As one of our final acts on The Pony Farewell Tour, my little Pony and I stopped by the new convenience store, Waterway Market.
Waterway Market has been under construction since way back. I think ground was broken before Christmas. Every morning on the way to Newmentia, The Pony and I observed progress. Maybe not The Pony. He usually had his head buried in his laptop. But I did. "Look, Pony. They're going to have that open before school's out! We'll stop by here and get a Diet Coke on the way home! Or maybe a slushie. I'm pretty sure they'll have slushies. Their other store does."
And then time grew short. The trench was dug. The gas tanks installed. But then everything stalled. We could barely see any headway each day. "They really need to hurry it up, Pony. We might only get our Diet Coke on the last week of school!"
Alas. Just like the Smax frozen custard shop, that non-union labor could not meet my deadline. That Smax frozen custard shop was supposed to be there for me and my mom to hang out all that summer. Every day (on a little different route) that Smax frozen custard shop taunted me. A paint job here, with big ol' cow spots. And a shiny roof there. Then windows. A counter installed inside. Too late for my mom. But I kept her aware of its progress. Right up to the end.
Slowly, The Pony and I learned to let go. We had no business at Newmentia any more. No reason to drive by the Waterway Market. It was on the way to Mom's house. Which we had no reason to go to, having sold it to my cousin. The only reason to drive that direction was to visit my sister the ex-mayor's wife. Which doesn't happen much. But on the way to the credit union last Thursday, I took a detour and saw that Waterway Market appeared to be open for business. Just in time for the back-to-school crowd. Which does not include me or The Pony.
So on Tuesday, the last day The Pony would decisively call Hillmomba home, we left lunch with my favorite gambling aunt and headed back into town to Waterway Market. The Pony insisted. And he was driving. "C'mon. Let's go! It's been a dream of yours for a long time. And we're going to check it out." Sometimes he's a little nag, that Pony.
With high hopes for slushies, off we went. I was in the mood for something possibly sugar-free. The 7-Eleven formerly in that location had them. Always changing flavors. The Pony thought he might get one in Coke flavor. He parked his Rogue and in we went. We walked up and down the wide aisles, soaking in the ambience. The Pony spied it first: a BEER CAVE in the back corner. Hope that wasn't prophetic. But on up the back aisle was the slushie machine.
I'll be ding-dang-donged if that four-hole machine only had ONE flavor actually functioning and ready for cupping. The cherry and the Mountain Dew said NOT READY. And the other forgotten flavor was turning around inside that tube looking like dry cotton candy lumps. So...we turned our attention to the smoothie station. A worker walked by and pointed out the Banana and the Strawberry as the best sellers. I took the bait. When I used to work for the unemployment office on South Broadway, we had a 7-Eleven half a block up. On the way to the parking lot and home each Friday, my co-worker carpool driver and I stopped in for a Banana Slurpee. They were delectable.
Not so the Banana smoothie at Waterway Market. One sip and I knew it was going in the trash when I stopped by the gas station chicken store for a 32 oz Diet Coke (cutting back for the Oklahoma trip). It smacked of vanilla. Not banana. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom hates vanilla like Lou Grant hates spunk. The Pony, to his credit, tried to stick up for Waterway Market. "Banana is one of the hardest flavors to capture synthetically." Said my little Chemical Engineer. Still, he was smart enough not to purchase a slushie or smoothie of any kind. Though he DID pick up a purple crack pipe (one of those long metal straws) for me off the counter.
Sorry, Waterway Market. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom and The Pony give you two thumbs and two hoofs down.
I was so enthralled with my Banana smoothie at the counter that I did not notice if they had scratch-off tickets!
This establishment may require a second visit.