It is a Tuesday, early afternoon in sunny Phoenix. Temps in the low 90s. On my way to the town’s best cheeseburger at the Encanto Golf Course cafe. Encanto means “charm” in Spanish. Just looked it up.
I pass the residence in Palmcroft where I first saw my first-ever purple-flowered artichoke. The plant is pretty much shot but the flowers still dazzle.
The park is dead. A pair of lovers lie in the grass under a shade tree. Only one picnic table being used. Dozens of pigeons and doves feeding on the ground. Everywhere.
The swimming pool is filled now. They began running water into it on the 16th. The surface is roughed by a stout west wind. Pool probably opens this weekend. Someone is cleaning up the Snack Bar.
A man in his 60s waves a puny metal detector over a grassy spot near the lagoon. Looking for coins and other lost valuables, I assume. I ask how deep the detector can go. Unsure, he stops to look at a screen on his gadget. “About 8 inches” is the reply. “But I never find anything that deep.”
An American flag flutters in the wind by the meeting hall. Reminds of a recent trip I made down Car Row on East Camelback. Enormous flags flew over four dealerships. Dealers dig big flags. The bigger the better. Phony patriotism but good for business. Two of the flags at half-mast, Honda and Toyota. Not so at the two U.S. places. Japanese have to fight harder for the dollar than domestics.
Lots of geese and swans floating around in the large lagoon. One Mallard and a Coot also.
Cafe is all but empty. Two elderly duffers sit behind me talking golf. Out the barred windows I see the driving range. No hackers today. See only four guys with smooth swings.
Order the cheeseburger with pot salad and all the fixings. Lettuce, mustard, pickles, tomatoes and onions. Pepper’s on the table. Cheese. Swiss or American? I make the patriotic choice. But really. Hate the big-holed Swiss. Comes to just over $7 with tax. I slip a dollar bill into the tip jar. Service is quicker than usual. A new female cook. I tell her about my recent unimpressive visit to at the ShakeShack at Uptown Plaza. She seems pleased that I like her cooking better than that new “cool” place she’s never heard of. Better food here, bigger portions, less expensive.
Stood by a bench and watched a dozen or so racist pigeons fight over a piece of bread on the ground. Scrap over a scrap. A grackle and starling finally give up. Chased away every time.
Checked my pedometer when I get home. Picked up about 5,000 steps of my 10,000 daily quota. Makes me feel good. I’m much the slackard lately.