readers (that's the paper's job); the place was as quiet as a mausoleum. No clinking of dishes and glasses, not dishwasher or griddle sounds, nothing.
After finishing, I left a $2 tip on the table, paid my bill and came back home a bit disheveled. I couldn't believe the surreal experience I had just had. It finally dawned on me that the reason there are no jobs in the local paper is because there ARE NO JOBS HERE!!! What began as an exciting event -- going out for breakfast -- became a stone-cold reality check for this New Englandah!