Time around noon was burning up as my family of three searched through the long deserts of Lancaster and Palmdale to come across Shakey’s in its cubicle near buildings that looked like giant blocks of fascination, although reliable hope for sliced potatoes and fried-up chicken hadn’t diminished the prospects of futuristic lunch for very long. Dad said our close travels to a summer’s day pulled in the slopes of our imagination as we ate up bits of bread and shriveled lettuce, yet comments passed between us on the dynamic quality of Shakey’s fried chicken: it was hardly amiss, shown in thick fried skin with glory to add on to plates of numerous slices and estimated proportions. “You should go play something in the arcade, Alex.” Dad mused with pasta in absence of mind, drawing the assumption since I played some videogames at home that enjoyment of arcade qualities would estimate fun and prestige. The problem was, I only played mostly the old Atari and PS4 streams of gaming, so Shakey’s arcade seemed to me like getting tickets for no true ride. “Have you thought of getting salad?” dad mused again quickly. It always seemed to me that my father asked rapid questions at a buffet table while becoming too excited; then again, I was at my mark. Shakey’s provided food in Northridge and Palmdale all the same except for sliced potatoes that were fried to perfection and certain types of refill pizza. “Refill pizza” is a phrase used here to describe Shakey’s onslaught during busy noontimes to present free quantities of pizza to food lovers upon receiving dozens and dozens of buffet orders beyond the days, quite often in a few hours. An alliteration Shakey’s used to describe a luxurious refreshment such as “self serve soda” was likely an understatement since particular workers had to clean up after the prestigious soda fountain and gather up lots of cups for here or to go, so our time at noon as a family provided me with the opportunity to relish sunflower seeds with bleu cheese, all in the while being an absent-minded gentleman whose standards were slim to none. Was that a contradiction of sorts? During our huge lunch, napkins were passed around to the tune of crowd noise which filled my dumb senses well enough to let my little brother know the kind of mobile appetite I had with Shakey’s. Perhaps it was unfair when I went into the gaming arcade to find prizes I could never win unless I paid big wads of cash; in fact, I could never get over it, witnessing giant teddy bears on high shelves to demand myself how certain numbers of tickets could fall away for almost no purpose since my phone played the music I remembered from childhood. A trip to Shakey’s in Northridge would’ve been good for practical measures because nostalgia would hit me there due to its pristine age, whereas Shakey’s in Palmdale was like that Chuck E. Cheese’s that could hardly contain itself; in fact, our visit in Palmdale was an explosion of surprises in this restaurant over and over again, when a nice flow of ideas could settle between my family trio’s dreams as push came to shove. I recommended to dad that a quick bite of Texas BBQ Chicken Pizza, not to mention the Firehouse Pizza with spicy feelings I achieved from a nibble of fresh basil, couldn’t go low to a bad point that would bring his stomach to a rumble; my request failed, sense the fried chicken took up his hungry sensations way more than KFC’s choices of source. I recall the time when Nathan got tired of my jokes on leprechauns and called me to pay attention to our lunch together, although my intrinsic favoritism for Shakey’s awesome presentation of hot dishes remains to be seen as I pick a pizza at home and ask father, “Is this really Shakey’s?”
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