“A Not-So-Very Special Episode of ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,'” by Jeff Coe

Aug 20th, 2021 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

The verdict on the last featured menu item had been given, (“These maple turkey necks are through the roof and out the chimney”). Moments later, as it had hundreds of thousands of times previously, the iconic ’67 Camaro convertible—driven by the show’s host Guy Fieri—sped into frame.

“That’s it this week for ‘Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,’ but don’t you worry, there’s plenty of joints all over this country…” Claire thrust her head between her knees and squeezed them as hard as she could. She finally released from her self-induced head prison and let out a breath that she had seemingly held for the duration of the episode. She had to call Marcy. Too late. Marcy was calling her.”I couldn’t watch”, said Marcy. “I just couldn’t. What did he say?”

“I can’t believe you didn’t watch!”

“Never mind that. Tell me what happened.”

“As usual, it was all very dramatic… the way Guy drives into the picture… his hair not moving at all in the wind.”

“Like untreated carpet fiber after it’s been shampooed and vacuumed” was posted to my  ‘Triple D’ fan page from a viewer residing in an obscure island nation.”

“Let’s see… he looked straight into the camera and said there was plenty of joints all over the county and not to worry that he would be on the lookout for them every minute of every day. Basically, he was implying that there would never be an end to the searching and the eating.”

“Oh, thank God!”

“I know, right?”

“Was he at all circumspect?”

“He didn’t seem at all taciturn. On the contrary, he seemed very upbeat, confident. It was said without guile.”

“What a relief. If you’ve seen my latest vlog-thesis, I have actually been super worried about Guy running out of places to go. You know me—’Miss Numbers’—so I’ve actually been multiplying the amount of shows by the individual segments, but then I forgot how to do the math, so I got hold of the 2020 edition of the Small Restaurant Association Guide to cross-check the current data…”

“Marcy, can I interrupt and ask you if that guide is still being edited by S. Simon Collier?”

“It is and I will now pass along a pretty amazing fact. There has been 105 editions of this book and Collier has edited 70 of them.”

“God bless him.”

“Same associate editors too. I couldn’t even believe it, but, yeah it’s the usual band of crazies.”

“Evelyn Kaiser-Roth too?”

“You bet.”


“There’s a couple of newbies, but otherwise… getting back to my point, I simply want to stop being in an adverse state of panic despite Guy’s assurances. I can’t help but think he should consider adding another ‘D’ to the title of the show, thus providing an additional source of visitation.”

“A fourth ‘D’? This is not the first time I’ve thought you mad.”

“My head has been awash with potential candidates; Dentists, Daycare centers, Desecrated graves….”

“Marcy, no one can deny those certainly meet the ‘D’ criterion you’ve so painstakingly set forth, but where you could run into a roadblock is the lack of food service inherent in these options.”

“I will readily admit to you that singular element remains a major impediment in any type of concept expansion.”

“So, anyways, I’m going to go. I plan to watch the next episode with my new Amazon Oppenheimer.”

“Is that the one that where you feel guilty for using it?”

“Well, that’s how they get you to buy it, but I just like it for the sound quality.” Claire got herself a snack, plopped on the couch and then looked on in horror for the next 24 minutes.

From the get-go this episode grabbed expectation by the face and spit in its eye. Instead of Guy interfering with people’s livelihoods in restaurants, he was simply driving around. He did pull into a couple of gas stations and bought some items out of the vending machines (“This Zagnut bar just converted a 7-10 split at the Flavortown Bowl-A- Rama!”). By the end of the episode, he was simply walking into people’s homes and taking stuff of their refrigerators (“If you don’t look at the expiration dates, then they don’t exist!”) What was this all about? Claire looked for reassurance as the Camaro swerved wildly into view. It veered out of frame and then shakily reappeared with its driver’s side noticeably dented. Guy labored mightily to offer his commentary over the discordant sounds of an increasingly labored engine.

“So… I’m normally… I think I may gotten off on the wrong exit. I had been up on the main stretch, but all the places I was scheduled to go to were closed or completely boarded up. There’s nothing down this way either. It’s a… it’s a… it’s not a great neighborhood. Someone threw a fax machine at my head. Who uses fax machines anymore? Am I right? I may have to start hitting the chain restaurants like Mickey D’s and KFC. I mean it’s going to be the same food at every location, and I might lose a spleen like Morgan Spurlock, but at least America can still get what they tune in for… to watch me stuff my face with piles of shit! So, listen, I’ll still look around if I get a chance, but there ain’t no guarantees” A projectile hurtled toward the open car.

“Jesus Christ, my eye!” The car swerved out of frame. This was followed by the lilting sound of metal colliding with concrete. The screen went cold black and silent. Claire stared ahead blankly for a few moments. She was hoping that Marcy was otherwise engaged… but then the phone rang.

“Hi, Marcy.”

“I know I’m being a paranoid nutcase, but I decided not to watch. What happened?” Claire sighed internally and then spoke, “Oh, you know old Guy. He looked straight into that camera and said not to worry. Everything would be just fine.”


Jeff Coe is a humor writer residing outside of Chicago. He is currently employed writing captions for ultrasounds. He can be contacted at twitter.com/cineboy2

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