A Saturday night in Hyde Park can be a scene from a creepy movie. Every city, it seems, has a Hyde Park and there’s always a rapist forever known in the city’s history as the “Hyde Park Rapist” or the “Hyde Park Killer” or the “Hyde Park Creepy Guy.” I’ve never heard of the former two in Boise but I’ve had discussions about potential nominees for the last. Just off the busy street, in any direction, you find dark alleys and strange houses with imaginary ghosts peeking past the curtains—prime prowling grounds for a creepy lurker. I had been working in the yard all day and was dehydrated and slightly psychotic from the fertilizer and chemicals I had used. Plus there was a full moon, sneaking peeks from behind low clouds.
Pushing 9 p.m. on the dimly lit 13th Street (another creepy coincidence) you have pockets of activity—beer guzzlers at Lucky 13, protected patrons hiding inside Little Richards, a smattering of yung ‘uns at Goodies and a busy, packed house at Harry’s—our destination.
We secured prime patio places on this Final Four weekend. Inside were the basketball fans, drinking beer and cheering. Our large party commandeered three tables. One for the fearsome four hellspawn of varying genetic strands and two tables for the four females and myself.
Stress can add up in a waitress’ evening—culminating in a dropped and shattered glass of beer. Four hellspawn (so wound up from hours-old candy procured from Hollywood Market you’d think their heads would shake back and forth and fire erupt from their asses) can sour this same stressed waitperson’s mood. We were compassionate. She was moving as fast as she could, pleasing everyone. We, being of the club that put in our dues waiting tables when younger, were sympathetic.
We were there for beer and burgers, fried things and finger treats and for dessert, another beer. Texas Toothpicks, fried onions and jalapeno strips cooled in a small cup of ranch dressing helped the first glass from the pitcher of beer go down. Jalapenos come in a variety of strengths—unleaded, premium and ultra-premium. While we wanted the sweat-on-your-scalp, lip-stinging variety we got unleaded, still tasty as a treat on a sweet Saturday evening.
The typical hot dog and chicken strip kid items were split between the boys and the girls; when the food arrived, it shut them up while they stuffed their cake-holes with food. But the silence was short-lived. At some point, muffled high-octave voices began escaping from behind wads of French fries stuffed in their cheeks.
Then, our order arrived—a variety of sandwiches, burgers and specialties. An onion-allergic female from our four freaked on the onions, but with speed and courtesy the waitress fixed the food faux pas. A Philly steak across the table caught my eye and I found a taste of it to be tantalizing. (Note to self: Next time get the Philly when I’m with my filly.) My Elwood, a Mexican-themed, jalapeno-infused grilled chicken sandwich was warm, filled with flavor and good. Baskets, nay nests, of fries accompanied every order and fulfilled our oral fetish long past the gobbling up of the buns.
Dogs filtered through the porch, some with their owners, some not. The spawn attempted to sneak a snack to the pooches on the porch but the iron fist of control from the one man at the table (me) suppressed the riots before they became an uncontrollable mob.
When we finished, we escaped into the night, past the staring eyes of the Hyde Park Creepy Guy.
—Bingo Barnes has been known to adorn his toes with onion rings.