A couple of days ago, the kids and I took a jaunt down to the massive outdoor mall* near our house, which meant that we got to bite into a juicy cross section of what passes for Americana these days.
Among the stores we passed was a Chili's**, which caught D-'s eye immediately. He said, "Hey look, there's that 'rons-traunt' we went to that time." I acknowledged this and praised him as usual for his good memory, since it was quite awhile ago. He stared at the window as we (happily) passed it by, and his brain began to slowly warp itself before he continued with a second thought. I was all over it two words in-- I don't know why I'm so tuned into his brain patterns most of the time, but I just knew exactly what he was thinking.
D-: Remember we went there that time 'cause Momma's friend works there, and she...
Me: Nope, that was a different place.
D-: No! It was that place right there! We went there and Momma's friend...
Me: You're right that it's the same kind of place, but it's a different restaurant, from a different company.
D-: No it was that place! We went there that time and Momma's friend gave us cookies and they sang Happy Birthday to you!
Me: I promise you, that was a Bennigan's. This is a Chili's. They're pretty much exactly the same restaurant, with the same kind of food, but they have slightly different decorations on the walls. They're from two different companies, and they have two different names, but I can see how you could get confused.
He walked on in silence, since my Imperious Kung Fu is much stronger for the time being, but it was clear from his posture that he still believed he was right, just like I would. As I caught him gazing innocently off in the direction of the Outback Steakhouse, rather than go through this all over again, I immediately veered off the sidewalk to instead cut through the parking lot in the general direction of a big box store whose name willfully escapes me.
Who says America doesn't have any culture?
* Not to be confused with the other massive outdoor mall also in our town but another mile farther away in a different direction.
** I had to quickly double-check that it wasn't actually an Applebee's, Ruby Tuesday, Chotchkee's, Flingers, Fuddruckers, Uncle Moe's Family Feedbag, TGI Friday's, or one of the others.