Vancouver
2 min

In your face at the elbow room

A sassy serving of politics, pancakes and Pride

My niece slammed the door, blocking it with her body, panting and dishevelled like she had outrun a monster.

“You went to the Elbow Room for breakfast, didn’t you?” I said.

“Yes.”

“I should have warned you. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. It was worth it.”

With that memory in mind I waited to be seated. The hostess gestured at a table smack dab between the door and four Americans from the south. Every one of them sounded like Vikki Lawrence in Mama’s Family.

I considered asking for another table but frankly I was afraid of the hostess.

Southerners always manage to tell you exactly where they’re from without being asked. Within seconds of being sat I knew these people were from Athens, Georgia — like the B —52s and REM. Funny… they don’t speak with an accent.

I assumed they were cruise ship passengers. One of them had been here before and was wise to the owner, Patrick, and his ways. “Good,” I thought, “Then there won’t be a scene.”

One of the Georgians kept ordering a flavour of toast that wasn’t on the menu; it sounded like she was taking a Rorschach test. She clearly did not value her life.

As Patrick finished writing their order down, he said to them, “Now don’t fuck up this election, we’re sick and tired of the mess you guys are making of the world!”

The Georgians laughed Patrick off, like he had done a trick, but he was serious.

As I slid under my table, Patrick turned to take my order. The look on my face must have said it all, but Patrick was nonplussed.

“You have to tell them or they’re going to keep doing it,” he chastised. “Now what can I get you?”

“A 10 —inch pancake.”

Patrick grilled me with his eyes putting me in league with the Georgians. “Six or 12.”

“Sorry! 12!”

“You’ll choke on it girl!”

“Six! Sorry!”

After Patrick leaves, the Georgians talk in humble tones. The conversation turns to Patrick. One of them wonders what Bubba or Cletus would think of him.

“He would probably leave,” drawls another. “He knows about ‘It’ but he doesn’t want to be around ‘It’.”

What? The Cancer?

The food arrives and all is forgiven.

The Georgians vow not only to come back but to tell their friends — except Cletus or Bubba.

At a time when it is assumed that Vancouverites will defer (particularly gay Vancouverites) to the almighty tourist dollar, it is refreshing to see a man so confident in what he’s doing; he can wear his sexuality and politics on his sleeve and people will pay to see it.

That is what Pride is all about: no compromises, no apologies.