Annie Get Your Pitchfork

Written By: Tipsy Table - Sep• 18•14

News this year carried some strange stories of food service attacks.

This from M. Alex Johnson, NBC News:

Man Robs Southern Diner — With a Pitchfork

Waffle House robber

Surveillance camera photo

At first glance, there was nothing particularly noteworthy about the robbery Thursday of a restaurant in suburban Atlanta.

An armed man made off with the cash register, scuffled with employees and sped off down the road. Police are still looking for him.

Did we mention he was armed? Because he was armed.

With a pitchfork.

Did we mention this was Georgia?

It all started around 5 p.m. ET Thursday at a Waffle House in Norcross, a northeastern suburb of Atlanta, when a portly man wearing overalls and a blue ski mask walked in.

The suspect was armed with a pitchfork,” Norcross Police Chief Warren Summers said matter-of-factly Friday. Security camera video confirms that, indeed, the robber was armed with a pitchfork — a wood-handled pitchfork with three metal prongs.

The man “herded the employees into the stockroom with the pitchfork” and tried to open the cash register, Summers said, but he wasn’t able to crack it open, “so he picked up the cash register and left with it.”

You can read the story here:

The strange incident did not end well for the perp who lost his weapon which was picked up by Waffle House employees who chased him with it, hit him with it, and then smashed the back window of his van with it. Police found the van a few blocks away, but were still looking for the cash register and the robber who they said would be “easy to spot as he’ll have unusual injuries to his face and the back of his head.”

It was not a good day for a pitchfork robbery. Nor was it a good day for Georgia. Recall that this is a state where it is virtually unconstitutional to rob with anything but a firearm, preferably a military assault rifle.

In April of 2013, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed the state’s “Safe Carry Protection Act,” popularly titled the “guns everywhere bill.” This piece of progressive legislation was boasted as a protection for gun owners, who, we guess, need some kind of protection and seem assured it is a constitutional right of utmost importance. This informed legislation allows for Georgia citizens and those of some 28 other states to pack heat into bars, government buildings, schools, churches, and probably a Waffle House, with minimum restrictions.

So, what? You ask. C’mon now, folks, if Georgia law defines the right to have a gun anywhere, why the heck does this guy need a pitchfork in a Waffle House when a huge automatic weapon would be so much sweeter. He could have blown all the waffles off the grill, then have blown open the safe, and maybe smoked a few minimum wage employees, before taking off with the money. That is what the constitution is all about. Pitchfork? Forget it.

American Gothic Iowa State Fair

2014 Iowa State Fair photo courtesy Carol VanHook

This got us to talking around the table about the difference between a pitchfork and a hay fork. So you know, a pitchfork has three tines for pitching bundles of oats up for stacking, whereas hay forks have four tines for gathering and loading hay into the back of a wagon. So then we jumped to Grant Wood’s painting, American Gothic. The iconic farmer is holding a pitchfork. Thankfully the Waffle House robber was not wielding the pitchfork in the wonderful J. Seward Johnson sculpture based upon American Gothic. This sculpture is 25 feet tall, weighs 30,000 pounds and travels from New York to Florida and Chicago, perhaps in search of Waffle Houses. This year the sculpture welcomed visitors to the Iowa State Fair (and home state of Grant Wood). Sadly for this Iowa farm couple there are no Waffle Houses in Des Moines.

Click here for a fascinating article on American Gothic.

Our discussion finally landed on Waffle Houses. We know of these colorful, happy places though we do not have them anywhere near our home.   Checking online we found there are no Waffle Houses in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, or Montana, for some reason of franchise strategy. Arizona has many Waffle Houses–probably the closest to our residence–but that seemed too far to go to celebrate with sugar and carbohydrates, but hold the bacon. We wanted to do this, not that we think a pitchfork assault is something to celebrate, but because the Waffle House reminds us of one of our favorite movies—Tin Cup. Roy, the erratic golfer who makes the sport attractive to those of us who question the game, finds any Waffle House his kind of place, a refuge from his own instincts to make the wrong decision. After his spectacular and bizarre performance hitting the golf ball out the bar door and across a pond to dislodge a bird from its perch, Roy thinks the gang should repair to the nearest Waffle House. Molly, the beautiful lady friend, suggests they might elevate the occasion.

5505010303_a2c5fc5cd5_zMolly: I’ve got money from the bet. Let’s go somewhere fancy and celebrate.

Roy: There’s nothing to celebrate. Besides, these are my people. I’m a Waffle House guy. Got to stay in touch with that.

We have not had our Waffle House fix, but we will when we are in their neighborhood. We will be packing neither a gun nor a pitchfork.

Next up in strange food stories…pitch forks to pitched cakes.

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