My wife and I were returning from Louisville. We stopped in Frankfort for a quick, hot lunch on a cold day.

We know that some of the national chain restaurants do better than others in preparing bar food, especially French onion soup with that great Gruyere cheese melted on top.

Two guys in their mid-20’s came in a few minutes later and were seated about six feet from us. Both were wearing baseball caps.

Janet and I tried not to listen to their table conversation but they simply talked too loud to be ignored.

Their caps never left the tops of their heads but I stifled the impulse to be a surrogate parent and suggest that it was impolite to wear a hat at any dining table.

As an old soldier, I automatically “uncover” whenever I go indoors while wearing headgear.

One of the men complained that he was 30 years old and had never been close to getting married or having a family.

I looked away to hide my smile when his lunch partner, a divorced man, told him he never would find a decent woman in the saloons he frequented.

The 30-year-old constantly lamented his low pay, saying at least four times that he would never make any “real” money while living in Kentucky.

He said he knew he would be better paid in Arizona or California. At that point, his companion asked him how moving would improve his bad driving record or the formal education he didn’t have. At one point, I nearly laughed out loud when the complainer said his girlfriends always tease him because he still lives in the basement of his parents’ home.

I suspected the two guys would be entertaining when they told their server they wanted the Thursday special. She pointed out that it was Friday.

As she walked away with their order, the basement dweller said he would never give her a tip.

I resisted the impulse to tell him that you get tips for good service, not for being smarter than the customers.

Keith Kappes can be reached at or by telephone at 356-0912.

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