Down and Out in Denver

White Fence Farm! (Part Two)

Posted in food, politics by Blake on November 23, 2009

Loyal readers of DaOiD will recall that this weekend my gentleman friend (GF) from out of town and I ventured out to the White Fence Farm (WFF) in Lakewood so that we might relive some of GF’s childhood memories.  And eat fried chicken, ‘cause we are two homos who don’t shun the fatty foods.  (See Part One of this scintillating two-part epic for the back story.)

Darlene's "Welcome Card"

Aside from the fact that the chicken was delicious – and comes with all-you-can-eat corn fritters sprinkled with sugar (very tasty), choice of potato, and a variety of side salads – the highlight of the entire trip has to have been our waitress, Darlene.  Soon after being seated, Darlene approached our table, introduced herself, and then put a card on our table, explaining,  “I’ll just leave you with my welcome card.”  And indeed Darlene’s card (see above) gave us her name and told us that she would be looking forward to serving us.  I don’t want to dwell too much on this, but we were a little confused by the welcome card. I have never, ever seen such a thing, and I’ve been dining out for some time.  The handwritten note clearly added to the homey atmosphere but the card itself seemed a little redundant; Darlene had, after all, just told us much of what was written on the card.  Was it perhaps for the hearing impaired?  Does every waitress at WFF have these cards or did Darlene have them made up special just for her tables?

Darlene proved to be very chatty throughout our time there so GF took it upon himself to find out a little bit about the history of WFF in Lakewood.  He explained that he was from Chicago and asked Darlene which WFF came first: Chicago or Lakewood?  This may have been our first error, though it was an innocent mistake.  While the answer itself was perfectly innocuous (Chicago), it clearly alerted Darlene to the fact that she had a Chicago native on her hands.  And so the next time she came ‘round to check on us, she launched: “Now I don’t know about which political party this would be” – and yes, it began that confusingly – “but have you ever been to the South Side of Chicago?” she asked GF.  “Because I have a good girlfriend in Chicago” – incidentally, why do straight women, and Darlene was unquestionably a heterosexualist, insist on calling their female friends girlfriends? – “and she told me that even though that’s where Obama said he was a community organizer, it’s still just really awful, just a slum.”  “Slum” was sort of whispered.  In essence what she seemed to be implying was that in talking about his experience as a community organizer she believed Obama was also claiming that he had “fixed” the problem of poverty on Chicago’s South Side.  And yet he hadn’t. Ergo, he was a liar.

We were a bit slow on the uptake, so didn’t react quite as forcefully in the president’s defense as we could have, but we mostly said that we didn’t think any one person could “fix” an entire neighborhood’s poverty and that we didn’t think that’s what he’d claimed, regardless.  And then she started talking about Sarah Palin and how people shouldn’t really criticize her and how she should have attacked Obama more for his character, which, she seemed to be implying, was clearly flawed, as he had misrepresented his experience in Chicago.  She was nothing but friendly the entire time and never in the least aggressive, just chatty.

Several things were a wee bit stunning about this to my gentleman friend and me.  In no particular order, they are:

1. Q: What waitress in her right mind talks politics with her customers?  She is, after all, dependent on tips.

A: The waitress who assumes that all people whom she serves will agree with her politically.             Apparently there is indeed a big difference between Lakewood – or at least the patrons of the               “family-oriented” WFF – and my little cocoon of Denver.

2. Maybe Denver isn’t nearly so bad as I had been thinking it was!  I have a good liberal Democrat as my representative in Congress.  I live surrounded by gays and at least a (small) handful of people of color.  I had always realized that living in my former urban home and working in the field that I do allowed me to surround myself almost exclusively with people with whom I agree politically.  (While I recognize that this makes me insulated and sheltered, I don’t mind, because Republicans make me angry.) I guess most of Denver allows for this as well and it took a trip to Lakewood to remind me of this.  Go Denver!

