Such an awesome lunch we had at the Squamish White Spot

Seriously awesome.

A friendly staff member showed us to our table and as we settled down to look at the menu, our early twenty-something waiter came by.

“Hi, can I get you anything to drink to start?”

“We’ll all have coffee,” my brother Bruce said, “and my younger brother here will have some water.  He’ll have his coffee after, because he told us the other day that having coffee before a meal other than breakfasts is SO American.”

“Awesome,” said our waiter.  “I’ll be right back.”

By the time their coffee and my water came, we were ready to order.

“So, can I take your order now?

“Sure,” said Bruce. “I’ll have the Fat-free Triple-O Leanburger with lettuce and tomato, no mayo, please.”

“Awesome.  And for you, Sir?”

“I’ll have the baked potato,” I said.


And so it went.  For every statement resulting in the slightest need for a response, the first thing out of his mouth was, “Awesome.”

By the time he was so awesomely fetching our bill I started to imagine what tired, overused, meaningless bit of oral fluff he would be coming out with had we been suddenly slung back to the late sixties, when the land upon which the clean, bright White Spot stood – and in which we were now able to enjoy such an awesome lunch – would still for another 20 years be nothing more than a poorly drained swamp.

“Hi, can I take your order?”

“I’ll have the Triple-O Fatburger with extra cheese, bacon and mayonnaise and a side order fries with gravy, please.”

“Groovy, man!  And for you, ma’am?”

The thing is, I’d always thought Awesome was already passé, flung onto the heap along with the rest of the Neats, the Keens, the Cools, the Far-out-solid-right-on Hippie-dippie Weatherman stuff that so dates the user, even the worst offender avoids the aforementioned and please-just-let-it-stay-dead forever Groovy.

Apparently not.  You have to plunge right back into your home country to find out what people are talking about and how they’re saying it, so that’s what I did.  I vowed from then on to keep my ears open and listen to every waiter, bank teller, kiosk vendor, fast-food order-taker and clerk, taking note of every Awesome I heard in the short two weeks I’d be there.  I thought it might be fun to do a final tally, plotting the utterances onto an Awesomes per Hour chart.

But it was like going on a car ride as a kid back in the day before backseat Blu-Ray players, Playstations and Smartphones, when passing the time meant counting the cars coming the other direction.  After a few hundred or so, you just got tired of it.

24 Responses to “Such an awesome lunch we had at the Squamish White Spot”

  1. 1 Anonymous
    June 19, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Well that was pretty “awesome” especially the part about what Bruce ordered LOL I’m still ROFLMAO because I don’t think Bruce would ever give up an chance to eat Mayo … Just sayin,,,,, Sometimes you have to go away for a long time to see what is different, when those of us still in the soup pot just slowly get cooked🙂

  2. 3 Sherry
    June 19, 2012 at 1:04 am

    Whoa, Ian, Duuuude…..like man, like that was like a totally awesome blog post….beyond awesome even…just so freakin’ awesome!!! Right arm, farm out & gravy😉
    By the way, I love White Spot, pretty much grew up on it…there was one about 5 blocks from my highschool. It had the drive-in service too, where you had the tray across between the front windows…mmmmm….yum, cheese burger, fries & a side order of triple ‘o’ ….now I’m craving White Spot🙂

    • June 19, 2012 at 1:15 am

      I’m sure there’s a Triple-O with your name on it just a short half-hour or so south down the highway, right?🙂

      I remember the car service, having to switch on the lights to indicate a waiter should go to the car, the long glass tray that would clip onto the windows half-rolled down. Ahhhh…

  3. 5 TC
    June 19, 2012 at 1:41 am

    Except for breakfast, coffee always comes after a meal. Somebody is confused…

    • June 19, 2012 at 10:02 am

      That hamburger may have even been awesomely moist for all I know, but I lifted it off morguefile, that ever-handy blogging source of photos free of rights and the threat of lawyers breathing down your neck.
      Not sure about that coffee, TC. On the train, that’s what the Americans always used to do – order coffee to start.🙂

      A truly epic response, Elder Brother. Your memory is better than mine!

  4. June 19, 2012 at 5:43 am

    That hamburger looks awesome.

  5. June 19, 2012 at 6:54 am

    Ahem, I had a legendary w/ mushrooms, no fries double coleslaw. Get it right.
    However, it was awesome, as was your blog, as usual.
    I think that what you noticed is just one example of the overuse of superlatives.
    Faced with something truly awesome — like a volcano erupting or similar, people who used up “awesome” to describe a menu choice are lost.

  6. June 19, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Theword groovy always confused me. Presumably it meant, like a hot record, “full of grooves”. Do you know how many grooves there actually are on a record?

  7. 12 C
    June 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Your daughter’s clearly gotten old. Mine’s all mimicky, which is how I learned that awesome is still awesome to people in California. Also crazy. Everything is crazy nowadays, I guess.

  8. June 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    The staying power of “awesome” as slang is truly aw…uh, amazing.

  9. June 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Ian,
    I can assure you that in the Gulf Islands only younger people are still over-using “awesome”. We older types rarely use it. The word fabulous is currently being over-used here. I hope your vacation in BC will be favored with sunshine. We islanders have had it with the rain. As summer solstice approaches we are eager to see blue skies.

  10. June 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Wow… what an awesome story. Germans always tell me that Americans always use the word awesome. Maybe it’s actually north american…

  11. June 20, 2012 at 5:52 am

    I’d give anything for a little awesomeness, living as I do in the land of “No problem”. Tell the grocery checker “thank you”, and he responds, “No problem”. Ask the bank teller for this or that, and it’s “No problem”. Getting more butter at the restaurant, or another glass of wine, is no problem. “No problem” is the one-size-fits-all response to everything. I’m starting to really have a problem with it.😉

    • June 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm

      Way cool, Elder Bro’

      What I have a problem with is how everyone now says issues where the word used to be problem. An issue used to be something that was up for discussion. Now it’s used as a plug-in word for problem.

      We’re having technical issues. No – to me, you’re having technical problems.

  12. June 20, 2012 at 6:15 am

    I wish I could accept the compliment regarding my memory, however it is pretty much what I always order.
    After I posted that, I remembered that I actually had the shrimp sandwich w/ yam fries on that particular day.
    So it goes.

    On coffee, and the timing thereof. I drinks it when I wants it. Regardless of what Americans do.

    On positive slang adjectives: It seems to me that the one with the real staying power is “cool”.
    Things have been cool since the ’30s — possibly even longer.

  13. June 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    The language evolves. Live with it.
    For the fun of it, look up “nice” in a place where you can trace its meaning over time.

    • June 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm

      Well, of course it evolves – but that doesn’t mean it’s evolving in the right direction. We’re getting away from talking about what’s really going on. When you say that someone has issues, you really mean that person has problems. Problems sounds more real to me, closer to the point. Issues sounds like, well, hah-hah, it’s just him. Or her, as the case may be. This is not to even get started on all the political correctness BS.

  14. June 24, 2012 at 5:19 am

    I quite agree with you. After being gone for so long without frequent visits, I’m still picking up on things I hadn’t heard before or new uses of words.

  15. 23 Davey
    July 8, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Like, wow, man, I have a serious issue with your issue with issues!. Still, this is a groovy post, man! Like, cool! (I also have an issue with the mis-use of exclamation marks. But that’s my problem).

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