Vietnam Veteran with PTSD Yelps Applebee’s by Andy Kushnir

I have been a loyal patron of the Applebee’s franchise since its’ inception back in 1980. My wife and I make the trip to Decatur, Georgia each year to the birthplace of the first bees in order to pay our respects. Now while we weren’t starving, we were looking for a little nosh. We hadn’t been to this particular location in Brooklyn’s Coney Island neighborhood, but I figured we were safe under the comforting umbrella that is the Applebee’s pursuit of deliciousness.

In my years of patronage I pretty much know the routine at Applebee’s, the décor is fun and family friendly, the wait-staff is energetic and young, and while that 2 for $20 deal might be light on your wallet, it sure is heavy on the ol’ breadbasket!

But this Applebee’s seemed to go a different route because right when we walked in I noticed that they had decided to forego the usual kitschy interior consisting of vintage license plates and collegiate apparel and replaced them with pictures of the Vietnamese children that I watched perish as a result of my commanding officer’s recklessness.

So I was like, “Hmm, that’s weird.”

The hostess informed my wife and I that it would be a 20 minute wait, so we saddled up at the bar and ordered a couple of drinks: my wife the Sangria (predictable) and I the overwhelming shiver that is the memory of my best friend Butch dying in my arms.

The bartender was friendly, a bit too chatty for my taste, but her and my wife hit it off, so I let them have at it, doing my best Rodney Dangerfield impression, “Take my wife, please!” Ha-ha I kid, plus I was busy screaming at the busboy that if he didn’t tell me where Charlie was I’d slice him from ear-to-ear.

Midway through our drinks our buzzer went off letting us know a table had opened up. And after I gathered myself up off the floor from underneath my chair we made our way over.

We had our eyes set on a booth by the window, but the place was crawling with people so the hostess put us in a raised table near the door. And I thought, “Higher ground, now we have the advantage.” There were too many people around, so I hung back and told them I’d keep watch. After the manager forced me to put my cigarette out I joined my wife at the table ready to dig in.

Cracking open the menu, ready to be greeted by a foray of lunch combos and freshburgers, I was surprised when a gust of napalm came spewing out of the booklet and into my eyes. I sprang up from my seat in a tizzy, looking for something to douse my eyes with, I grabbed the peach infused Skinnybee Margarita from the table adjacent and haphazardly cooled myself down.

Whew that was a close one, damn Charlie booby-traps, not this time. This place wasn’t safe, my wife and I had to get out of dodge. So I reimbursed the lady the $3.99 for her fun cocktail and we bolted for the door.

“WHERE THE FUCK IS THE CHECKPOINT?!” I yelled at the unsuspecting child trying to find the bathroom. Throwing him aside I realized that war wasn’t a place to make friends, I had a girl back home who was waiting for me, and one day soon we would hopefully go to a restaurant as nice as this one.

But before we were in the clear the headwaiter stepped right in our path, determined to take our lives. “Not today” I muttered as I gathered myself for a running start. We came up on each other fast, slapping the Chicken Wonton Tacos and Brew Pub Pretzels & Beer Cheese Dip® out of his hand sending them right onto a Green Goddess Wedge on the table behind. Disoriented now, I quickly got him into a headlock forcing him down onto the ground and finished him off by grabbing a Steak Quesadilla Tower and shoved it straight into his mouth and pulled the clip. What a sorry motherfucker, stepping over his body, I just waited to hear that Appetizer Trio go boom.

So overall, I’d say this Applebee’s location can be fun, just maybe don’t bring the kids.

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