3. It also reminded me of Elizabeth Kolbert’s recent review of Cass Sunstein’s new book on rumors in The New Yorker and her discussion of the ways that surrounding yourself with people who agree with you – especially on the internets – allows you to keep on believing falsehoods.  Like this one.

4. Of course this cuts both ways.  Leftists can surround themselves with their own ilk, thus reinforcing the beliefs they have already, too.  And apparently that’s what I’ve done in Denver.  But, as Kolbert points out in her review, the right wing has developed a fringe that just makes shit up, like the entire idiotic Obama birther movement.  And then people talk amongst themselves – and only amongst themselves – and the ideas gain traction.

We began, dear readers, eating fried chicken and we ended talking politics.  Maybe you will be reluctant to return to DaOiD because of this.  And maybe I should be reluctant to return to White Fence Farm.

Except that the chicken sure was good, even if it is planted with an American flag, almost like the moon.  And there was a nice selection of knick knacks in the Americana Barn (Christmas is approaching).  And I had a great time petting Tic (or maybe it was Tac).  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, a trip to Lakewood is actually a good reminder that I don’t have it so bad in Denver after all.   Besides, if the GF returns to these parts I have a distinct feeling that I shan’t have much of a choice in the matter; he loves him some corn fritters.


9 Responses

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  1. Totally anonymous said, on November 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Your GF sounds awesome. A real keeper.

    • Blake said, on November 23, 2009 at 6:18 pm

      Funny that you would say so because you are absolutely right. He puts up with even more of my Denver-related bitching than I include on DaOiD. A total gem!

  2. pepperlowell2442 said, on November 23, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    i am so glad to read this information on WFF, as you so tenderly call it. my dear grandmother is determined to take me here and i have been terrified. but if you can do it, i can do it.

    pepper lowell
    the denver omelette

    • Blake said, on November 23, 2009 at 9:04 pm

      Pepper, my dear,

      You can do it! Especially if you take your dear granny with you, you’ll be fine, because even if you’ll feel out of place (and you probably will), that you are accompanied by a senior citizen will make you blend right in. And besides, the chicken’s not half bad!

  3. Historiann said, on November 24, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Yay, Blake and GF! (I’m sure you can get carry-out if you prefer not to engage in political chit-chat.)

    Confidential to Darlene: Girlfriend: WTF??? Don’t you realize that gays are the best tippers when they’re happy, but when daddy’s not happy. . .well, you know the rest of that song. And if you didn’t realize that Blake and GF are gay–well, god love you, honey.

    • Blake said, on November 24, 2009 at 12:17 pm

      Sing it, sister! And I hadn’t even thought of the take-out option, but there is, in fact, a whole other building devoted to that alone. Perfect!

  4. […] and the designer Christians surprised me somewhat more.  Once again, however, and as in my trip to White Fence Farm, I am reminded that traveling just a few short miles outside of “the city” (yes, in quotation […]

  5. Corey said, on March 19, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Hey Blake, I just discovered your blog because one of you did a link back to I have to say that I LOVE it: everything from the name to the description to your bios. I’m a transplant from NY and I have been bitching about Denver for over 2 years now. ack!. My bitching buddy just recently decided to move out to Philadelphia so perhaps it’s fate that led me to your blog.

    I wanted to comment on this particular post because you talk about realizing that Denver’s not so bad when compared to WFF as I had a similar experience a year ago when giving a presentation in Greeley (plus its one of the first post I’m reading).

    I’ll definitely be reading in future. Love the blog. And you guys are such good writers. It’s refreshing… reminds me a little of home.

    • Blake said, on March 19, 2010 at 4:45 pm

      Why thank you, Corey. Our little blog is not averse to a compliment every now and again, especially as we’re generally of the impression that it’s only our friends reading this. So welcome! Consider us your bitching buddies now. That was actually one of the prime reasons we decided to start this thing in the first place, to try to find more of a community of likeminded folks here in D-Town.

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