Mark and the Pauls at Denny's

An English Take on Stodgy

by rick

Last Updated May 26, 1997

We had these friends named Mark and Paul and Paul. Mark and one of the Pauls were from New Zealand, but they lived in Dallston, London. The other Paul lived in Dallston, too, but he was British, so it made more sense.

Anyway, these three guys, they were a lot alike. I mean, they probably really weren't, but they were English, or at least of Commonwealth countries, and we weren't. They had all this slang and things that we didn't have.

Mark and Paul and Paul came to America for a while and we all went on a road trip. It was very American ­ big van, lots of cheap motels, staying with friends, seeing the open road, all the sight, etc. We ate at all of your favorite 24 hour restaurant chains. We ate at Ember's, Elmo's, Denny's, Bickford's, Waffle House, In&Out Burger, Del Taco, IHOP, Friendly's, Fresh Choice, you name it. If it was open late and had cheap American food, we were there. Sometimes we splurged and ate at Applebee's, or Red Robin, or Friday's. You know the type. Those were fun too, but a little beyond our budget. We did this for 6 weeks. I think we ate at a chinese restaurant once, and once we ate at a couple of froofy vegan restaurants once or twice (Annie made us ­ she didn't enjoy the trip's culinary tourism very much), but mainly we ate bad American food. I mean, Mark and the Pauls were from England. They don't get good food. They don't get good meats. We were hosts we accommodated them.

There is a point to this little story. In our constant cultural exchange of slang, Annie and I learned that to the squatter/rave/counter culture in Britain, "good stodge" is a phrase that refers to food. Good, solid food that fills you up and doesn't make you ill. We'd get stodgy breakfasts all the time, and the super bird at Denny's was the height of "good stodge." I mean it's one thing calling your trash cans bins and your cigarettes fags, but using stodgy in reference to a Delidinger is a pretty odd colloquialism, I gotta say.

Thought you should know about that. Especially our English readers who are possibly wondering why anyone would want to make a sight about good filling food.

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